Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Online Group Collaboration Technologies: Wiki Socialtext

Thanks to the courtesy of Ross Mayfield, I have been experimenting with my small geographically dispersed team, how effective a wiki can be in supporting projects in which multiple professionals contribute and complement each other.


In the past I have made heavy use of technologies at the extremes of the asynchronous collaboration spectrum. From completely free ones such as web-based YahooGroups, which offers everything from a mailing distribution list, to files archiving, polling of the group and calendaring, to much more versatile and rich commercial applications such as the desktop-based P2P full collaboration solution offered by Groove Virtual Office.

While the first approach has severe drawbacks in terms of privacy and intrusion from ads, both in the online facilities as well as in your inbox as a consequence of having signed up for a Yahoo service, the second one has issues relating to the level of computer hardware required, and the performance impact it may have on your other applications. Groove is also plagued by an excessively conservative and rigid access and protection system, great for enterprise customers, but absolutely suicidal for the SOHO and small business user.



When I headed out to test Ross Mayfield's SocialText wiki workspace, I didn't expect much, as I thought wiki spaces allowed yes for collaborative posting of notes and files but not for much more of what I had become accustomed to find in these more established and popular collaboration solutions.

I was wrong.

From my own experience, this is indeed a great collaboration technology that can be extremely useful to virtual teams of non-technically oriented people. It bridges ease of use and access with all the advantages of being web-based and open to any operating system.

Ross Mayfield

Readers' Comments    
2005-02-16 19:09:51

Ed Magin

I went to the SocialText site and there is not a SINGLE screenshot of this thing.

I've used wikis, web based collaboration tools, all the voip stuff, groove, etc.

The FIRST thing you want to see on a site like SocialText is FEATURES or DEMO so that you can get an idea of what it does.

I have not tested it yet, but the one problem I find with wiki's in general is arcane markup. We need wysiwyg editors like FCKEditor or HTMLArea that work, are based on common standards and don't require wiggy markup to work.

posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, February 15 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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