A wiki by any other name

You don’t have to get too far away from Silicon Valley, figuratively speaking, before you start getting funny looks when you say the word “wiki.” Uh, that’s a follower of Wicca, right? Or is it an imitation of Lucille Ball with a speech impediment? Unfortunately for a lot of people, the cute name (derived from wiki-wiki, Hawaiian for “quick”) obscures the tool’s simple, useful purpose as a collaborative Web site. And now that Google has finished assimilating Jotspot, the wiki service it bought 16 months ago, it has dropped the geeky jargon and is calling these group sites simply … Sites. Now part of the Google Apps portfolio, Google Sites pitches itself as the dead simple way for work teams, families, interest groups and others to set up a collaboratively edited site. Aside from trying to push the wiki concept into the mainstream, Google execs would like to see the free Sites suck business users away from Microsoft’s SharePoint. Success may depend on whatever additional development Google has planned for the service; it’s not labeled beta now, but some early reviewers think it should be. As Zoli Erdos writes, “Google now has a pretty good and easy web-page creator with some wiki features made user-friendly, and a half-hearted attempt at integrating the rest of the Apps empire using Sites. Perhaps they get it right in the next release.”


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  • And, if you want to “get it right” … right now … go to pbwiki.com.

    They’ve got the “wiki” (quick), and it’s free, and they’ve got it “easy” … as in “Peanut Butter”.

    Nice folks running the service too.

  • engineer_scotty

    Wikis, in particular Wikipedia–are well known beyond silicon valley.

    Not all of us outside norcal are net-illiterate, you know. 🙂

    The thing about google sites is it appears to be more than just a wiki, in that it’s got quite a few different sorts of groupware/social software under the hood.

  • msjh

    Mmmmm … first (very quick) look and I got bumped because I want to use my gmail email addy. This seems arbitrary. It’s the address everyone uses to contact me. I do have another email, but why would I use it?