If you run or are part of a business that entertains clients by appointment only, such as a clinic, salon or consultancy, you know how difficult it is to keep staff and visitors on track — you not only have to schedule appointments, but also avoid clashes, remind clients to show up and stay sane enough to make your sessions worthwhile. A secretary could surely make light work of this, but what’s a professional to do if he/she can’t afford to pay another employee’s full salary?
For starters, you might want to try Ubooq, a new service that lets your clients see when you’re available, book appointments and receive reminders via text message — all from your website or standalone booking page. Meanwhile, you’ll get notified of new bookings and stay on top of things, allowing you to deliver the best possible service your customers have ever experienced. Sounds too good to be true? Let’s see if Ubooq is really up to the task.
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.
When you think of the classics of videogaming – those games which have survived every format and console that time has thrown at them – what springs to mind? Tetris. Metroid. Mario. And then there’s Bomberman. This brilliantly addictive strategic bomb-’em-up has been around since the days of coin-op arcades, and has been released in dozens of iterations. Sadly, however, Konami (owner of the franchise) has somewhat let Bomberman slide into obscurity.
In response, some Bomberman fans have developed their own free, online version, and they have called it Bombermine. But rather than make a simple clone, the folks behind Bombermine have gone the extra mile, and created a MMO built in HTML5. There are already thousands of happy fans getting stuck in to this relatively new browser-based game, but does it capture the fun of Bomberman’s arcade glory days?
It’s pretty clear that we’re moving to become a hyper-connected society. It’s no longer just activities like email and online gaming that are enhanced, or obstructed, by your connection. Instead, we’re increasing our reliance on apps and services for video, banking and even reading a book.
But what happens when the web breaks? When you have that power outage or, worse, when the server farm thousands of miles away does? Outages are a big obstruction to becoming a completely online society and it’s something we’re going to take a look at today. (more…)
Looking for a better way to schedule appointments online? Acuity Scheduling, our sponsor this week, is a great tool for that. It’s a online appointment scheduling software to help you grow your business and eliminate no-shows.
Acuity lets your business accept appointments online 24/7. You can create custom intake forms for clients to complete in advance of appointments and have clients pay by credit card online, saving time and letting you focus on your business. It also works great for managing global businesses, with automatic time zone conversion and support for many currencies.
It’ll help you do the work you do best, without having to worry about getting your appointments scheduled or paid for.
Go Get It!
Ready to get started taking the hassle out of appointments? You can get started with Acuity Scheduling for free with one schedule, then get more features, schedules, and more starting at $10/month.
By now you likely know that Google has made its popular Reader app an upcoming victim in the company’s infamous Spring Cleaning massacre of services. The news spread around the internet like wildfire and generated quite a bit of bad publicity and hard feelings against the search giant.
It also generated a ton of new traffic that suddenly began swamping alternative apps such as Feedly, which had to add ten-times the bandwidth and additional servers to keep up with its new-found popularity.
Another service, The Old Reader, has also been under heavy pressure since the Google announcement. In fact, as of this writing, there is a wait time of almost one week to import your OPML file into the service. In fact, when I first signed up, I received the following message on my screen:
I finally got a in, though, so let’s take a look at it together and see what The Old Reader brings to the RSS reader market. (more…)
After Microsoft’s IE6 held the web back for so long, hardly any web developers find time to praise Microsoft. It’s not that Microsoft’s the scary giant these days, so much, but that they’ve made so many mistakes over the years that few want to give them the time of day. Even Microsoft fans are calling out the company over decisions they’ve made in Windows 8. The company has made its share of blunders in recent years, missing out entirely on the smartphone and tablet market growth since 2007, and they’re beginning to lose ground in the PC market as well. Bing has taken tons of cash to develop and market, and it still is a distant second to Google’s namesake search engine.
Yet, there’s some things that Microsoft’s doing right, and many of them are on the web. For developers, Microsoft’s Azure provides an alternate to Amazon’s cloud computing, and for the rest of us, Skydrive offers a decently priced online storage competitor. It’d be forgettable if that’s all it offered, but it has one extra thing that makes it much more interesting: Office Web Apps.
Let’s take a look and see why, perhaps, you should be using Office Web Apps instead of Google Docs, or at least why you should keep them in mind in case you ever need them.
Since its inception, HTML5 has being used in many areas where, previously, Flash used to be the only major player. Today, you can build full-featured apps, accelerated graphics in games, stream HD video, and so much more just using native web code. No plugins required. The web is now an app platform in its own right.
The web has been a gaming platform for years — remember the flash based physics games that are so similar to Angry Birds, but came out years back? Now, though, the best online games aren’t just games that require Flash or full application downloads to run; they’re games designed 100% in native web code. Here’s 15 of the best HTML5 games that pulled me in, and kept me playing far longer than I thought they could.