Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Google Wiki will be a dissapointment

If Jotspot has become Google Wiki, in form, if not name, it’s going to be a massive dissapointment.

My company, MediaConnect was a Jotspot user, before it was acquired by Google.  My attraction to the product was not so much the Wiki component, but rather the fact that it looked like evolving into a true Intranet platform. I’m so sick of running all these disparate Web 2.0 point solutions, none of which talk to each other, and are subsequently just stop-gap solutions until someone gets it right.

My feel when I signed up for Jotspot was that it stood the best of chance of providing a simple yet flexible and powerful Intranet platform. Jotspot really understood the power of being a platform. It had a developer community and it wasn’t even that difficult to get into the code and made some tweaks yourself. Plus, it was putting together a pretty nice array of little apps.

Ironically, and again this pre-Google acquisition, the short-coming of those apps soon became apparent. The spreadsheet app for example paled when put next to Zoho Sheet or Google Spreadsheet. We quickly got onboard the Google App bandwagon and suddenly that nirvana of a single intranet solution vanished.

Then miraculously Google acquired Jotspot and I thought all my dreams had come true at once. Well, it’s nine months or so down the track, so they hardly came true in a rsuh but word around the blogosphere is Jotspot might finally be about to make an appearance as Google Wiki. (It should be said there appears to be absolutely nothing of substance to support the fact that this is going to happen, just speculation at this stage.)

I don’t like the Google Wiki name. A Wiki is a feature or a point-solution. Jotspot was a platform.

So I deeply, deeply hope that Google hasn’t watered down the vision of building a platform. If it hasn’t and we’re looking at a combination of Jotspot’s original vision, it’s excellent Wiki platform and Google’s best-of-breeds apps, then this is going to be something else and will actually be worth the wait.

However, if Google Wiki is going to just a Wiki and attach onto the Google Apps suite like Page Creator does at the moment, I will literally break down and cry.

At this stage, I’m keeping the faith and I believe its going to be something special. However, I wonder how much ground Jotspot has lost in these nine months since it froze development. We’ve moved both our websites and Intranet onto the Drupal platform with the intent that we’ll probably end up with a totally custom-built Intranet platform at some stage. I shouldn’t be having to do that.

Maybe, Google Wiki will be the answer but it’s going to have to be good to get me off Drupal which has a fabulously developer community and I keep finding new modules that do the job I need everytime I’m about to dump it.

Ben Barren has similiar hopes for Google Wiki…

Filed under: Drupal, Google Wiki, Intranets

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