We cover web apps day in, day out. There’s so many great tools on the internet today, it’s hard to imagine living without them. And yet, plenty of people that think web apps are a passing fad, something that filled a gap for native apps that were missing from some platforms but not that essential.

And yet, most of us all rely on web apps even if we don’t think about it. If your site is powered by a CMS like WordPress, you’re relying on a web app. If you use any email service for regular communications, or sync files, or make calls online, you’re relying on web apps. Even if you’re not actively looking for new web apps for your workflow, and don’t rely on tools like IFTTT or online collaboration apps, you’re likely still reliant on web apps. So the question is, could you live without web apps?

For this time, let’s leave Facebook and Twitter out of the equation. Don’t think of social networks, or web apps you use just to pass the time. Instead, think about whether you could actually get your daily work done without any web apps. And yes: Evernote’s native apps, or Dropbox syncing your files, still counts as web apps.

There’s absolutely no way I could live without web apps — after all, AppStorm’s a virtual team and we all work on the web, and my own personal ventures are all on the web. I’d be in quite a mess if every web app I use disappeared tomorrow.

How about you?

Crowdsource funding, like Kickstarter, has really started to infuse this idea that getting something no longer has to be done alone. It actually is a pretty genius idea when you think about, instead of having one person fork over $1000 to make a project happen, why not get 100 people to pay $10? The odds are better that the later will happen and you can actually get what you want accomplished.

Well, what has started to happen over the past year or so is a trend to now take this crowdsourcing concept and apply it to other areas, like gift giving. When I first started to see this concept, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Why get ten decent gifts, when you can get one amazing gift from those ten people? Not only that, but it brings a sense of community and meaning to the gift as well. So when I came across Givted, I thought I had to see what it was all about and how it takes the gift crowdsourcing platform and makes it their own.

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Web apps tend to separate everything, with one app for chat and one for invoices, one for projects and another for documents. But that sure can get confusing. So why not pull everything together in a full-featured intranet like the brilliant Bitrix24, our sponsor this week.

We loved Bitrix24 when we reviewed it recently, and it’s added a ton of new features since then. You can now add polls in your team discussions to get quick feedback on everyone’s thoughts. You can keep up with the your team anywhere, with native apps for your iPhone and Android, as well as your Mac and PC. You can even virtually meet your team in your browser with voice and video calls right in Birtix24, keep track of everyone in the CRM even on the go, and make invoices straight from the time you’ve tracked in the app. It’s everything, together.

That’s in addition to all of the features we already loved, including a Facebook-style network for your team, planning and scheduling tools, document sharing and collaboration, and more. Bitrix24 has everything you need to keep your team collaborating and productive, no matter what you’re working on. You won’t have to go find more apps to get everything your team needs — it’s all right here.

Get Your Team on Bitrix24 This Week!

So why wait? Go try out Bitrix24 and see if it’s what your team has been needing! It’s 100% free for up to 12 users, and $99/month for unlimited users after that. Or, if your team has more specialized needs, you can license and run it on your own server. It’s the intranet that can work for everyone.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

When you’re working in a large team — especially in a distributed large environment — communication is key. You need every member of the team to know what’s happening and you also want them to get to know each other better. A central place to chat becomes the obvious solution.

Having worked on several such teams, I’ve been part of various implementations of this solution. There’s Google Talk (now Hangouts) which many prefer; there’s WhatsApp for a phone chat; and one former employer had an IRC chatroom.

But what you need is something that offers a great, professional chatroom, works perfectly on web and mobile, and is persistent — that is, anyone who logs in should be able to see all the messages since the inception of the room.

Meet Hipchat. (more…)

Creating a personal website can wind up being more trouble than its worth. And as for maintaining one? Well, things can get expensive. Even a basic set-up of a simple blog is likely to lack luster in the design department.

You could use WordPress or Blogger as a free alternative, sure. But Storyboard.me offers something much more stylish, chic and powerful for telling the world who you are.

