LearnWhy people really love their web apps


writes on March 9, 2008

Last week at FOWA Miami we announced the results of our survey to find the web’s favourite application.

We were amazed to receive over 3,000 votes in just a few weeks, and it showed that people are certainly passionate about their apps.

Web App Charts page

While the results didn’t throw up any major surprises (although there are a couple of exceptions), they did confirm a few trends that we certainly have noticed about web app adoption.

Here are the results again:

  1. Gmail
  2. Flickr
  3. Twitter
  4. Facebook
  5. Ravelry.com
  6. WordPress
  7. Mint (haveamint.com)
  8. last.fm
  9. Basecamp
  10. Livejournal

It’s clear that the apps that people really are passionate about are the ones that help them to communicate and share their experiences with others. Thus we have Gmail, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter right up there. These were overwhelmingly the favourites in our poll. Livejournals also fits this pattern (though we were surprised to see it in the top ten).

Apps which enable people to create and curate their online experience, plus which have social or communicative elements are also important. Again Flickr falls into this category, but there’s also WordPress and Last.fm.

Shaun Inman’s Mint is a hugely well-respected and well-used app in the web community, so we weren’t surprised to see that in the top ten either.

So when it comes to web apps, yes utility is important – you need to somehow make people’s lives better – but we just can’t help falling in love with apps that help us communicate better. The irony is of course, that more and more people are communicating online than off, but that’s another blog post…


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0 Responses to “Why people really love their web apps”

  1. I thought that this list of applications would be useful. These are the web apps we have used to build our company from 2 to 10 people over the last couple of years. They have helped keep our start up costs down and contributed a lot towards the company’s success.

    Below is a summary of the most important apps. Full list here.


    Skype (www.skype.com) – chat amongst employees, with suppliers and for customer support

    Gmail – (www.gmail.com) – most convenient webmail because it links into so many other free Google apps

    Pidgin – (www.pidgin.com) – aggreagte messaging clients

    Jajah – (www.jajah.com) – cheap landline calls

    Images and Image Editing

    SnagIt – (www.snagit.com) – Great software solution for grabbing screen shots

    FotoFlexer (www.fotoflexer.com) – My preferred service for online editing

    iStockPhoto (www.istockphoto.com) – cheap stock images

    Flickr (www.flickr.com) – image backup and sharing


    Camstudio (www.camstudio.com) free screencast video editing solution. Adequate.

    Camtasia – (www.camtasiastudio.com) – fully featured (but reasonably expensive) screencast software, but worth the money if you are ceating a lot of tutorials.

    Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) – open source audio editing software. Not as good as Garage Band, but does a good job


    Facebook – (www.facebook.com) The business favorite

    LinkedIn – (www.linkedin.com) Excellent for reaching potential partners, clients and employees

    Plaxo – (www.plaxo.com) the best solution for keeping contact details up to date

    Back Up

    Carbonite (www.carbonite.com) – I always pay for back up because it is so important for a business. Carbonite is simple and cheap

    SyncBackSE – (www.2brightsparks.com/SyncBackSE) – god solution for local back up

    Company Organisation

    Google Sites (www.google.com/sites) – exciting new service from Google that enables you to store and share documents. Like having a company intranet

    Google Calendar (www.google.com/calendar) – all our team have use

    Google Calendar so its easy to find people and coordinate diaries

    Google Docs (www.google.com/docs) Not the best office applications, but it is integrated into the other Google services so we tolerate its shortcomings

    OpenOffice – (www.openoffice.org) All our team now use OpenOffice. It is now a genuine free substitute for Microsoft Office

    FreshBooks (www.freshbooks.com) an online invoice tracking solution.

    Web Stats

    Google Analytics (www.google.com/analytics) – the best analytics solution out there

    Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts) – We use alerts to monitor what people are saying about us and our competitors

    Customer Relationship Management

    SugarCRM (www.sugarcrm.com) the open source version is a bit clunky, but once setup works well

    Kayako – (www.kayako.com) a very good help desk management tool which tracks support tickets. Invaluable!

    GoToMeeting – (www.gotomeeting.com) we do all our demos and training online via GoToMeeting.

    So that’s my opening salvo!

    If you have other tools that are free or cheap that you regularly use, please share them. I will ceate a master list and post it on the forum.

  2. Just curious, how were the surveys distributed? Through your website? I’m curious to know about demographics of the survey pool. Like Tamlyn and Warren, Ravelry.com – a hot knitting community? :0 still speechless

  3. I find it interesting that Basecamp and Mint (haveamint.com) are in the 10 ten, yet they are pay services (Basecamp has a free option as well as their pay plans). The free services overwhelm the list, but these two apps are SO good, that the paying community has voted them into the top 10. I think that speaks volumes to the people behind these two companies.

    This poll was awesome and very interesting to look at! Thank you Carsonified!

  4. Ravelry’s awesome! And it’s a huge community since it was opened less than a year ago (and is still in beta with 90,000+ users)…

  5. And what about Ravelry.com?

    Something tells me the poll has been a little bit hijacked.

    Always a danger in any poll online now, because genuinely its unexpected but can you categorically say its wrong?

    Is their a possible indicator that could be used to ‘even’ things up a bit

    Like take the number of votes and multiply it by number of users or somthing / or devide by alexa score (needs a bit of thought)

    I think its interesting but ultimately i just wonder about its accuracy.

    Any change of releasing the next 20-30 results? ( i think they would be far far more interesting)

  6. Ravelry? “A knit and crochet community”? I’ve heard that knitting’s enjoying a comeback but, I mean, in the top 10?!

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