Private file sharing is becoming incrasingly popular. Web-based services like Dropsend compete with P2P approaches like Allpeers and hybrid solutions like Foldershare.

Companies that want to succeed in this space don't just need good technology, but also a good story. Allpeers definitely found it's rapidly expanding niche within the Firefox community. Civil Netizen seems to address a slightly different crowd: People who still think of the post office first when someone mentions mail.

The East Coast company is doing a great job at working with simple metaphors to deal with technical complex subjects. Users of the service are packing their files into parcels and then send their recipient a "pickup slip", which is essentially the equivalent to a download link or a Torrent file. People can then transfer the data through the Civil Netizen application, track the status of their packets and finally unpack the sent data. It's like Fedex for file sharing.

I'm not sure if Civil Netizen is actually the best way to privately share files, or if there is even one single best way. But it's definitely a unique approach - one even your mom would understand.

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