Google has acquired JotSpot, the programmable wiki. JotSpot was one of the first sites that was catering to the longtail of software (Joe Kraus the founder has a good post on this) – others include Ning (Radar post), DabbleDB, Coghead and to some extent Zimki (Radar post). JotSpot is a wiki with a scripting language and several components (such as a calendar, to-do list, file share, photo gallery, spreadsheet) and an API. Using the scripting language and these components you can create your own community application such as Strmz, a JotSpot powered video clip sharing service.
Like other purchases they are going to move to Google’s infrastructure. I don’t have any inside knowledge about what they are going to do with it next, but I’ve got some ideas that I would like to share with them. All of these fit with the “features, not products” mantra.
* Integrate JotSpot (or GWiki) into Google Groups. The new update was nice and I like the addition of the webpage creator, but for true group collaboration I would like a easy to use and permission wiki. Having this type of functionality might make me switch my groups usage from Yahoo! to Google.
* Integrate Google Docs and Calendar into JotSpot. I want to be able to integrate my existing documents into JotSpot (or GotSpot?) and I do not want to learn a new interface for creating them.
* Integrate GChat into the service (this serves as advice for Writely, er Google Docs as well).
* Add this to Apps For Your Domain. Let people continue to make the longtail of software for themselves and revshare with AdSense. This seems like the most likely plan to me as it provides the most new ad inventory.
I don’t imagine that these are new ideas; these are just the ways that I would like to use their new product.
Marc Hedlund adds:
I have to wonder if there’s some internal debate at Google about wikis. It always seems to me that Wikipedia’s mission overlaps directly with Google’s, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” even though the technologies they use to get there are very different. I wonder if Google has the same discussion about Wikipedia that O’Reilly sometimes has about Google, that their real competition is from Wikipedia and not Yahoo or Microsoft.