One of the things that I absolutely love about the web is that it’s a place where people can start to collaborate on projects and other things. As the web improves so does creating projects and collaborating on them, which opens up more possibilities for great things to happen. What is so great is that web apps are starting to replace desktop apps and are actually on par with them as far as features, and throw in social features and they’re even better than desktop apps could be.
Take for example a web app called Mural.ly, which gives the user a plain canvas on the web that they can use to their liking and then share it with others to collaborate on. What makes this so attractive is the fact that you can use Mural.ly for a wide variety of tasks and it can be used by just about anyone that needs a space to share things and get feedback. Not only that, but the developers of the app have made it very user friendly and have given you the ability to use many different formats to create your project. Let’s take a look.
Creating Your Canvas
There are really two parts to creating something on Mural.ly, with the first one being getting and creating content. You can get content from just about anywhere on your computer that you can think of. If you are searching for pictures on the internet, you can drag and drop them onto your canvas as well as take a selection of text from a text editor and put it on there as well. If dragging and dropping is not your thing, than you can also choose to upload from your computer instead.
If you decide that you want to create your own content or you want to make your canvas look better by adding to it, then you are also given a variety of tools to do this. You can add your own text boxes or sticky notes, shapes and stickers, and backgrounds to personalize your canvas. Combining the ease of use to drag and drop a variety of things as well as having a lot of tools, you can easily create some really cool things using this app.
Sharing and Collaborating
Mural.ly is so much more than just creating great things on your web canvas and like most people who would use an app like this, they will want to share it with others and get their feedback. You can share your creation to Facebook and Twitter, embed it on a website and even invite people by email. What is nice about this feature is that you can make your project as public or private as you want it to be. If are working on something secret, you can invite a few people to see what you are doing or you can also share it with the world; you are the one that decides. You can even make your canvas password protected so that when people want to help edit or give feedback, they need to know it in order to get access.
The collaboration aspect of Mural.ly is kind of cool and I really like what they have done. Think of Mural.ly as the “Google Docs” of web canvases, in that people you invite to collaborate can actually do more than just leave comments. You have the option to give them access to just view the project or you can also give them permission to actually modify it as well. Like Google Docs, this feature is very powerful in that you, as the original editor get to decide how you want others to be able to give you feedback.
Most of the time when I write a review for the site, it is because there is something about it that piques my interest and Mural.ly definitely did not disappoint in this area. There were two things that really got me excited to use it more. One, I loved at how easy it was to get content onto your canvas, and not only that, you have a myriad of things you can put on there. Whether it be a collection of pictures, text, videos it doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t have to all come from your computer, you can easily drag and drop things from the web. I couldn’t do it justice by showing you pictures, so take a look at the video that Mural.ly has on their homepage and you will see how easy it is to get content.
Secondly, I love the flexibility when it comes to the privacy/public features that you are given as the original owner of your work. It can be wide open to the world or you can make it password protected to a few people, and any where in between. When you combine these two major features, you are opening yourself up to be able to let many different types of people create and collaborate using Mural.ly. I can see a wide variety of people in many different occupations being able to use this app to their benefit because of these things that I just mentioned.
Let’s Wait and See
At the moment, Mural.ly is currently in beta and is accepting people so that they can test it out. Whenever an app is in beta, I always take a “wait and see” approach to it because you never know what kind of features could come out that could make it even better. Even with it being in an early stage, there are not a whole lot of bugs that I could find while using it, other than the fact that I had a hard time dragging over some videos that I wanted to use, but that could be more of a copyright issue than anything else. I would also be curious to see what the pricing structure will be when they officially launch, as like any other company, they should charge for their service so that they can reap the rewards of their hard work.
It will definitely be interesting to see where Mural.ly goes from here and if they will be able to gain more traction. If you are looking for a dead simple way to create something on the web and share it with others to just show them something cool you made or to get feedback, then you have to try this app out.
Create designs, posters, and many other things on the web using Mural.ly8