Social Media On A Shoestring – 4 Creative Uses For Drop.io

Tools, technologies and platforms that drive and enable social media are dime a dozen. There are so many innovative products in the social media space  – all of which add their own version of spices and zing – and many of them are wonderful. And creative. And usable. And cool!

Few of the key considerations, however, while selecting and using a tool for your social media efforts (marketing, interactions, or otherwise) are:

  • Economy, aka Cost of use
  • Usability, aka Ease of use
  • Reliability, aka Trust and safety
  • Flexibility, aka How creatively can the product be morphed into different social media usages

Drop.io is one product that I use a lot almost everyday. And it is also one of the products for you to use for your social media efforts – especially so if you are just getting started out, and on a shoestring budget.

You can certainly look at the features it offers on the Drop.io product information page, but here how it performs on my four key personal considerations above:

Economy:

How about free? Love that – and can’t beat it. I can create a workspace (“drop”) with a 100MB size for free. I also get to customize the URL to match my requirements. Bundled in are a voice mail number and an unlimited capacity US conference bridge number.

Update (7/5/2010): I didn’t realize there was a limit of 10 real-time participants on free drops. I somehow overlooked that. A paid upgrade is needed to get past that restriction – but at $10 for an entire year (and with a 1GB space increase as well) – it’s a slam dunk. Less than dollar a month get’s you more size, but more importantly an unlimited number of participants who can concurrently view your drop and participate in the proceedings in real time.

Usability:

It took me about two minutes to learn Drop.io and how to use it. The simple interface is easy to use – and understand. The features are real time to anyone else who is viewing my “drop”. Fast, speedy, uncluttered. Totally usable!

Reliability:

I haven’t stress-tested Drop.io in the true sense of the word, but it has definitely lived up to my expectations. It’s always up – I’ve yet to come to Drop.io and find it down. So it’s working out wonderfully well for me.

I also get password protection at the URL level, and a much more fine grained control on the contents of my drop. Couldn’t be easier!

Flexibility:

Drop.io has quite a few creative uses, limited only by your imagination. It is extremely flexible, and meets my morph-ability criteria for a successful social media product.

Looking for some ideas as starters? Here are 10+ creative uses for Drop.io that you could use right out of the box – and then invent some more of your own.

How I use Drop.io:

  1. I don’t use a USB flash drive any longer. I have a personal drop, and any file that I need to be portable is on the drop. Caveat – yes, I need to have an internet access – but I am fairly certain that I will always have one.
  2. My favorite music is on my music drop. That way I don’t have to connect back to my PC to retrieve my soundtracks. Caveat – I don’t use this as a backup system. Just to keep my files portable. I do use an iPhone, so technically this is a lame solution, but it works better for me.
  3. I capture fleeting thoughts and ideas on my a voice mail drop. I can later get down to transcribing them and making them more permanent.
  4. I’ve been mulling the idea of using Drop.io to run my webinars/meetings for quite some time now. The flip side is that I need to pre-record any videos/audio content that I need to use – especially if my audience is outside the US and won’t be able to get on the US conference bridge number for free. [Question: Have you been using it for this purpose? Thoughts? Insights?]

As a side note, I love the privacy that comes with Drop.io.

  • I have total control over the URL, and you can’t access my content unless you know the URL. Even then, you need a password to get in.
  • Google and other search engines stay out. So my content is never indexed, and won’t show up anywhere unexpectedly.
  • No unwanted, unsolicited networking. If I need to share my drops. which I do by the way, I can use inbuilt Tweet.io and FB Connect features.
  • I can expire my contents in real time – and can destroy the entire drop the moment I don’t need it without any leftovers.
  • The 99 Percent blog has a wonderful post on the Drop.io Anonymity Factor

What do you think? Want to give it a try? Let me know how your Drop.io experience shapes up.

And I’d love to hear what you’ve been using Drop.io for, and how 🙂

Disclaimer: No affiliate links in this post. I love the product – and it’s one of the best social media products to get started on a shoestring budget. I do have a paid subscription to the Drop.io manager, which gives me a lot more space and peace of mind :))

(Image credit: Erica Marshall http://www.flickr.com/photos/erica_marshall/)

One Response to Social Media On A Shoestring – 4 Creative Uses For Drop.io
  1. […] The last time I spoke about social media tools, I talked about Drop.io, and why I am impressed by what they offer. […]