Won’t you join my wiki?

I want to follow-up on yesterday’s (multi-part) post about synchronous document editing on the Web by pointing to this post at Om Malik’s Broadband Blog. He wonders if the writing world is really ready for all of these web-based writing tools–particularly given some users’ (himself included) discomfort with writing in a browser. I must admit I can sort of relate (Shameful Little Secret: While writing online isn’t so much of a problem for me, I still have trouble reading on a computer screen. Sometimes. . .I even print articles/webpages/etc. Ahhhh, it feels so good to get that off my chest 😉 )

On the other hand, in the world of higher education we (generally) answer to a higher power: the 18-22 year-old. And I’ve heard from these young adults that they think writing in the wiki-ed/collaborative/socially-networked world is pretty darn cool. And really, it isn’t surprising that this kind of writing would be more comfortable for those who’ve grown up online.

Another point: as a commenter on Malik’s blog notes, these tools aren’t really about personal writing (and personal comfort) but about group writing and collaboration and the powerful synergy that can come out of this kind of activity. We may be more comfotable writing our documents off-line in Word, but offline we can’t acheive the kind of collaborative dynamic that Writely, Synchroedit, and others are aiming to give us

2 thoughts on “Won’t you join my wiki?”

  1. As I commented on Om’s blog, one key point that people seem to be missing about SynchroEdit is that it is an open source project. This means that we are making available the source code, and publishing the protocol, so that this capability can be added to any web service or application.

    Thus comparisons to JotLive and Writely are somewhat orthagonal. They are web services. If they wanted to, there is no reason why they couldn’t implement our source code as part of their product.

    The goal of SynchroEdit is to offer the capabilitity of synchronous editing as broadly as possible.

  2. Chris,

    As I responded to your previous comment about this (see earlier post), the open-source nature of SynchroEdit is enticing, but since the product is only available in alpha right now, these other possibilities are more appealing contenders at the moment.

    I’m looking forward to using SynchroEdit in all it’s open-source glory—when it’s available. . .

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