Archive for January 2007

Why Google bought Wiki Startup JotSpot

google buys wikiIn October last year Google bought Wiki Startup JotSpot. JotSpot lets users collaborate on online documents, and offers both free and paid versions. JotSpot also allows users to create structured pages with photo galleries, file repositories, spreadsheets, calendars and documents.

A wiki (sometimes spelled "Wiki") is a server program that allows users to collaborate in forming the content of a Web site. With a wiki, any user can edit the site content, including other users’ contributions, using a regular Web browser. Basically, a wiki Web site operates on a principle of collaborative trust. The term comes from the word "wikiwiki," which means "fast" in the Hawaiian language.

A wiki allows a visitor to the "wikified" Web site to edit the content of the site from their own computer. Visitors can also create new content and change the organization of existing content. The simplest wiki programs allow editing of text and hyperlinks only. More advanced wikis make it possible to add or change images, tables, and certain interactive components such as games.

A wiki provides a simplified interface. At any time, contributors can conveniently view the Web page as it looks to other subscribers, before and after the changes they have made. It is not necessary to know HTML (hypertext markup language) or perform work in HTML code. The best known example of a wiki Web site is Wikipedia, an online dictionary building collaboration.

JotSpot’s collaborative focus seems a good match for Google’s Office-like applications, such as Google Docs and Spreadsheets. Google released Google Spreadsheets in June 2005. Google purchased startup, one of the more popular Web 2.0 office applications, last March. Focusing on collaborative products may also help Google attract more users to Internet apps, which is one of the search company’s goals. The more people who work online, the larger the audience for Google advertising. But the free and collaborative nature of Google’s applications alsoputs Google in a competitive position versus Microsoft, which has yet to make a big push in online collaboration. Microsoft currently offers an application called Windows Live Writer Beta, but has yet to announce online versions of its other traditional office products.