Cool New Tools

This past week I’ve started using two new web applications.
BlogFlux is a blog monitoring service, similar to Technorati, but with one really exceptional module – MapStats. You can see the MapStats button on the navigation bar to the left, under External. Ever since I created this website, I have had a statistics service that gives me the number of visitors, number of pageviews, popular content, etc. MapStats gives this information and more – it’s contextualized by geography and behaviour. For instance, I now know that someone in a specifc city (or at least their server is there) came to my website following a Google search for a specific phrase. Everyday I can see how many people actually came onto this site and what brought them here. This is excellent feedback. BlogFlux filters out all of the RSS pings, comment spammers and trackback spammers so that I get an accurate picture of real people coming to this site. And of course, this service is free. BlogFlux is only available for "real" blogs, and yes they do check, as I can attest.
The other Web 2.0 tool is Writely. This is an online collaborative  word processing application. It’s like a wiki, but much easier to use and invite other collaborators as you go. Current functionality is with MS Word, but the developers are looking for an OASIS translation library in order to make it compatible with OpenOffice.org. So far, it’s a simple and efficient tool for collaborative document development. Writely even supports embedded pictures in your Word document.
Both of these services are in Beta, so you have to be willing to accept some glitches. BlogFlux has been very quick in addressing any issues that I’ve raised (thanks Ahmed). They have even reduced the javascript file for the MapStats button from 22kb to 8.4kb [now 2.8kb], so pages can load quickly.
I would recommend BlogFlux and MapStats for any blogger and I think that Writely is the first of what will soon be a basic tool for everyone – the web-based word processor.

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