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:
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.
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!
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!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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/)