The modern world is a place more connected than it has ever been in all of human history. The sheer number of options for communication and message diffusion available to us as individuals, groups, companies or organizations is an absolutely unprecedented kaleidoscope of technological innovation. What’s more, all of these communications options have become cheaper and more portable than ever before in history.
Thus, because of this, anyone from a goat herder in Mexico to a taxi driver in New York City to a socialite in Europe can access almost anyone else on Earth and spread their message to a large audience of digital contacts in just minutes. This can be used for things as simple as chatting with friends or it can incite whole revolutions and riots in repressive countries. All of this is possible thanks to the range of technologies described or represented below.
10) Hotmail, Yahoo email services:
Email itself is slowly dying in favor of other, more up to the minute communications mediums but the original warhorse email services such as Yahoo and Hotmail keep chugging along with just under 600 million users between the two of them. While their interfaces are in many ways deeply lacking as opposed to the power of Google’s Gmail, the inertia of being the first two major providers keeps them popular and as far as basic communications between friends and casual contacts is concerned, they’re not too bad.
The king of all the email providers, Gmail is a free email service run by Google and, while similar to Yahoo and Microsoft’s Hotmail (now called Live Mail) it’s interface and connectivity options are so much better. Add in a very effective anti-spam filter and the ability to connect with other highly used Google services, and it’s no wonder that Gmail is now the preferred choice for many professionals in all of their business or work related email needs. Gmail used to be the smaller of the three major email services but has now overtaken both Yahoo and Microsoft Live Mail with nearly 500 million users of its own.
The WhatsApp mobile device communication app is essentially a text messaging service that can be downloaded for free on yop of the existing SMS capability of your smart phone. However, unlike your existing provider, it’s free to use for the entire first year that you own it and costs less than $20 USD per year for every year after that. By using the power of 3G internet connectivity to send messages, WhatsApp lets you communicate quickly and easily with all your mobile contacts without running up your mobile minutes or phone contract costs.
7) Google Drive:
Another Google Service to make the list; Google Drive is the Cloud storage and transfer app that comes built right into your Google email (Gmail) account and into other Google services such as Google Apps. Drive isn’t really anything much different from what services like DropBox offer, except that its integration with any Google account means that you can use it to easily create collaborative document and data editing group accounts for yourself and other Google using partners. This is indeed very useful and great for business connectivity.
Simple enough: Open an account, download the app to your devices (along with its 2 GB of free storage space) and use it to quickly and easily share documents amongst your devices or send large files to your friends and coworkers by simply offering them a DropBox link that they can download from. A powerful cloud storage/sharing tool that lets you and others connect through shared data.
A fairly powerful online video conferencing platform that’s very easy to use and very cheap as well. While GoToMeeting is possibly not the best solution for major business needs, it’s great as a small business and collaborative video calling service. Simple enough: you open an account (the first 30 days are free as part of a trial offer) set up a meeting platform on the GoTo website and invite as many as 25 other people to participate in the meeting through their own special access link at scheduled times that you’ve set in advance. No login is necessary for attendees and you can set meetings as often as you like.
InterCall is a perfect solution for real business connectivity in the digital age. Unlike other services such as Skype and Tango, or even GoToMeeting, the services provided by InterCall are designed for real corporate quality video, audio and telepresence meetings that give you access to a diverse range of different meeting formats, prices and styles. Their video conferencing options can be set up so you either set up and run a meeting with your own equipment and use Intercall to run the connection, or you can give them complete control of everything and simply focus on holding a digital meeting quickly and easily.
The Twitter social media site may seem overly simple –writing 150 character blurbs about what you’re doing or how you feel and maybe sharing a link inside them—but with this fairly basic range of communications options, this social app has been used to topple governments, coordinate mass rallies and protests and bring together large numbers of friends or connect celebrities directly with their followers. Twitter is much more powerful than it would seem.
Skype is the oldest and most famous of the video calling apps. Now copied by other extremely similar products such as Apple’s FaceTime and Tango or oVoo, Skype is free, easy to use and very effective when it comes to visually interacting with friends and family over any sort of distance. You can use the Skype video interface from your PC, laptop or mobile device and even make calls to mobile or landline devices with it at discount rates.
Who doesn’t know what Facebook is all about? With over 1 billion users, this is now the world’s absolute most popular social network, and it’s a great tool for staying in touch with friends, family and even customers through fan pages and business pages. You can use Facebook for just about any sort of basic digital communication including video chat through their built in video platform.
Image Credit: Kromkrathog.
Stephan Jukic is a freelance writer who generally covers a variety of subjects relating to the latest changes in white hat SEO, marketing, marketing tech and brand promotion. He also loves to read and write about subjects as varied as the idea of a location-free business, portable business management, and strategic marketing and advertising tactics. When he’s not busy writing or consulting, he spends his days enjoying life’s adventures either in Canada or Mexico. Connect with Stephan on LinkedIn.