Wikis are traditionally editable webpages, allowing groups of people to "It"s wikis meets Microsoft Office"collaborate on creating the page. However JotSpot is about to expand the definition of "wiki", with a new version of its flagship wiki product – called JotSpot 2.0. The upgrade enables JotSpot users to collaborate on different types of "office-like" products. For example its spreadsheet product, Tracker, is being integrated into their core wiki product. Also integrated will be calendars, File Cabinets, Photo Pages.
In the new JotSpot wiki, if you click the "Create Page" button you will see various "page types" for specific tasks – web pages, spreadsheets, calendars, photo galleries, and file repositories. This allows users to collaborate on all types of documents, not just a blank wiki page or a Word document. Users can also customize their wikis – e.g. configure the color scheme and add logos. The usual wiki features are of course still present – permissions, WYSIWYG editing, etc.
I asked JotSpot CEO Joe Kraus what their new product augers for the Web Office (my hobby-horse here on ZDNet!). Joe said:
"JotSpot 2.0 allows users to create more than just web pages – it "wikifies" calendars, spreadsheets, photos, and file sharing. It has some of the familiarity and functionality of Office — it"s wikis meets Microsoft Office."
Let"s put this into context of a recent Gartner study on wiki adoption, which noted that tools such as wikis and other web-based apps are becoming increasingly pervasive in the Enterprise:
"By 2008, 20 percent of "office" applications will be selected by users themselves. People are using more than the traditional personal productivity applications. Tools now include instant-messaging clients, Web-based applications, wikis, blogs, "folksonomies" and personal desktop search."
This is a continuation of the trend for consumer web apps infiltrating the enterprise – and as Gartner notes, that trend shows no sign of abating. JotSpot is doing the right thing morphing their wiki application products into office tools, because this is tapping into a growing market for web-based office tools and will also push the boundaries of what office tools can be in the Web Office era.