Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Cool Tools on the Web

Since we do a lot of stuff online, we thought that we might share some information on products that we like to use.

Dropbox

DropboxDo you share files between multiple computers at home, or at work, or at both? Do you ever find that it might be useful to be able to access certain files on your table or mobile phone, but they’re on your computer, and you don’t know how to get them over to your device? Well, Dropbox is perfect for that.

We use Dropbox to share files with clients. Throughout our project process, we share files and information with our clients via a shared Dropbox folder. It’s ridiculously easy to set up, and it gives you a good amount of space for free. If you refer additional people, you get even more free space! Give Dropbox a try, and explore more of the cool features that come with this tool.

Google Aps for Business

Google Apps for Business

Our email, documents, calendar, etc all run on Google Apps for Business. This makes it very easy to access our emails from anywhere. It also syncs your emails, calendars and files across lots of devices. There are tons of applications that integrate with Google Apps for Business that can help you run your business as well. We use several, such as invoicing software, project management software, crm tools, etc!

IFTTT.com (If this, then that)

IFTTT.comNow this is a cool tool! You can integrate lots of “channels” that you might have, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, Tumblr, etc… and when you do something on one of those, it can trigger something on another “channel”.
We have some “recipes” set up to automatically publish certain things that we do on Twitter to our company blog. Pretty neat stuff. It basically helps you automatically publish things across lots of different platforms (what they call channels). It’s a good way to keep all of your different channels active and updated on a regular basis.

Feedly

feedly feed readerOur #1 Favorite replacement for Google Reader. Lots of people were terribly upset about Google Reader being given the axe this year. We, on the other hand, were PSYCHED because it forced us to find something better. And something better we found, indeed! There’s even a really nice mobile app version.

Search for, or plug in your favorite blogs and news feeds and organize them. It also gives you lots of sharing options.

Hint: you can integrate Feedly with IFTTT.com – so when you tag something in Feedly, it automatically shares that article with the channel(s) of your choice. So cool!

OK, that’s enough for you to take in for now. Hope you find this helpful. If so, please share it!

What tools do you like? Want advice on other tools? Let us know in the comments below!

Optimize Images for WordPress

Cloudinary Image Hosting Plugin

Do you have a WordPress website that has a good amount of images on it? If so, there’s a good chance that it takes a little bit longer to load than you would prefer. Web page load speed is an important SEO factor! If that’s the case, there is a Free WordPress Plugin available for Image Hosting. This plugin comes from Cloudinary and is called “Cloudinary – Image management and manipulation in the cloud + CDN“.

They have paid accounts, but the free account is plenty of power for most people:

Free Cloud Image Hosting

theBrewRoom is going to test out the service and update this post with feedback. If you’re already using it, do you have any feedback that our readers might find to be interesting? If so, please leave a message below!

 

In the meantime, here is a good review of the Plugin from WPMU.org.

 

Why You Need Cloud Storage

I decided to write this brief post to explain why you need to have personal cloud storage. I recently heard from a client that lost ALL of the data on her hard drive because the hard drive failed. She lost everything that she had on the computer.

What is the Cloud?

The “cloud” is basically referring to storing data, applications, hosting out on the internet. Rather than storing a file on your computer, you store it on the “cloud”, which is just a fancy way of saying “a computer somewhere out on the internet”. The good thing about that, is that most cloud storage companies have reliable backup procedures in place. This would be complicated and costly for you to set up yourself. There are even applications that run on the cloud. Google Docs is a good example of this. You don’t need to buy and install Microsoft Office on your computer. Rather, you can create, edit, share all of the same types of documents out on the cloud… and not tie up hard drive space. Oh, and you won’t lose it if your hard drive crashes.

Why do I need Cloud storage?

Here are a couple of compelling reasons:

  1. There are FREE options out there
  2. You can’t afford to lose important files

I use Dropbox for saving and syncing all of my important business documents. I save files on my one computer, then Dropbox does the work of saving it to the web (cloud), and also syncing it to the other computers on which I have Dropbox installed.

Dropbox comes with 2GB of FREE storage. You can earn more free storage by referring your friends, family or co-workers to Dropbox. They will allow you to get all the way up to 18GB of total storage, for FREE! If you need more space, and don’t want to bully your friends into using Dropbox, you can pay for more space. Check Dropbox Plans for the latest rates.

I even share files with clients via Dropbox. You can easily create a folder, place files in it, then share that folder with your client. That way, both you and your client have access to the latest and greatest version of the documents that you’re sharing. This is a good way to share layout files, contracts, etc.

Even if you don’t have important business documents on your computer that you need to back up, you might have some pictures, or other personal documents (resume) that needs to be backed up. Dropbox makes this easy, and you don’t even have to worry/think about it.

So, as you can see, there’s really no reason to lose the important files that you have on your computer. You can easily and cheaply back-up your files and data to the cloud using a service such as Dropbox. There are other services out there, but Dropbox if one that we have come to like a lot at theBrewRoom. We hope that you try them out, so that you don’t lose those files that you want to keep safe.

Why theBrewRoom?

theBrewRoomWhat’s with the name of this site you ask?

I bet that you thought that we were going to say that we like beer, so that’s why we named it theBrewRoom.  Well, while that may be true, that’s not exactly what we were thinking.

Well, we want to find ways and brew up ideas to help you.  It’s really as simple as that. We love the businesses in Pittsburgh and Buffalo and we want them to succeed!
Whether it’s helping you update a website, create a new website, extend your online presence, or an overall online strategy, helping improve your search engine ranking, we are here to help.

Check out the services section for more information on what we offer.

If you think that we could be of assistance, or if you just have questions, feel free to contact us.

Thanks for stopping by.