Over the past few years it seems like every service one can think of has gone to the web to ‘become more social’. Need to send and receive faxes without a fax machine? Try efax. Need to collaborate with people across the planet on a novel or business plan? There’s Google Docs, Etherpad and Thinkfree. With the launch of Wolfram Alpha last week you don’t even have to do much in the way of calculations anymore. Just plug in a formula and get your answer.
Now, Daatum.com is offering to hold your tables for you. Literally it’s wiki-like data tables about whatever you want that you can modify and share however you feel. While it’s not the sexiest web app I’ve ever seen, I can see how people doing research might find it useful. This might include bloggers, writers, etc. Ofcourse, the major barrier to entry here is that Daatum has yet to integrate anyway to export data to programs like Microsoft Excel, Zoho or Google Doc. That’s a major flaw that I hope they’ll address soon. I do like that the data is shared as HTML. For people on low-bandwidth connections it’s a huge time-saver over waiting for Google Docs to load.
The most brilliant feature of Daatum.com though is that information isn’t stored in private silos for only you to see. In true wiki fashion, they become public through the URL http://daatum.com/wiki/your-document-name-here. Want to tabulate data from a website with a lot of numbers like Africansignals? You can do that too, and link back to your sheet. More importantly, the information becomes searchable. Looking for statistics for Internet population density across various countries? You can just search the database before wasting your time making your own document.
It’s not a world-changer but it does what it sets out to do simply and usefully.
This is article is syndicated from Appfrica.org. Appfrica.org facilitates, mentors and incubates entrepreneurs in software in East Africa and Uganda. Their goal is to offer a physical space with a solid internet connection, servers, software and computers that will allow students and recent graduates a place to develop their ideas in a constructive environment with industry professionals outside of school. For more great articles from Appfrica please visit Appfrica.net.