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Ryan Stubbs

I'm a geek who loves to develop websites, make films, design websites, and above all, review awesome web apps for AppStorm. You can also find me on Twitter: @ryanstubbs.

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The web is built on sharing. A lot of us use social networks repeatedly throughout each day to either share our own content or that which others have created with the overall intention of ensuring that everyone can benefit from the quirky content or knowledge that creators introduce to the web. However, this content is usually displayed beneath our Twitter handle, Facebook name or other social network identity which means we can be a lot more unconsciously selective about which content we pay more attention to, based on who has posted it.

Imagine if we could see the content first, with no names attached – only the number of friends that have shared it. With Potluck, this is the case. Read on to find out more about Potluck – the latest brainchild of the group behind the innovative Branch discussion platform. (more…)

Anyone that’s created or maintained a website will know that it’s crucial to know as much about your users as possible to ensure a website’s success. Tools like Google Analytics are perfect for this sort of task but there always comes a time where perhaps you need a little bit more control.

I came across this little gem a few years ago when I wasn’t even looking for an alternative and found it to be quite useful. I recently revisited it and was pleasantly surprised at how far the project has progressed.

Enter Piwik. With a rich feature set similar to the top website analytics apps that gracefully line the web, Piwik is also free and open source, which means you can install the latest stable version on any server. Read on to find out more!

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One of the recent trends in blogging has been the implementation of flat file blogging systems that take your Markdown files and render them as blog posts in beautiful website form. However, a lot of these are self-hosted and for those who may not have the technical knowledge to get one of these set up, or perhaps just want to get on with blogging, they’ll be pleased to know there’s a pretty good solution that aims to get bloggers up and running in mere minutes.

That solution is Scriptogr.am.

Scriptogr.am is both a frontend and a backend for your blog, taking the Markdown files from its designated folder in your Dropbox and collating them into a fully-featured and working blog. Also, did I mention it’s free? Find out more after the fold! (more…)

Blogging. It’s taken over the web and with its rise in popularity, several blogging platforms have emerged that have taken this incredibly popular media by storm. You might have heard of WordPress (it’s hard not to). Over 62 million websites across the globe use the software and this is probably down to its incredibly user-friendly interface, its ease of setting-up and its general communal adoption.

However, there are times when WordPress can be a little too bloated and it’s often been noted that it’s almost shifted its focus towards being a framework as opposed to a tool to encourage and enable blogging. In short, WordPress can sometimes feel too big for small sites.

If only there was a new, simpler tool, ready to change the face of blogging. Enter Anchor. It’s beautifully-designed, a pleasure to use and the theming system is so simple, you can mock up a theme from HTML/CSS in less than an hour. I did.

Let’s take a closer look.

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It’s always assumed that 37signals’ Basecamp is the father of all project management apps. As such, it’s only natural for new apps that tackle the task to sprout up around the web, all hoping for a chance at taking the title. Whether it be creating an incredible interface to challenge that of its rivals or making the move of offering access to the app for incredibly cheap (or even free), these apps all try and bring something new to the table.

One such app that presents an incredible simplistic approach to project management is named Blimp. (more…)

Occasionally, we review brilliant apps in their infancy and following our reviews, they grow ridiculously and major changes are made and features added to make them even greater. For this reason, some apps have changed so much in this period that they warrant another review from us to see whether the changes have been for the better or worse.

One such app is Buffer. I reviewed it back in early 2011 while it was still young and since then, it’s managed to attract over 400,000 users who all want an easy way to schedule their social updates. In this article, I’ll be taking a look at some of the most significant changes in the newest incarnation of the Buffer app. Just read on to find out more!

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For the past few years, blogging has taken over the internet and it’s no surprise that blogging software and platforms have been increasingly easier to quickly access and use. However, if you just want to write the occasional post and aren’t too bothered about maintaining a full blog, these tools can seem incredibly bloated. Themes, categories, tags — these can quickly become a major pain to maintain. That’s where Feathers comes in.

Feathers gets you focused on the writing again and you can be up and blogging in seconds — relieving the need to configure a full blog. Read on to find out more!

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When it comes to online collaboration, it can either be a nightmare or a walk in the park. However, one of the main factors in deciding which way the collaborative experience can go is whether or not you have the right tool to ensure it. For decades, people have used email as a primary means of contact with others online so it can be only natural for people to opt for this first but for people that want a bit more than just what email has to offer, there is a handy little app named HushFlow.

Though the app’s currently in beta phase, we’ve managed to get an interview with Peter Sandtner, one of the main developers working on the project. Read on to find out more and read the interview!

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If you’re a writer of some sort, you’ll have no doubt come across the often cluttered and distracting interfaces of some word processing applications. But it’s 2012 — web apps are popping up left and right to ensure that we can manage our documents online without having to worry about losing them or endure the slow update process of traditional desktop apps. However, even some of these apps contain over-designed and clunky interfaces that make it near impossible to just sit down and get some writing done. We often see simple, uncluttered writing apps for Macs, so surely there’s a new and better way to write and manage documents online?

Quabel just might be that better way. It’s a new and promising distraction-free writing web app that weilds several interesting features that are sure to set it apart. It ensures that writers can get on with what they do best and not have to worry about getting easily distracted. Keep reading to find out more!

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I’m a procrastinator. I often put things off to the point where I just forget what needs to be done. As a regular reviewer here at AppStorm, it’s no surprise that I’ve reviewed many task management apps, and you’d think that my solution lies there. However, I’ve really struggled to find one that works for me. Some of them are too bloated and crammed with features that I’m never going to use, some seem perfect until I go to use them and realise that the amount of JavaScript crammed into the interface makes it near-impossible to use.

One contender attempting to shake up the world of task management is TaskUp — a sophisticated app that ensures that task management becomes simple again. Read on to find out more! (more…)

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