Microsoft Web Office – now live

wordOnlinePicMicrosoft have gone live with their new free online versions of  Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

You can access them thorugh your Windows Live desktop after signing in. The files are stored on your linked SkyDrive account and enable you to recall, share or edit files just as if they were on your laptop or PC.


The suite available offers a reduced set of functions from the full set of facilities available in Office 2010, but still includes enough to make creating documents a useful online experience.

We were pleased to see OneNote included. This is a powerful information management and note taking, action list driven tool and is a useful compliment to the other online services available.

Microsoft with Windows Live accounts, the revamped Hotmail and this new suite now offers a useful and intuitive package.

We think the road-warriors on our team will definitely be using it.

You can find our Third Sector Web home page here.

Google Docs extended and improved

Google have recently updated the features in Google Docs. Making collaboration easier and more effective, as well as adding a number of individual features in response to user requests.

Docs now has margin rulers and much easier image placement properties. In spreadsheets you can now drag and drop whole columns of data.

This movie gives you more detail into the new Google Docs functionality.

You can find more details of Google Docs development on the Google Docs blog. You can now collaborate with up to 50 people at once on one document and see the changes in the document in real time.

Google have added the latest java script developments into their product, offering faster and more effective ‘cloud’ documents.

You can find the home page of Third Sector Web here.

The world’s cheapest laptop?

A tablet PC in operationWe’ve been reading this week about the forthcoming launch of the 20 dollar laptop in India.

There has been some commentary in the rest of the world as to whether it is possible to produce such a machine, given – according to Nicholas Negroponte of OLPC – that the display alone will cost more than this.

Does this miss the point? The general thrust of the project seems to be to get learners and the population in general to access sites such as the Sakshat Portal – India’s gateway to learning resources. (Its tag line is The One Stop Education Portal for All)

If the Indian government are subsidising the creation of a cloud computing infrastructure across the sub-continent, then there must surely be a paradigm shift in the strategies needed to get ‘access point’ terminals into as many hands as possible. The National Mission on Education through ICT seems to be just this.

This is not a business proposition. It is a learning proposition.

The target of the Indian government is to get a 5% increase in tertiary education starters in 5 years. When your target sample is the largest democracy in the world…that needs to be a lot of takers.

The golden egg in the proposition is a vastly more connected society in the next generation, with more intellectual and social capital to deploy in the service of a perhaps vastly different world GDP mix and meta-economic model.

Cloud services and no-cost terminals must be the way to go. We watch the future product launch with interest. Go India!

These thoughts were drawn from an article by Mohammed Siddique at

What do you think?

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.

Internet for news – main source for young people

The Pew Research Centre, a US based survey and opinion gathering firm, has recently published findings that show that for young people particularly, the internet is now likely to become their principal source of news and information – finally matching TV as the authoritative source.


Although a US based survey, we would contend that the trends indicated would also hold good for similar UK cohorts, such is the ubiquity of mobile phones and web access for young people.

Of the young people interviewed in December 2008, some six in ten individuals under 30 years of age said they now get their national and international news online. (59% of the surveyed sample).

In September 2007 in a previous survey, the young people canvassed stated that TV was their primary news and information resource. (68% of the surveyed cohort mention TV as a principal source, with only 34% leading with the internet).

This research stresses how important a web presence, aimed at young people, is for organisations and service providers in our sector.

You can read the full Pew Research Centre article here.

The Third Sector Web home page is available here.

Image/table source: Pew Research Centre, Washington, USA

‘The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take positions on policy issues’.

Letting go in marketing, client and partnership relations…

web2We are all emersed in blogs, code, newsfeeds and Friday ftp fatigue – as any IT or web services provider should be.

Circulating round the office this week was an article from the Wall Street Journal, detailing a new report on the reluctance to take up ‘Web 2.0’ marketing tools in the wider business community

Although this work by academics Salvatore Parise, Patricia J. Guinan and Bruce D. Weinberg can conjure images of immaculately suited Wall Street executives, pondering the failure of the banking system perhaps – there is a real message in the article about how charity managers and service/education organisations can engage with their community of interest.

‘Let go’ seems to be the message.

Embrace and intertwine a weave of web mail, weblog, wiki and social networking solutions to engage in a dialogue with your community of choice. If millions of your potential service users can embrace Facebook, why shouldn’t they have a dialogue with you about your service.

Your organisational blog can offer, not only news and updates, but also an opportunity, if well structured, to elicit feedback from service users too.

This could be scary…we don’t necessarily recommend entering Second Life, as the article offers as a solution to finding new customers for your service, but a more expressive way of having a conversation with your audience can only benefit everyone.

You can see the original Wall Street Journal post here.

It’s hard work to develop and implement a Web 2.0 strategy – we have in our small way at Thirdsectorweb the infrastructure, the technology and the knowledge – which still did not stop some quiet irony as we espoused a wonderfully hypothetical Web 2.0 engagement framework for our clients in the heat of conversation.

Still, we take the Franklin D. Roosevelt of such activity – ‘…happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort‘.

We soldier on with undiminished passion for our partnership vision.

(Interests expressed: Thirdsectorweb is a provider of web design, hosting and communication solutions to the public, charitable, education and childcare markets in the U.K.)

You can visit the Thirdsectorweb home page here.

Image by eyeliam