Google Aps NO longer FREE – But here’s 4 GREAT THINGS on the internet that still are!
The Wall Street Journal announced Friday December 7, 2012 in a great article that Google was starting to charge for its increasingly popular “Google Aps”, a product/service that essentially allowed people who didn’t want to invest in software like Microsoft Office accomplish a lot of similar tasks (word processing, spreadsheets, calendar and email) would cease being offered for free.
WSJ writer Amir Efrati writes
“Google Inc. said it stopped offering its suite of Web-based software for businesses—known as Google Apps—free of charge to groups of 10 or fewer users, as it moves to generate revenue from previously free services.
The move shows a renewed focus by Google on serving small businesses, which have long been the sweet spot for Google Apps. The Web-based software competes with Microsoft Corp.’s Office software and Exchange email service.” To read the full article click here.
We are not surprised by this move – after all, this model of offering something for free to cultivate a loyalty and client base before you start charging is not new. It’s been done for a while…and it seems to work well – or else why would people do it? Nevertheless this got us to thinking that there’s still an awful lot of GOOD free stuff on the internet that people can benefit from and we thought in the spirit of giving we would share a few of our favorites! The reality is a lot of women owned businesses, particularly the start-ups and solo-preneurships are on a tight budget – why not leverage these great FREE services while you can, after all every little bit helps the bottom line when you’re growing a business.
Eventbrite – Super Easy & Cost Effective Event Registration
On it’s web site – Eventbrite says “Eventbrite is an online service that people everywhere use to create, share, and join any event imaginable.”
What we like to think of it as is “cost-effective event registration management” particularly when you use it for event registration for FREE events. The second you charge, they do take a cut – but the system is so reliable, and effective – we don’t mind paying the costs. We use Eventbrite for all our MyCity4Her Media events, and have been pretty pleased with it.
FreeConferenceCall.com– Great, reliable conference call services
According to company information “The company’s flagship product is FreeConferenceCall.com, a reliable, cost-effective, reservation-less and easy to use audio conferencing service. Related services include FreeConferencing.com, with conference web controls and up to 1,000 participants; FreeConferenceCallHD.com, with similar features and high definition sound geared to higher quality equipment; and other services include toll-free conferencing, voicemail and voice messaging solutions, and mobile phone applications.”
We use FreeConferenceCall for a lot of meetings and have never had issues with it’s reliability or audio quality. Highly recommend it – why pay when you don’t have to?
Picresize – Super efficient, free resizing of all pictures in a variety of formats
It used to be that when you wanted an image resized you had to engage a graphic artist, or know one to convert the file for you. With no offense meant to graphic artists, sometimes it is just easier to do it yourself – particularly when it’s for a quick and easy small project. Picresize allows you to upload your image and then resize it as per your desired specifications. We have found this particularly useful for making images smaller and use it daily. Check it out – we think you’ll thank us.
TinyURL – A great way to take those monster hyperlinks and make them digestible
What’s wonderful about TinyURL is that it allows you to compress large hyperlinks (which is particularly useful when you want to share ideas/content/thoughts in social media.) Don’t understand? Let us explain – when you’re posting an update to Twitter for example, or on LinkedIn which automatically Tweets your update if your account is set up to do so – you’re limited to under 140 characters (the maximum number of characters in a tweet) being able to condense a URL that may have as many characters significantly allows you to leave room for what you really want to say – we think this is just awesome!
At the end of the day its reasonable and wise to keep in mind that the word FREE should have managed expectations. Nevertheless, we feel the above are all very useful and hope you’ve enjoyed our recommendations.
If you have some other GREAT free things you’ve found out about – let us know in the comments – we would love to hear about them.