Backpack: Web service online organizer
Can’t tell you how often I come across cool new web services when surfing blogs — even when I end up thinking that it’s only marginally useful. Tonight I was at 43 Folders and read a post about a hosted web service called BackpackIt and checked it out.
Though their free service (5 pages, 10 reminders) is interesting, the paid service adds reasonable amounts of pages and storage ($5/month (20 pages, 40 MB disk space for images/files, 100 reminders), $9/month (100 pages, 100 MB disk space for images/files, 200 reminders), or $19/month (500 pages, 250 MB disk space for images/files, 300 reminders)). Still, with my cable modem access ($45 per month), web site ($9 per month), blog ($15 per month), and audioblog streaming service ($5 per month), that’s $74 per month for what I consider to be basic stuff. Now add, say, another $9 per month and a service like this had better be REALLY useful or needed before I’d cough up more dough.
It’s nice that one can password protect pages…but my blog provider (Typepad) let’s me setup unlimited blogs with storage for photos, etc., and no “page count” required — and each blog could be password protected! So what sets these guys apart from a blog provider?
Reminders. This is what is particularly cool in my view since you can have reminders or ticklers show up on an aggregated dashboard or be sent to you via email or SMS. I still think that — if I really need a reminder — I have my calendar on my Blackberry that works just fine, thank you (but of course, that would require every to-do be entered twice). Maybe PDA support and sync’ing is required?
Here’s another thing I struggle with when considering any hosted web service offering: Is it secure? Will people use it? Can I easily aggregate and connect it with other stuff internally and externally in our organization? Even with a personal site such as Backpack (they have a commercial project management offering called Basecamp) this is an issue.
In its current form, I’d say Backpack is a stretch for anyone that would or could sign up for a blogging provider with unlimited blogs (heck…I could setup a blog per subject and allow guest authors, etc., and do almost everything Backpack does without paying more money).
About Steve Borsch
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.