Archive for the 'File Sharing' Category

Ayos iShare

Nov 29, 2007 in 3 Stars, Facebook, File Sharing

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Ayos iShare by Sphorium Technologies provides a file sharing service with unlimited download limits and 500MB of Free Storage. By default, the 500MB is divided into two parts: 100MB of Personal Storage, and 400MB of Shared Storage. How you allocate it is ultimately up to you. But more than just file sharing, it provides extended features like searching your files, tracking revisions, organizing files, and sharing a common work space with your friends. There are tons more features that I left out, which you can view here.

Ayos iShare came at just the right time for me. I have been looking for an unrestricted file sharing program for Facebook. First thing I wanted to do was to upload a file. It took me a few seconds to find the link, it was hidden under “Options”. Personally, since this is a service all about file sharing, I think “Upload File” should be prominently featured.

Facebook - Ayos iShare Add File

Uploading a file went smoothly. I would have liked to see some sort eye-candy such as an AJAX indicator and for kicks an upload progress bar.

Facebook - Ayos iShare File List

After uploading, I tried to use the search functionality to find my file. At first, a simple search for a keyword in the description produced no results. After about 1 minute, it did however turn up. I haven’t yet figured out how to view the description, just edit the description. I would prefer if there was some way clicking to get the description of the file inline.

Facebook - Ayos iShare Search Results

You can also move files around, but I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t create a folder inline as you do with most file explorers.

Facebook - Ayos Move File

The business model is straightforward: upsell user on greater storage capacity with a monthly subscription fee starting at $3.99/mo. As much as I like 100% free services, I do support companies rolling out subscription models since in the end the only sustainable business is the one with cash flow.

Facebook - Ayos PayPal

My overall impression of the app is positive. It works as advertised and is easy to use. There are many more features I didn’t explore, such as the versioning and calendaring system. To be fair to Ayos, it is not just a file sharing application. It’s more of a collaborative content management system for the Facebook platform. My 3 star rating describes its effectiveness as a purely a file sharing application, and doesn’t take into consideration these other features.

I do expect certain usability improvements, however, before I would start using the app regularly. Most of them I’ve already mentioned. As a matter of personal opinion, I’m not a big fan of context menus/drop downs for web apps unless they are used to mimic the behavior of existing, well known applications (e.g. File menu in Windows). I think menus should be used to hide more obscure or advanced features away from regular users, but not used for all features.

In order for a file sharing app in this category to get my vote of 5 stars, it would have to mimic the behavior of a normal file explorer (e.g. Mac Finder or Windows Explorer). This is a reasonable expectation as I’ve seen the functionality implemented with Flash and even AJAX (as in some of the Web OS implementations). My justification for this is users shouldn’t have to learn yet one more interface to accomplish the simple task of file sharing. A file explorer’s interface is intuitive and works.

Update 2007-12-06:

Ayos iShare announced today that they now allow users to collaborate on group items. You can access this feature by clicking on the new tab called Group Items. Down the road, they say to expect a WebDAV capabilities, which will enable you to mount your files locally on your computer.

Installed (for now)

Add Application

The 12 Walls of Facebook — Part 1

Nov 27, 2007 in 4 Stars, Chat, Dating, Facebook, File Sharing, Just For Fun, Messaging, Photo, Utility, Video

If you have a Facebook account, you’ve probably noticed the handful of different wall applications. It’s not uncommon to see a handful of them on the same Facebook profile.

Facebook provides you with a wall by default. So what makes these “Super” or “Advanced” walls so “Super” and “Advanced”? Lets take a look…

The Wall

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Wall Facebook Application This is the default wall created by Facebook. By default (unless you removed it), it’s on your profile. The Wall allows you post text, no html or bbc (bulletin board code). You can’t post images or YouTube videos, but you can attach items such as a link and can create a video from your webcam.

Other applications have the ability to tie into The Wall and extend it’s ability. Though, from what I’ve seen, most addons are vampire hugs and other crap you probably don’t care about.

If you like it plain, this is the wall for you.

Super Wall

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Super Wall Facebook ApplicationThis one has to be better, right? It is named Super Wall after all. The 16 million people that have it installed sure seem to think so.

Besides all the features The Wall provides, Super Wall allows you to attach photos, YouTube videos and even music (though you have to install another app to listen to it).

Photos can be added to the wall from your Facebook photo galleries, you can upload, or provide the URL to an image on the web. There’s also an option to draw Graffiti.

Videos can only be attached from YouTube or Google Video, which I guess is ok since everyone uses YouTube anyway.

Though I do have a very serious complaint about this application, which affected it’s rating… This is the spammiest app I’ve encountered on Facebook. I’m beginning to think maybe this app has so many users, not because it’s so great, but because it Super Spams everyone you know.

Upon install, it asked me to invite friends with all of my friends selected by default. Then it added an additional item to my news feed asking people to come and write on my wall.

When I created a test post on my own wall, I accidentally blasted it out to all my friends Super Wall’s. (Everybody is selected by default). In addition to accidentally writing a test message on everybody’s wall, it posted a message in their mini-feed saying they got a new post on their Super Wall.

This means not only did I post on all of my friends’ Super Walls, but all of their friends got messages in their mini-feeds saying I did so. F’n great…

Super Wall Facebook Application Arrrggg!!

A quick browse of the Super Wall Message Boards will reveal a lot of other users angry at this application. *danger*

Install at your own risk. But if you do install this app… make sure you uncheck the mini-feed option!

Advanced Wall

Rating: ★★★★☆

Advanced Wall Facebook Application The Advanced Wall operates almost exactly like The Wall, but gives you an “Advanced Editor” option. This advanced editor is a WYSIWYG / Rich Text editor. You can change your font, color, height, embed links, emoticons, images, YouTube videos, Flash and even HTML.

You can even import all your posts from your old Facebook wall.

Advanced Wall also lets your friends write private messages on your wall. It is highly configurable and allows you to change a number of settings, like the number of posts on your wall, number of posts per page, a lot of privacy settings and you can even have new post notifications sent via sms to your phone.

If you like the way the original Facebook Wall operates and want a little more functionality, this is a good choice.