One of the best features of Amazon’s cloud-based storage and content delivery service, Simple Storage Service (S3), is it’s API. They’ve made it very easy to place, delete and share files from a variety of platforms.

For the majority of work I do in S3, I use Panic’s excellent FTP-and-then-some client, Transmit. It treats S3’s buckets and objects model more as regular FTP, where you can create folders and drag and drop folders. S3Fox is a Firefox plugin that makes managing your S3 folders a snap and it’s cross-platform. On the Windows side, I’m a fan of Cloudberry S3 Explorer, a free app. I reviewed Cloudberry Explorer last year, you can read it here.

While those clients are nice, you may find yourself in a situation when you need to access S3 and don’t have the tools I mentioned above. Such a sitation happened to me last week. I stopped by the Cleveland Clinic to talk with John Sharp‘s bioinformatics group. Talk about an intimidating group – these were some seriously smart programmers, doctors and database professionals. They were all very nice, to be sure, but, wow. After all, the Cleveland Clinic was recently voted one of the top 4 hospitals in the country.

As I was prepping to talk with that group about the cloud and some of the neat services out there, I wanted to post a few graphs and wanted to add them to my S3 account so they could grab them after the talk. Since I was on the public Cleveland Clinic wireless, I was pretty much limited to web-based services. I didn’t have S3Fox installed on my Macbook, so I logged into Amazon’s new S3 Management Console.

Much like you can manage your servers in Amazon console, they’ve added S3 as a service you can manage from the web, making uploading, deleting and sharing files very easy. Since it all happens in the browser, you can access the service from any web connection and quickly do the work you need to do. I posted the photos and an updated version of my Powerpoint presentation (based on the one I gave at EduComm) in S3 and the rest, as they say, was history.

Here are some screenshots from Amazon’s S3 Console.

I’m in Las Vegas this week speaking at the EduComm conference. Today, I presented a session called “How my website learned to stop worrying and love the cloud,” examining ways that higher ed web professionals can embrace the cloud and cloud services to make their lives a little bit easier.

This is probably the only time in my life I can say I’m opening for David Pogue. He goes on right after I finish up. I’m nervous that I’m one of the talks being streamed and featured as part of the EduComm virtual track, so people at home around the world can watch me live and hopefully send in some questions. I also hope things go smoothly.

Here are my slides from today’s talk: