I Came, I Saw, I Jotspot-ed

A confession: For no good reason other than I never needed one before, until recently I had not created a wiki site, nor had I ever been a material wiki contributor. Given that I’m usually an early adopter of all sorts of strange and explosion-prone technologies that might seem surprising. Well, it turns out I’m more pragmatic than I think.

Anyway, I’m working on a project right now with various folks that seemed perfect for one, so I’ve had cause to try various wiki services/sites out. All I wanted was a free/cheap hosted wiki service. I didn’t want to install anything, and I couldn’t see myself paying very much for something that I was only going to use on a single project involving a small group of people. What’s more, given some sensitive information, I wanted page security so that I could prevent unauthorized people from viewing the work in progress. Finally, I wanted integrated WYSIWYG editing of some flavor or another.

You would think that would be easy? Well, I did. I figured I was basically describing the core of wiki-dom.

It turns out I wasn’t. I tried various free wiki hosting services, and they were either crummy and overly text-based, or they saved all the good stuff for paying clients. While getting people to pay is entirely understandable, it just doesn’t make sense to pay much for this sort of one-off project. Maybe if I really liked it after one go-around I might, but I certainly wouldn’t pay until I had run a full project wiki-style.

Anyway, to make a long story short I somehow ended up in Jotspot. Yes, it’s still in beta, and so I’m sure a) there are bugs, and b) they could take away all the good features (security, mail to page, etc.) and turn them into for-pay only. But it is, nevertheless, a remarkably fine app, one that feel industrial strength and lightweight at the same time, which is the hallmark of a well done web app. The only other web product about which I have said same in the recent past is Gmail (which is far quirkier and more self-conscious than Jot).

While I might be wrong, I have a hunch Jotspot is going to suit very nicely. Nice job Joe and Graham.


    if for no other reason than to kill that remorseless sanity-slayer, Lotus (IBM) Notes (Domino).
    To paraphrase a slogan from the election
    No other piece of software in history has inspired such open loathing from users. Kill it wiki, kill it.