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Pros:It is the quintessential blogging package online, and is owned by Google. It has the power to be hosted online through their servers, or offloaded into a users personal web space. Each blog is syndicated through RSS (real-simple syndication), and allows for the option for readers to comment.
Cons: In the two years that Google has owned the service, there has been little innovation to add in more services, or widgets to the blog. Their basic pre-packaged themes look dated, and are not easily editable without knowledge of HTML, CSS, and Javascript.
Pros:  Wordpresss has quickly become the professional blogger's tool of choice online due to its ease of use, and flexibility.  Users can use the hosted solution (similar to Blogger) or install it on their personal web space with full admin control.  The pre-packaged templates look current and are aesthetically pleasing, and they are constantly updating features.
*Cons:*For users looking to host WordPress on their own webspace one does need basic knowledge of HTML, and the ability to edit code.  It also requires access to a MYSQL or SQL database server (which ITaP provides).


Pros: Twitter is the most popular, and most used microblogging tool currently on the web.  It is easy to use, and has many options for users to update and view their status online.  It's most powerful feature is the ability to update from almost anywhere, on any device, from your desktop machine, to the most basic cell phone through SMS.  Users are also able to receive updates and messages directly to their email or cellphone to keep up to date with everything going on.  The twitter community also has created a large number of mashups to keep track of data, and use the tool for purposes never even thought of (see
*Cons:*Twitter does not offer an off site hosting solution, and in the past 3 months has seen server reliability problems.  They have reacted quickly to fix these, but there is the possibility that such problems will pop up in the future.
*Pros: *It has an easy to use interface to post text, chat conversations, pictures, videos, etc... from a number of different devices similar to twitter.  It also allows users to group and friend each other unlike traditional blogs.  Tumblr also offers a hosted solution, or allows users to host the service in their own personal webspace.
*Cons:*It is still a relatively new service, and it hasn't gone through growing pains like similar services yet (Twitter, blogger, etc...)

Personalized Web Organizer

*Pros:*First and foremost, it is a Google product and has an easy to use interface.  It also has a history of strong reliability, and constant roll out of feature upgrades.  For a start page, or personal web organizer, it is currently the most popular, and has a large library of 3rd party widgets to install, and incorporates into the current Google Apps very well (Gmail, Google Calendar, etc...)
Cons:  The ability for customization is limited to the pre-configured themes they offer, so for advanced users there is no other option. 
*Pros:*It is the second largest PWO online, and is independently owned.  Similar to iGoogle, it offers a large library of third party widgets, and pre-configured themes.  However, it offers power-users more features for RSS feeds, widgets, and customization (through HTML & CSS) than iGoogle.  It also has a social network side that allows you to publish your widgets and rss feeds so the world or just friends can see what you blogs you like.
*Cons:*The social network feature isn't as powerful as other options that are currently online, such as FriendFeed, Facebook, or Myspace.


*Pros:*The quintessential Wiki tool online, it is used by Wikipedia, and is open source.  There are limitless possibilities for customization with Mediawiki, for plugins as well as themes.
*Cons:*It is open source so support is based only through community user groups and message boards.  The formatting tools for WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) editing of articles is not very powerful, and relies heavily on coding or wiki-formatting.
Pros: A corporate solution to Wikis, that allows for as much customization as Mediawiki, but with more support.  It's WYSIWYG editor is one of the best for Wikis online, and is easy to use.
Cons: It is a corporate solution, so updates will be slower than the Open source alternatives, and it costs money.

