Oct 31

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

JotSpot, Google's New Extensible Wiki

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.

tags:   | comments: 10   | Sphere It

Previous  |  Next

1 TrackBacks

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://blogs.oreilly.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-t.cgi/5014

A few weeks ago the "wikirati" was having dinner  with the Enterprise Irregulars in San Francisco, on occasion of the Office 2.0 Conference.  Our gracio...

Read More

Comments: 10

  Danny Hope [10.31.06 04:55 PM]

I agree with your points about Jotspot being used as a way of bridging the gap between some of some of Google's apps like Google Docs, Calendar, GChat etc.


  Aaron Binns [10.31.06 09:18 PM]

As a user of JotSpot, I hope Google really improves the usability a number of their core features. For example, the JotSpot forums are rather basic. In addition, JotSpot dropped a major UI change on us in September w/o notification nor any option to *not* be "upgraded".

  Helmut [11.01.06 06:31 AM]

exactly about the Wikipedia VS Google - one thing that keeps exciting me, is that often (and seems to me with time more and more) one of the first results you get in Google search comes from Wikipedia. So the question arises - why use Google when all the search result comes from Wiki?..
ok, it's not the end of Google, it's just the way it is ;)

  Aaron Binns [11.01.06 11:20 AM]


It's funny you mention it. I actually use Google to find Wikipedia pages because it is faster. The other day I was looking for general technical information on Intel's Core 2 architecture. Rather than going to Wikipedia and searching there, I did a Google search and the Wikipedia entry was in the top 5. In the end, it's just faster to use the Google search engine to find Wikipedia content then it is to use Wikipedia's search engine. I assume the difference in speed is mainly due to Google's infrastructure compared to Wikipedia's.

  Aaron Binns [11.01.06 11:22 AM]

A follow-up thought...

What if, in your Google preferences, you could check a box that says "Show Wikipedia result(s) first", like in the area where the sponsored links appear.

That would make this user happy.

  Kent's Imperative [11.01.06 05:05 PM]

Google’s latest acquisition of JotSpot adds a premium hosted wiki service...

We tend to pay very close attention when a publisher speaks about competition in the information business….

.... In this light, we wonder what the eventual effects of the once again cited Intellipedia will be for internal competition within the intelligence community.


  Helmut [11.05.06 08:36 AM]

well, Aaron, i'd say, we do searches as we have used to, i'm not surprised your technique is opposite to mine, but still i find it faster for me to do first search at Wiki and, if it fails, use Google. Ok, on the other hand, it depends from topic we're searching... And yes, in my Firefox the default search is Google, so i guess Wikipedia will have to wait for the global dominance 8)

  Dustin [04.22.07 09:28 AM]

I don't think Google is sweating Wikipedia or any WIKIs. My reasoning is that public wikis like Wikipedia just give Google more quality content to index. If Wikipedia is taking up prime spots in the free search it could force advertisers to increase AdWords usage.

Maybe Google will end up buying Wikipedia out? Who knows...

I see it as Google is more then just search (now that is what they are famous for and what makes them revenues), but when you look at all the other dealing Google is involved with and the money that those sites generate for Adwords is more than I got...

  Cristian Meadows [06.22.07 01:53 AM]

A computer hacker posts what he claims is the ending of the seventh and final Harry Potter novel...

  Cristian Meadows [06.22.07 01:54 AM]

A computer hacker posts what he claims is the ending of the seventh and final Harry Potter novel...

Post A Comment:

 (please be patient, comments may take awhile to post)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.