Adesso Tubes acts as a virtual pipe between you and your friends to share files; notes, music, apps, documents, emails, etc…
Firstly you have to download the software to send/receive files, then all you do is put files in a special desktop folder/icon, and these files will instantly distribute to who ever is on that list, to what ever device they use (as long as tubes is installed), good way to send stuff from work to home.
Gigasize is good for big files, but it is not as simple as dragging a file into a folder which automatically gets distributed to multiple people, and the other great feature of tubes is it also works offline and synchs when you are back online.
Also when members of the tube makes changes to files, everyone is synched, kept up to date with the latest version.
An alternative for synchronous one to one file distribution is GoogleTalk.
Again you can use a file hosting/sharing service like Box.net, but it just doesn’t have the distribution capabilities, it’s just the usual email.
Another way to share files is using Zapr, where you can create a link for folders and documents on your PC, and others can click on these links to see these documents…but again this is just access, you still need to manually notify a list by email or IM, etc…
Anyway, all these tools deal with file sharing/distribution some how, but not with the ease and direct power of tubes…check out the post by Don Dodge, it evens explains using a tube for document collaboration.
A great use case would be in education, teachers could distribute homework to the whole class in one click and drag…students could even hand in homework with one click and drag.
A lot of the time when I’m RSS Reading I like to send the same friends some links, and I was tired of emailing these links even though I can do it from within the RSS Reader. The next choice was to clip these links with Google Reader and then get my friends to subscribe to the RSS feed of my clips page, but since they are not all RSS savvy even convert the feed to email…this is all too much.
I think a tube is the answer, I can make a tube called “Links for friends” and throughout the day I can just drag these links to the tube, these links will automatically distibute to my friends on the list. All that I require from them is to respond to my initial email and download the software.
The next logical step is tube widgets, or plugins, from within my RSS Reader I could send a story to a tube.
[ADDED 08/01/07: TubesNow is the new URL]
[ADDED 15/01/07: BoxCloud]