Once upon a time, when people needed to collaborate, they met in a large room to discuss their project. Then the Internet was developed, and people realized they did not actually like being around one another. Unfortunately, people still had a need to collaborate with others. Last year, when Google announced Wave, many anticipated that the ultimate solution for file sharing and real time collaboration via the Internet was around the corner. However, still in its infancy, Google Wave has yet to make the big splash its developers had hoped. Fortunately, there is a website, Drop.io, which offers many of the same necessary features.
Drop.io is an online file sharing and collaboration tool that is a snap to use. Setting up a drop takes only a few seconds, it does not ask for any personal information and no registration is required. Yet for all its simplicity, the site offers users a wealth of tools and options. Drops can be either public or private, private drops are secured by either a guest password or limited to a specific location. I have no idea why that would be useful, but I am curious to find a use. Also, drops are not searchable so the contents stay private even from the all-seeing eye of Google.
Drop.io offers users a number of ways to interact. Each drop is assigned a unique email address and telephone number, which allows for conference calls and voice messages. Also, thanks to the unique telephone number, Drop.io can send and receive faxes. Each drop has an integrated chat room, which can be popped out and embedded elsewhere, and support for video conferencing. Lastly, Drop.io is fully integrated with Facebook and Twitter making it easy to share files with friends and followers alike. Phone, fax, email, voice mail, chat, video, and twitter, Drop.io covers every conceivable method of file sharing and collaboration, well except for maybe carrier pigeon.
Drop.io’s latest enhancement was the release of the Drop.io API. The API allows developers to integrate the site’s functions into existing applications. For instance, the Drop.io Firefox plugin allows users to drag and drop files from the desktop directly into a drop. Also, Yahoo Mail recently integrated drop, allowing users to simply send large file attachments via email. Given the numerous ways Drop.io allows users to share files and collaborate the potential use by third party developers is limitless.
While there are a number of sites that offer to host one’s files, Drop.io stands above the rest. The fact that the site requires no registration makes it a very attractive option. Also, despite being simple to use, it still offers a wide range of powerful tools, which allow users to share files and collaborate in nearly every conceivable fashion. Next time you need to share some files with your friends, backup some of your own files, or if you are planning that next big ARG drop, Drop.io might be the solution for your needs.