Mailmanagr Provides Email Interface to Basecamp

Mailmanagr Logo

While 37signals recently added the oft requested ability to allow Basecamp users to reply to messages and comment notifications by email, a new add-on service called Mailmanagr takes that one step further by allowing you to create new project items as well.

Create and assign custom email addresses to any area of your project and then forward messages, to-do items and milestones directly into your project without logging in. It’s very useful for forwarding emails you receive outside of Basecamp into the system or for making quick entries from your mobile.

If you have implemented Basecamp in your organization and are still seeing significant external email discussions, Mailmanagr can help get these items into the system for tracking.  If your folks are really that resistant to logging in though, you may want to consider if you have made the right choice to accommodate the work style of our clients and co-workers.

Mailmanagr uses the Basecamp API to faciliate all of this so it does require you to provide your login details. Take a tour to see if Mailmanagr is for you before signing up for your free account.

5pm Might be a Good Time for Project Management

5pm logoThere are many online project management offerings on the web including Projjex (previously covered), Basecamp, and Zoho Project.

A relatively new entrant to the market is 5pm, a product is built by a very small team. Even without venture funding, the 5pm team has built a visually attractive project management utility, but how does it stack up to the competition?

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Projjex: A New Player in Project Management

LogoManaging projects in an internet based environment can be difficult.  We have options such as Basecamp from 37Signals, Zoho, and even an open source tool called Project.net. There is a new player on the block called Projjex and it has some promising features.

The team behind Projjex set out to build a project management solution that was quick to set up, highly functional, and most of all: easy to use.

The service is aimed at small teams with its logical layout and responsive user interface.

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What drivers are installed on your Vista machine?

The Windows environment is beholden to those hardware drivers that lets your components talk to the OS.  It’s a constant battle to keep these drivers updated as they come from all the different makers of the hardware hidden within your system.  The first step to determining if you’re running the latest driver from the manufacturer is to know what version of the driver is currently installed in your PC.  You can determine this on an individual component easily enough in the Device Manager but wouldn’t it be good to get a list of all the drivers in your Vista box at once?  There is a utility built into Vista that does just that called DRIVERYQUERY and with the proper tags it can generate a list of all the drivers currently installed on your Vista PC in just about any format you want.  OCMODSHOP has the scoop on this utility along with a list of all the tags and what they do so head over and get intimate with all of your drivers.

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Video Widgeteer SplashCast Gets $4M

SplashCast, which makes branded video widgets for clients such as Sony BMG, has raised $4 million from Australian advertising exec Mark Bayliss and Emergent. This round includes the $2 million the company had already raised from angels (including poker star Phil Hellmuth).

When we asked what differentiated his company, CEO Mike Berkley told us “SplashCast’s patent-pending video channel platform is the key to deep engagement.” That’s not a terribly convincing answer for me; can there really be IP in this stuff? Basically, SplashCast allows its customers to syndicate new content by sending it out to media players that fans have already embedded on their pages.

However, having a direct channel to the customer is pretty useful in this day and age of abysmal click-through rates on the social networks where kids spend all their time. Berkley claims his ads receive 3 percent CTRs, quite a ways up from the decimals you’ll see for banner ads on Facebook.

See an example below:

Add Chris Brown to your page

Level 3 Adds IBM’s CDN Patents to Its Portfolio

Written by Dan Rayburn, EVP for StreamingMedia.com, who also has his own blog at BusinessOfVideo.com.

Over the past few weeks, an ongoing patent dispute has meant most of the focus in the content delivery market has been on Akamai and Limelight. In the meantime, however, Level 3 has been quietly expanding its CDN services, adding capacity to its network and signing up one large customer after another. In fact, when it comes to CDN patents, Level 3 is the one to watch. In addition to the 50 patents pertaining to content delivery it has pending, Level 3 owns over 80 patents pertaining to content delivery and streaming media technology — including 20 it recently bought from IBM.

Level 3 and IBM last month said they’d signed a long-term patent cross-licensing deal whereby Level 3 gets licenses to 42,000 pending and issued patents from IBM and IBM gets licenses for more than 850 pending and issues patents from Level 3. What was not disclosed was that Level 3 also purchased 20 patents pertaining specifically to content delivery and streaming technology.

I’m about to put the finishing touches on a story detailing why Level 3 is not affected by Akamai’s 703 patent, so I’ve been doing a lot of research on CDN patents lately. Sifting through prior court rulings and patent filings, I noticed that the USPTO web site lists IBM as the owner of 20 patents pertaining to CDN and streaming. It also claims they’re in the process of being transferred over to Level 3. I contacted Level 3 and they confirmed this was indeed true.

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Microsoft Buying Rapt to Get More Ad Insights

Business software may be profitable, but the growth and sex appeal is in advertising. At least, Microsoft seems to thinks so. Amidst efforts to make headway with its takeover offer for Yahoo, the Redmond giant today said it’s agreed to buy online ad analytics firm Rapt. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. It’s a move that could be important for Microsoft because it would give the company the ability to see how much advertisers are paying for online ads and what their conversion rates are — an ability Google already has through Ad Manager and Google Analytics.

This worries some in the advertising industry. When a company like Google or Microsoft can track what an advertiser is paying for ads and the conversion rates across multiple sites, they can estimate how much an advertiser might be willing to pay — and raise the price to that ceiling. Transparency in markets is generally a good thing, but in this case it benefits Google and Microsoft — not necessarily the wider world of publishers and advertisers.

Better Late to the Web App Party Than Never

In a single day, I signed up for not one but two fee-based Web applications/services that are transforming the entire way I manage my home-based Web working business. Why did I wait so long to embrace these apps? Was it the fear of an insurmountable learning curve? Was it the thought of paying for a Web app when most of the ones I use are free?

Whatever the reason, I admit that I’m a janey-come-lately, and I hang my head in shame. I’ve actually known about both applications for several years, but it wasn’t until I forgot to invoice a client yet again and then numbered several invoices incorrectly and having to go back to the clients with corrections that I became desperate. I posted on Twitter that I was seeking solutions to manage clients and projects. The response tweets were almost unanimous.

So without further ado, my new bacon-saving apps are (drumroll, please)… Read More about Better Late to the Web App Party Than Never

Yahoo! Search Buzz for 2007: People Taking Action

Today Yahoo! Buzz unveils its Top Trends in Search for 2007 with the top ten news stories, top ten troubled celebrities, and the top ten in tech. But beyond those categories, Yahoo’s lists reminded me that web search is not simply about finding information; it’s often the launch point for action. No wonder advertisers continue to use search to show off their goods! Web search doesn’t just bring you world news and celebrity gossip — it can help you make things happen, whether you want to give an old couch a new home, keep your pets and kids healthy, or find a Wii for Christmas. Here are some key Yahoo! Buzz 2007 findings. Read More about Yahoo! Search Buzz for 2007: People Taking Action