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Wetpaint whips up widgets for wikis

Wiki hosting provider Wetpaint is introducing a feature to let people embed widgets within their Web pages

Wetpaint on Tuesday is upgrading its wiki editing and hosting service with the ability to embed widgets, or mini-applications, into a Web page.

The "Easy Edit" button on Wetpaint wikis now lets people include a widget on a page, which can be anything from a YouTube video to a group Web calendar. The editing tool presents a variety of options, including adding RSS feeds and links to popular video-sharing sites services.

Rather make you write the HTML by hand, the Wetpaint editor generates it for you. The company developed the widget feature in response to customers, who are craving more customization, according to CEO Ben Elowitz.

The Wetpaint service also has a "suggest a link" feature, which is meant to make it easier to find related links within a wiki.

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For people looking to set up a simple Web site but don't want have a bottleneck of one person posting content, Wetpaint looks pretty compelling.

It's designed to be easy to use, which means you don't have to learn wiki syntax to post. The service is free and financed by Web ads. There are no limits on storage.

The company is also going after business customers. Elowitz said that some media companies are starting to use Wetpaint's hosted wikis to build community sites, like CBS's Jericho community wiki, where customers can post information and interact with the show's producers.