The company aim their service as individuals and small business who want to portray who they are and what their brand stands for. It’s already becoming a hit with artists and writers, but would it work for you? (more…)

Life in a city can get boring after a couple of years. Malls, cinemas, restaurants, beaches – the experience of visiting those places gets predictable real quick. The new outlets that open up at regular intervals usually won’t veer far away when it comes to being a fresh concept either.

For me, local events ended up adding variety to the mix. One day it’s a stand up comedy and next day it’s a Twitter unconference (definitely no Operas and musicals though!). There seems to be a lot of them happening all over the place, but as usual, with plenty comes the problem of discovery.

Calester is hard at work to help you and your friends find events around you that could be so much fun. Does the app tackle the problem of event discovery effortlessly? Let’s go check it out!

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We talked earlier this week about our waning trust in Google. They've killed so many products — Wave, Reader, free Apps for Domains — that it's becoming harder to trust them to keep stuff running. It's one thing to keep using their products we're already used to, but trusting something new from Google? That takes a bit of a leap of faith.

We don't expect to see Docs or Gmail to disappear anytime soon, and if Google Search disappears you'll know the end is nigh. But what about their less popular products? Could Google+ get killed, despite how hard Google's tried with it? How about Feedburner, or Blogger? Or will they finally pull the plug on Orkut? AppleInsider even speculated that Android might get left behind in lieu of Chrome, a move that'd be shocking to say the least. But these days, anything's believable it seems.

We can't predict the future, but it's sure fun trying. So let us know what Google product you think will get killed next. My money's on Feedburner, as much as I'd hate to see it go. Yours?

Being able to publish something on the web has now become easier than ever. You have a wide variety of publishing platforms that you can post pictures, videos, blogs, and more. The hard part for developers that are looking to create a publishing application is that at this point, they are really running up against some very stiff competition. You have the giants like WordPress, Tumblr, and to some degree Squarespace. Then you have other mediums like Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking tools that you can use. So how does one get into this crowded field and still make some noise?

Well, to start with, you have to be different than the rest. You have to be able to meet a need that these platforms are not. At this point, that is very hard to do, but not impossible. There are developers all the time still trying to meet a need out there for those that want to share things on the web. I say all of this because today I am reviewing Marquee, which is a blogging platform that is just starting out. I have been able to use it for a bit, and I am trying to decide if it really stands out or not so that it can make itself successful. Let’s take a look at it more in depth and see.

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Twitter spawned a whole ecosystem of social networking apps, each vying to make it easier to see all of your social networks together, post everywhere, share longer posts, and more. There were so many different social networking web apps for the same set of social networks, it was impossible to keep track of them all.

Then, Twitter started cracking down on how 3rd party apps could use its API. And both Twitter and Facebook started building their own nicer apps and pro tools, crowding alternates out of the market. Where there used to be an overabundance of social networking apps, now most of us are back to using each network’s own apps. But there’s still a few solid apps out there that can make social networking easier and more productive, and one of the the very best is Buffer.

Buffer’s been one of those apps that everyone loved, but I never could get into. It was designed to auto-post stuff on a schedule, and I preferred to post stuff in real-time. But running the social networking for 3 sites and my own personal profiles got to be too much, and I needed an app to help me out. And Buffer turned out to be exactly what I needed.

Here’s how I learned to stop doing social networking manually and embrace the Buffer.

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Google’s an interesting company. They have one cash cow — their namesake search engine and its ads — that, for the most part, fuels all the rest of their projects. But that hasn’t stopped them from taking on ambitious projects; if anything, it drives their creativity into places few else would date to invest.

So, they set out to do projects that make their April Fools’ jokes seem plausible. They drive cars around practically every part of the inhabited planet to take 360° photos of storefronts and trees and traffic. They build a new browser, then try to take on the giant in Redmond by turning said browser into a laptop OS, and a Mac Mini replacement, and a smart TV killer. They buy out a smartphone OS, and take on Apple directly by giving it away for free (mostly, anyhow). They design self-driving cars (but so far aren’t giving them away). And, now they’re apparently trying to disrupt the mobile OS market they already own with smart glasses. If Apple salutes the crazy ones, they’d certainly have to salute Google.

But now we’re stoping to wonder: is Google crazy, or crazy like a fox — and a rather devious fox at that?

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