JotSpots, the wiki site acquired by Google almost 16 months ago, has just relaunched in a scaled-back version as Google Sites, the newest member of the Google Apps suite of online productivity and collaboration tools. Google Sites is intended as a quick and simple tool that will enable non-technical people to collaborate and publish online. As TechCrunch notes, however, "Google Sites looks absolutely nothing like Jotspot, other than the fact that both are hosted wikis. All of the structured data templates launched by Jotspot in July 2006 have been stripped out."
There are five page templates available for Google Sites at present, and upload file sizes are capped at 10 MB. Free accounts, supported with "relevant text-based ads" on the pages, receive storage space of "at least 10GB" while Education and Premier ($50/user/year) editions get an additional 500MB for each user. The one-click page setup and WYSIWYG editor are more accessible to less tech-savvy users than a conventional wiki, however -- and that is a critical advantage where all team members are seldom equal in their tech skills or their comfort level with technology.
Small and medium-sized organizations are likely to find Google Sites
quite a useful tool for project collaboration and on-the-fly web
publishing, while the possibilities for classroom use will be
especially interesting to explore. Members of a project team can collaborate in building a Site, attaching
files, and adding content from other Google applications such as Google
Docs, Google Calendar, YouTube and Picasa. Individual team members can
also build their own profile pages, and the permissions settings will
allow the Site to be viewed by collaborators only, shared with your
entire organization, or made public on the internet.