Task managers / ToDo

Remember The Milk
Pros: It incorporates into a plethora of Web2.0 solutions already from Twitter, Google Calendar, to Ning.  Remember the Milk allows for users to share tasks between each other, and for reminders to be sent in almost every way shape and form, from email, twitter updates, to SMS text messages.
Cons:  The User interface is incredibly powerful, but can be cumbersome for beginners.
Bla Bla List
Pros:  A very simple user interface that is easy to use for all user types.  It also has some options of incorporation into other Web2.0 technologies.
Cons: It's reminder features are not as powerful or as open as those of Remember the Milk.
Ta-da List
Tudu List

Online Office Suites

Google Docs
*Pros:*Allows for easy collaboration and editing of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online with many users at once giving real-time updates while working.  It also allows users to chat with each other using Google Talk technology built in.  The features are constantly being upgrading in order to compete with other online solutions.
Cons:  It currently does not allow uploading of DOCX files, and has limitations with PDFs.  It also doesn't have built in document formating features like Microsoft Word.
Pros: Much like Google Docs, it offers easy collaboration between users, and is always upgrading its features.  Zoho Online offers more solutions than any other Online Office Suite from Word Processing, Database creation, to Wikis.  It also allows for exportation of DOCX files, and allows for Word formatting. 
Cons:  It does not offer as powerful a solution for real time collaboration, and is a bit delayed compared to Google Docs.
Microsoft Office Live
Pros:  It allows uploading and exporting of every Micrsoft Office File type (DOC, DOCX, etc...).  It also keeps the formatting of each document.
Cons:  There is no real collaboration compared to the other online Office Suites, and only allows for read-only access to other users.

Chat Options

Facebook Chat
*Pros:*Built right into the Facebook page and it doesn't require a desktop client to chat.  It allows for other users to talk back and forth, and for chat windows to pop-out of the browser.
*Cons:*It is still in an infant state, and doesn't have the robust features of AIM, Yahoo, MSN, etc...  There is no away message, or idle message options.
*Pros:*A browser solution for online chatting that allows users of AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, etc... to log in and chat without installing software.  It also combines your users list so everyone shows up in the same place. 
Cons:  Some features offered in MSN, AIM, and YAHOO are not available through this online solution (ie. File Share, Video Chat, etc.)

Social Bookmarking
Pros:  The most popular social bookmarking solution online right now that has the largest user base.  It's tagging system is very easy to use, and it offers a plethora of browser plugins for IE, FireFox, and Safari for users to tag and access their bookmarks.
Cons: They just recently updated their service to allow groups, and social sending of bookmarks, but the site is running slower than usual.  
Pros:  A newer social bookmarking solution that not only allows tagging, but highlight, post-it notes, and other features to share between users when left on a web page.  It also allows for syncing of bookmarks with Delicious so you don't have to worry about cross bookmarking web pages.
Cons: Its user base is less than Delicious, and is slowly growing.

Citizen Journalism

Pros: It's YouTube.
Cons: It's Youtube.
Pros:  Allows for quick capture and upload of video conversations between users.  It offers many solutions for international users, and languages.
Cons:  It requires a webcam or other video capturing solution.

Virtual Worlds

Second Life*
Pros:  It is the 800lb guerrilla in the VW business and has one of the largest user bases.  It allows for almost limitless creation, and has a very active developmental community.
Cons: It does have a stigma in the web world, and student world as being a "creepy" place when left on your own.
Pros:  The new Google venture into VW that allows for in-browser access.
Cons:  It is relatively new, and hard to gauge what pitfalls it will run into.  Right now users are unhappy with their customization options within the program.
Club Penguin*

Clip Note Software

Pros: It is a free solution that offers plenty of ways of updating and syncing your notes online, through a browser, desktop software, or even the iPhone/iPod Touch.
Cons:  It is still in beta.
Google Notebook
Pros: As a Google App, it incorporates into their whole software family of Gmail, Google Calendar, etc...
Cons: It has been known to have syncying issues in the past.

Social Network

Pros: 90% of Undergraduate students have an account.  It offers a very flexible and open Application structure, and a large user base.
Cons:  Students might see using this in the classroom as an invasion into their space, or privacy.
Pros:  Allows for easy creation of specialized social networks between users.  It also has a large widget library.
Cons:  It doesn't scale to large groups, and its collaboration functions aren't as strong as others.
Where are you now?

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