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You Look Like I Need a Drink

**Not Quite Web 2.0**

Al Queda Should Use Colletive X

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

How does a secure (well if by secure you mean 128 SSL encryption) private group network with business oriented goals sound to you? I recently was granted the invitation to give Collective X a try. Although not a totally free service (options much more limited with a free account), I signed up for basic access to see what all the whispers were about. I must say that I was pretty intrigued about the set up, attention to details, layout and functions. I initially thought it might be a good way to set up a ring for pirated apps (I kid, I kid) but found that there were actually quite a lot of decent functions and options allowing one to set up a tightly controlled and secured way of plotting information and sharing one's calendar of events with an invite only group.
Because none of my actual friends (I can count them with the fingers on one hand) would be remotely interested in joining this group, the following screencaps and review will be based on admin access to the account with no actual basic user testing (sorry folks) outside of the admin set up.
Tabbing the options at the top of the screen allows you to quickly access the main features of Collective X (which will herefore be dubbed CX for a shorter abbreviation).
Because I wanted to try out the calendar function, I quickly picked a site to bash on and jotted down a few random notes to see how they would turn out. The calendar description was basic but necessary and the timestamp was as easy to set as, well a VCR blinking 12:00. OK, bad analogy but in essence, I had the correct time and date set in a flash.
CX also allows access to a forum which would be great for Project Mayhem (yes, that was Fight Club reference) with the added option of mass emailing everyone in the group. But because I was the only one in the group, I was unable to test out the forums and email blast. At this point, I need to mention that although I was unable to test some functions that require other members, I still found no bugs and no problems while logged on. Everything worked, and there was no lag in between jumping from option to option.
When I got to the email blast, I was disappointed that in order to use this function, I would have to sign up for the upgraded paid plan. Well I guess a good service is not always open source or freeware.
I also found (unfortunately again) that I was unable to upload a file without a paid subscription. I personally thought the folks at CX should have at least had a 1 gig restriction or maybe even a 512MB max upload but with what they put into the product, I am sure they want people to upgrade their plans so I cannot fault them for that. Still I would have liked to have tested the upload speed.
Finally, a contact settings control panel had a number of key features (check the screenshot, I will not list them all).
Overall, I have to say that Collective X offered a fair amount of core features that any group would be happy to use on a regular basis. I, on the other hand have had it up to my neck with .xls and .doc files from my previous job and no longer want a work related site I must view from my home computer, but for those with higher aspirations than me (or better work ethic), CX could just possibly be the next office related killer app. That, or a good way for terrorists to plan and coordinate their evil plans.

*Collective X is still not readily available to the general public but leave your email addy and your name and they will notify you when your request has been accepted.

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posted by aL, 10:08 PM

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