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Team Web Publishing Tool added to Google Apps

Lori Halley 29 February 2008 4 comments

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.

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 29 February 2008 at 5:11 PM


  • Adam Creare said:

    Tuesday, 04 March 2008 at 7:48 AM

    Not a bit little tool for people who just want a simple quick website. Angelfire and Freewebs do similar services except GoogleSites integrates other applications such as Youtube vidoes, argueably making it more valueable.

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Tuesday, 04 March 2008 at 8:23 AM

    Yes, it's all about perceived value, Adam, isn't it? At this point, just launched, it looks like Google Sites aims to differentiate itself from "free web site" services on two main features: collaboration (privacy/sharing/group publishing), and integration with other parts of the popular Google Apps suite. It will certainly be interesting to see how this evolves, as early users begin to give feedback!

  • Casey said:

    Tuesday, 04 March 2008 at 11:04 AM

    I agree with Adam - their may be some confusion over this latest application. It's more like a public private intranet than a website creator (though Google does have that as well - http://pages.google.com).

    Airset has been around for awhile (http://www.airset.com), and is what the non-profit I direct (<a href="http://oyfp.org/BOS/">On Your Feet Project</a>) uses. Multi-functional, and it's nice to know that someone else out there is holding information besides Google.

  • Jason King said:

    Thursday, 02 October 2008 at 11:21 PM

    At first Google Sites looked like it might be a quick and easy website solution for nonprofits with no budget. But yes it's probably better suited to the role of a small Intranet; I can imagine staff, volunteers and trustees happily using it.

    Google has a great record of starting up lots of interesting new services (Knol for example) but often fails to develop them into mature products. I realise it's early days for Google Sites but if they get this right they could find a huge audience for a simple, team-based site builder.

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