Google getting into wikis, with JotSpot

Google getting into wikis, with JotSpot

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman

Google has acquired the wiki service JotSpot [see news story]. JotSpot is one of a few wikis that is easier to write in than the first generation of wikis. Early wikis required you to write your links and formatting in wiki code, which is quite straightforward, but also quite different from standard HTML and from working with a WYSIWYG word processor, such as Word or Google Docs. The newer WYSIWYG wikis (WYSIWikis?) make creating a group document almost as easy as working in a word processor.

Which begs the question: Where does a word processor end and a wiki begin? Google Docs is already a great collaborative editing tool. It even has a revisions history function, like most wikis do. What it doesn't have are capabilities to create a web of pages, nor can it insert interactive elements (such as polls, comments, or minispreadsheets).

I will be very surprised if Google does not merge its word processor and wiki tools at some point, making Docs essentially a subset of its wiki. Microsoft and other productivity suite companies, such as Zoho and Thinkfree, will have to figure out how to respond. Microsoft will have the most trouble, as long as it clings to its installed base of Office software users.

During the acquisition, unfortunately, registration for new JotSpot users is closed. Check out Wetpaint if you want to see a similar product.