web app

6) MissionMakr Revives like a Phoenix from the Ashes

Remember MissionMakr.com, that great site that would help you through your short-term trip prep, all your communication, and all your on-field reporting? Remember how it went south when the previous owners let it die? Well never fear — it’s alive again! A dedicated servant-heart named Rick has relaunched it better than ever. Check it out today and compare it to any other site for short-term trip management. We think you’ll find it favorable.

http://www.missionmakr.com

5) Make Any Application a Multi-User One Using ScreenHero!

During a meeting this past week here at Brigada, we demo’d …

http://screenhero.com/

Essentially, it allows you to take any application online as a multi-user web app. From what we could determine, it seems to be limited right now to just two people at a time actively editing, but, bottom line, if you have a need to do joint planning with your spouse or teammate, at least give Screenhero a shot. Sessions are free — and encrypted.

4) The Website Best Solution for a Start-up Nonprofit?

With so many online start-ups, I fear that we sometimes lose track of the best solutions for specific challenges. For example, suppose you want a quick-and-easy way to stage a new website for a start-up non-profit (i.e., a new mission organization). You would like to a) establish and manage your online presence, b) manage and communicate with inquirers, c) manage and communicate with donors, d) manage and communicate with volunteers. Suppose you have very little money and even less time. Suppose you aren’t sophisticated at writing HTML mark-up so you need a “website in a box” solution. What’s the best answer? Recently, one Brigada reader suggested

http://nationbuilder.com/nonprofit

Have you tried it? On the surface, it looks like it fits the bill. You get unlimited users, unlimited email blasting, custom domain mapping, a hosted website with multi-user content management, multiple themes and page types, search engine optimization and analytics, a lightweight customer-relation management software package built in, social media tools, an online fundraising, financial reporting tools, a virtual phone number, and real-time newsfeeds. You can even add an optional (somewhat affordable) package to do text-message “blasts.” It’s priced by the number of “emailable contacts” you have in your database. So… tracking contacts is easy and free. You can enter thousands without having to pay a dime. But if you add their email addresses, the costs begin to mount. $49 per month (which seems like a sweet spot) will take care of 2500 emailable contacts in your database.

Do you know of other such solutions? We’d love to hear your answer, especially if you have experience in this sort of area. Thanks in advance for taking time to share. (Thanks for the tip on nationbuilder, Caleb.)

11) TripIt: Probably Beats out TripCase

Just when I was starting to like TripCase…

http://www.brigada.org/2012/12/23_10365

A friend introduced me to TripIt.

http://www/tripit.com

They’re similar apps. Each has an email interface. Once you register with the site, you forward your air and/or car rental itineraries to the email interface and the app automatically parses out your itineraries and details, creating a virtual trip and timeline for you. Granted, there’s a degree of risk involved, in that you’re giving over private information to the grid. However, in all my searching, I couldn’t find one example of this resulting in any kind of mischief. Instead, every review and every testimony seemed to indicate a huge amount of goodwill generated by these programs. Naturally, they’re trying to gather and market aggregate groups of customers, but again, these are well-researched apps that seem to have earned the trust of the internet community at large. The real pay-off comes in the smart-phone apps that these sites offer as well. Lay out your trip on the web, then you instantly have access to it on your iPhone or Android device. And, if TripCase already weren’t gifted enough, check out TripIt. Once I had my rough itinerary set up, I registered the other travelers in my group by providing their email addresses (ask their permission first, of course). Instantly, in their own accounts at TripIt, they now have access to all the flights, connections, and activities as well. You can even set up “meetings,” appointments, and personal activities. Gone are all the days of trying to manually create flights and appointments in your Calendaring app. TripIt can now do it for you, using WebDav features. It’s a new day, … a game-changer, and for the most part, it’s all free (though there are certain premium features you can purchase — like 99 cents to buy out the ads on your iPhone — permanently).

So what are your thoughts? Are you nervous about the possible privacy intrusion? Have you had good luck with these and other similar apps by Kayak and others? What’s your own favorite? Please use the comment box following the web version of this item at Brigada.org. Thanks!

12) TimeDial Can Predict the Damage (for international calls)

Could it be true? Log on at

http://www.TimeDial.net

plug in the kinds of calls and texts you’ll likely face on your next international trip. The website then automatically generates predicted costs for all the major international calling cards. Can it be true? … that in the real-live situation, go-Sim would have charged $46, while other cards would have charged over $200 for the same services? If TimeDial is accurate, then it would really pay to scout out the best options ahead of time. Of course, keep in mind that one of the BEST options can sometimes be to buy a LOCAL simcard for your calls, even if they’re international. It pays to check in advance.

5) Learn a New Language in 22 Hours?

Well, maybe not EXACTLY. But according to the guy in this story..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/nov/09/learn-language-in-three-months

using this approach, you might be able to learn 1000 common words in a language in that same amount of time. Learn more at …

http://www.memrise.com/

and put it to the test yourself. I tried a course in French and, I’ll have to admit, it’s a compelling solution, especially for someone unable to leave one’s job, family, or home — for the moment. Either way, after you’ve tried it out, please give us your opinion here (in the comment box following the online version of Brigada), so others will be able to learn from your experience. And thanks to Joshua for tipping us off about this opportunity.

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