There’s a buzz about wikis this week. The Oct. 6 issue of BusinessWeek reports on the debut of California startup JotSpot (Do-It-Yourself Software For All?), which offers a wiki-based Web service to allow nonprogrammers “to quickly write customized Web programs for managing customer support, tracking job candidates, and the like.”
Wikis got their name from Hawaiian shuttle buses called wiki-wikis, meaning “quick.” To date, most of these instant websites that many people can revise, update and append with new information have been document- and text-based. JotSpot’s difference is in letting people build—Lego style—Web applications for themselves, according to the Yahoo!Finance coverage of the debut. Investor’s Business Daily reports that JotSpot’s wikis will be sold as a hosted software application, integrated with e-mail, real-time news feeds from the Web and wysiwyg (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editing and publishing tools.
Gartner calls wikis “electronic blackboards” that enable groups of users to collaborate easily on online documents—and says they are receiving increased attention from enterprises.
Likewise, BusinessWeek concludes its report by saying, “Even rivals are encouraged by [JotSpot’s] high-profile debut, regardless of whether it succeeds.”
FYI, a recent Michael Schrage CIO column (The Virtues of Chitchat), about using blogs to keep IT teams and management up-to-date on implementation, yielded many remarks about wikis from readers in the Add a Comment section. And Stowe Boyd’s Wicked Good Wikis appeared in CIO sister site Darwin.