Saturday, February 19, 2005

Tools to ease Web collaboration: "A new crop of tools aims to help turn the Web—be it on the public Internet or a company network—into much more than a collection of documents one visits like a museum: Look, but don't touch.

"The idea is to make it easy to quickly post and remove stuff from digital bulletin boards where the online communities of the future will gather to catch up and trade ideas, images and work."

"JotSpot Inc., a Palo Alto-based startup, is betting on Wikis, a type of Web page that can be edited by anyone.

"Wikis could become a staging area of sorts for information, and JotSpot's new Web service targets businesses that want to give authorized users a common location in which to collaborate."

"Behind JotSpot is Joe Kraus, a serial entrepreneur who co-founded the early search engine Excite.

"Kraus became a believer in Wikis after he and fellow co-founder Graham Spencer got fed up with exchanging hundreds of e-mails and attachments and tried using a Wiki instead while working on a business plan. That ultimately led to JotSpot's birth in October, competing against Socialtext and a handful of others in the fledgling market."

"Others, like Five Across and iUpload, aim to use the power of another form of Web publishing, online journals commonly known as blogs, to help businesses or individuals streamline their teamwork or communication.

"Easy to use and update, blogs have gained traction in the past few years and are used by everyone from political pundits to pre-adolescents.

"More than 8 million Internet users have created blogs, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, and a growing number of businesses are experimenting with blogs as tools for internal and external communication."

"Tech giants such as Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo already have made investments in consumer-oriented blogging technologies and have started to integrate them into their Web portal services."

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