While I am a firm believer in publicly sharing your photos, videos, links and thoughts online I also know that sometimes it is better to keep things behind close doors. What do I mean? Well, sometimes there is a need to share things privately and that is exactly the niche Drop.io has creatively carved out of the crowded storage and social bookmarking landscape.
Drop.io, a New York-based startup, offers a simple private sharing solution. Users can signup for an account without even giving an email address and then are allotted a Web address to upload and share documents, photos, voice mail messages, videos, links and faxes.
Drop.io pages or "drops" can be password protected or start private but open up as they are shared with others. Users receive an email address to send items to the drop, a phone number to record voice mail messages to be directly added, and can sends and receives faxes for free. Drop.io even offers up a free conference call number unique to each drop you create which lasts the duration of the drop.
If you setup Drop.io as a group sharing mechanism, there are email alerts and an RSS feed setup to keep users informed on the latest updates. Drop.io even makes it easy to embed an upload widget on any other site. I think this feature could be useful in a number of data collection instances on the Web.
I am pretty impressed with Drop.io as it offers a number of useful features for simply sharing information. I can definitely see myself sharing files or taking advantage of the private fax number through my computer. Drop.io even goes the extra mile and makes it easy to create and send a fax cover sheet. I also think the conference call number Drop.io provides could come in handy as most free conference call sites I have used offer a registration process that scares me away. I think the biggest obstacle for Drop.io might be training people to habitually use drops rather and email and other forms of communication for private sharing.