Google, in its quest for world domination, also offers Google Docs, a suite of tools which lets you create and store documents online. You can also upload documents from your Desktop and work on them, collaborating with others.
There's online chatting so you can work on documents at the same time, logging of who did what, virtual online storage, and the ability to save a copy back to your local machine. Google also offers a broader suite of services for free and tools including Google Calendar, Sites and Talk.
iLife can upload pictures and movies to MobileMe, but there are free alternatives. There's Flickr.com, of course, and a number of tools to upload images directly to it from iPhoto as well as batch editing them prior to upload. jUploadr is a great example.
For image hosting, www.picturetrail.com supports all kinds of tricks like sending digital postcards, site statistics and privacy options. Photobucket is similar and can also host videos, as can www.zippyvideos.com.
The most obvious way to create an online video channel is to use YouTube, though you are at the mercy of the default compression settings which can look blocky, and also a size and length limit on each individual video.
GarageBand is adept at creating podcasts as well as music but if you don't have a MobileMe account, you can host them online for free. www.podbean.com features the possibility to make some money from advertising if your podcast is popular, and www.mypodcast.com offers unlimited storage and bandwidth as well as templates to get you started. As soon as a podcast becomes popular it will use tons of bandwidth as it is downloaded, so finding free hosting is essential.
Finally, it's fairly easy to find free web hosting. If you have home broadband, the chances are you have some free web space. The only problem is the URL will be a little clumsy, as it will probably incorporate the name of your ISP.
There are many companies that will host your site for free if you buy a domain through them, or if you refer a friend, such as www.doteasy.com. An alternative would be to buy a domain but point it towards your free, ISP-provided web space, which is the cheapest way to host a site.
First published in MacFormat, Issue 201
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