Archive for the ‘wikis’ Category

ConceptShare Goes Live

Friday, December 1st, 2006

Canadian web 2.0 start-up ConceptShare went live today. The Sudbury, Ontario-basedConceptShare logo group emerged from beta with a sophisticated product offering.

So what does ConceptShare do? Here is a short description courtesy of the company:

“ConceptShare is a web based application service that allows for the creation and management of interactive workspaces to present visual designs to others, communicate design intentions and gather feedback from team members, managers and customers.”

Essentially, the service was created to help individuals collaborate from remote locations. Moreover, the seamlessness of the system ensures that there is no overlapping in terms of progress and/or discussions.

The goal of the system was to replace e-mail and file sharing programs which were historically used on a chaotic level to ‘facilitate’ project collaboration efforts. ConceptShare concluded that this scattered, unfocused approach did not work. A solution was needed. Hence, the current product.

Not only will engineering and development benefit from this product, but also many business functions. Marketing, graphics, product management, and UI are simply a few areas that may also find this service useful.

To get a better understanding of how this tool works, take the tour. It gave me a much better understanding of how to create a workspace, contribute, and collaborate. This overview provides a great visual map of the system.

One of the first thoughts that popped into my mind was how good this product would work for graphic artists and designers. I can’t see a more well-suited group for this offering. The fit is perfect.

Pricing ranges from free to $199/mth and up (if you want a customized solution). On the whole, pricing does seem very reasonable, especially considering there is a definite value proposition at hand. The same cannot be said for many so-called ‘web 2.0 services’.

Some cool features that the company is looking to integrate into upcoming releases include concept grouping, RSS, a text tool, a ruler, an eyedropper, a community presence, voting and reporting, as well as DWG imports. Furthermore, large-scale future features include audio/video imports and a wire-frame builder.

I’m definitely going to give this product a good look-over and possibly sign-up for a free account to test its functionality. This is without question a slick, versatile tool that will make the lives of many a lot easier.

JotSpot Bought

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Try and say that 10 times fast.

Google is on a buying spree. Up until this past year, Google has been very weary when it comes to acquisitions. That all changed. With YouTube, Writely, and now JotSpot among JotSpot logomany others, Google is making a much more aggressive push in the acquisition area. However, the old dilemma still holds true - whether to build a product/service from scratch or just buy an existing company at a premium. But with cash like Google and aggressive plans, it seems that the former option is the preferred.

Today, the company bought JotSpot, a wiki service founded by Excite-founder Joe Kraus. Financial terms of the deal were not released, but I’m going to take a wild guess and say that the price tag was around $30 million - but don’t hold me to it by any means.

With this acquisition, Google continues to make an aggressive push into the social application arena. Mash this together with Writely, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Calendar, and you have a full web-based social application suite. Robust, powerful. For this very reason, I think that the acquisition is a good fit for Google (Steve Rubel agrees), assuming the price tag was reasonable.

Here is an interesting note on the deal from TechCrunch:

“Other than a wiki, most of Jotspot’s plug and play applications are things that Google already has its own versions of. The acquisition may have been largely motivated by the desire to bring on board an agile team able to quickly ramp up lightweight hosted business applications for collaboration. Google may push Jotspot primarily as a project management application, one of the most important missing pieces of the company’s office platform. In fact, far more than a wiki, I’m going to guess that when Google reopens Jotspot to new users it will be as a wiki based project management service.”

Let’s just hope that the name G-Spot doesn’t stick - no pun intended.

Crowdsourcing? Say what?

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

I was in the midst of a discussion with a tech friend of mine the other day, when I nonchalantly mentioned the term ‘crowdsourcing’. I just assumed that he knew what it meant, but he had no idea. Upon further inspection, the term is more recent than I realized. Many may already know what it means, but here is a short lesson for the rest of you.

Everyone’s favourite online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, defines crowdsourcing as “a business model akin to outsourcing, but relying upon unpaid or low-paid amateurs who use their Wired logospare time to create content, solve problems, or even do corporate R&D”. The term was coined in June 2006 by Wired magazine writer Jeff Howe and editor Mark Robinson.

Examples of this phenomenon include LinuxWikipedia, and Firefox. All three products were created by unpaid (in most cases) individuals who volunteered their time and services. As you may very well notice, open source in general is a form of crowdsourcing that has existed for the years. The actual notion and term have only become more mainstream in recent times.

Cambrian House is a recent start-up out of Calgary, Alberta that has gained much press attention as its entire business model is based off of the idea of crowdsourcing. They combine crowdsourcing with Internet marketing to provide instantaneous access to consumer demand. And because of their unique business model, they pledge to be the first billion person company. Ambitious to say the least, but inspiring. Good luck kids.

Wow, this crowdsourcing stuff is cool. Sounds almost as fun as crowd-surfing.