Insightful analysis and commentary for the US and global equity investor
Contributors: Douglas McIntyre Jon C. Ogg

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Google Acquires JotSpot, Wiki's Just Went Mainstream

If you are reading this, you probably already know what a Wiki is. People who read blogs often know about wiki's. A wiki is simply a web-based location where multiple co-workers, partners, collaborators and the like can collaborate and conduct live editing. Wikpedia is the oldest and largest wiki on the web, and it has thousands of conent creators. Most giant public Linux projects are also constructed on wiki's at some point.

This is the answer to endless chains of email regarding projects, and wiki's have still only pierced a small percentage of the marketplace compared to email, websites, and blogs. Most wiki's are stored externally, but probably 95% or more of the business or collaborative sort are held in password and access approved access.

Google (GOOG) is acquiring a wiki-creation and hosting service called JotSpot, although terms have not been disclosed. JotSpot has some free versions and some subscription versions. New registrations will be suspended temporarily until the integrations have been switched over to Google's systems.

The company has been described as a start-up, although it is one of the original wiki-spaces for the web. JotSpot is thought to be ahead of other wiki creation sites because it allows more than just text. It allows richer media and multimedia files to be stored to the likes of documents and spreadsheets.

It appears as though Google is planning to turn the subscriber services into free services, and will incorporate JotSpot into its current offerings in the near future.

If Google is going to incorporate this for free into its current mix, it has more than a ton of work ahead. Google has been having many issues with its Blogger on the front-end and on the back-end. JotSpot and other wiki services do serve a great function, but anyone who has used a wiki for more than their own notes can confirm that this newer collaboration tool has a long way to go before businesses can readily rely on wiki's. This looks like the next natural migration and when you include the photo storage abilities, YouTube, Blogger, JotSpot, and Google Base you can see the beginning of a very powerful business platform.

Jon C. Ogg
October 31, 2006

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