Today I spoke to JotSpot co-founder and CEO Joe Kraus about their latest
product release
, pre-packaged “wiki applications”. We also discussed the Web Office,
which I will post about separately on
ZDNet
. JotSpot’s latest product is a prebuilt wiki. Basically it’s a wiki with set
templates and functionality, making it easy for people to use ‘out of the box’ for
specific uses. These so-called “wiki applications” will also have web app-like
functionality such as mashups, calendars, blogging systems, etc. So they are more than
simply wiki pages, they are full-fledged web applications.

The first two products out the door are Class
Reunion Planner
and Bug Reporter, but Kraus
told me they are planning 30-50 such products this year alone. Plus JotSpot
will be enabling third parties to create custom wiki applications – and onsell them. It’s
quite the wiki app ecosystem that JotSpot is planning…


JotSpot Class Reunion Planner

JotSpot’s company strategy is to be “a platform for building collaborative web
applications”. Currently their reputation is as a hosted wiki company, because the wiki
was the first application they rolled out.

During 2005, says Joe, they discovered that
people used their wikis for a lot of different uses. On a personal level they used them
for planning class reunions, family reunions, planning a wedding, making associations,
organizing their sports teams. While on the work level, people used JotSpot wikis in 2005
for things like project management, building an intranet, tracking bugs, running a
recruiting process, as an event calendar, etc. However JotSpot found
that people had problems adapting their wikis for each specific purpose.

So the theory behind the new pre-packaged wiki applications, is to enable people to utilize wiki technology for
the kinds of use cases Joe outlined above.


JotSpot Bug Reporter

The Bug Reporter is a fully-functional bug
tracking application, in the form of a wiki. It’ll cost $49.95 per month. The JotSpot Class Reunion Planner (cost: $39.95 per
year) seems aimed at the post-Facebook.com crowd, potentially a lucrative business. As
well as enabling the usual wiki functionaility of reading and writing a webpage,
JotSpot’s product has links to online maps, blogging tools, and other information from
the Web – such as popular songs and movies from your graduation year (coincidentally the
demo Joe showed me was for 1989, my graduation year from high school — Paula Abdul and
Milli Vanilli were big back then… um, apparently…).

Tomorrow I’ll post the second half of my interview with Joe Kraus, in which we
discussed the Web Office.