JotSpot. What started out as a wiki company, is slowly but surely morphing into a Web Office suite contender. Although JotSpot does not actually position itself in that way - they're positioned as a kind of wiki/office hybrid, which we discuss in detail in this post. Also JotSpot has just released 3 new features, which are outlined below.To further Read/WriteWeb's continuing look at the Web Office space, I spoke again recently with Joe Kraus - CEO of
Back in July, JotSpot released its 2.0 version. It was described by Joe Kraus at that point as "wikis meets Microsoft Office". The upgrade enabled JotSpot users to collaborate on different types of "office-like" products. Its spreadsheet product, Tracker, was integrated into their core wiki product - along with calendars, File Cabinets, Photo Pages.
In the latest release of JotSpot, more apps have been added to their application gallery: group directory, forum and To Do Lists. Nothing revolutionary there, but it beefs up their Office Suite credentials a bit more. This screenshot from their Applications Gallery page shows the latest list of office (aka productivity) apps:
Page Type Model
These are all "Page Types", which basically means different types of productivity applications presented as Wiki pages. The theory behind this, Joe told me, is that all the Page Types "have this wiki-esque properties - they're group editable, they're immediately collaborative, they have the same access control model on top of them."
Joe said to me that although JotSpot still positions itself as a wiki nowadays - they don't necessarily see themselves in that space in 5-10 years. But he said the metaphor of wikis still has appeal to people, as a representation of the Web's shift from a monolog to a dialog - aka the read/write web! JotSpot then is about "bringing the familiarity that people have with office [software] and bringing the Wiki metaphor to that." In essence, bringing the 'dialog' and collaboration features of wikis into the office environment.
The reason JotSpot is positioning itself as something different than a straight Web Office Suite (with word processing, spreadsheets, etc) is that Joe believes Microsoft itself will eventually position itself in that market. They don't want to compete with them with that positioning - hence the wiki/office hybrid vision which JotSpot has, which approaches the space from a different angle. JotSpot's strategy is to "embrace and extend the space" (more on that in an earlier interview I did with Joe).
I completely agree with Joe that Web Office startups need to do things differently and more Web native than Microsoft (and Google). Indeed that's the topic I spoke about in my recent Office 2.0 Podcast Jam podcast.
Screenshots of new JotSpot features
To conclude, here are screenshots of the latest new JotSpot Page Types:
To Do List