Tuesday, October 4

A New Web Writing Tool

This post has been ported into LCB from a new collaborative writing tool that is currently in beta called writely. Harold Jarche gave it a nice write up on his his blog inspiring me to take a look at it. The functionality is very intuitive and seems to combine the best of word processing and wiki technologies to create a collaborative platform. Currently it struggles with some issues around formatting (trying to fix a table that was messed up in the upload from Word was a real mess), but they do make it clear that you're using a beta. The ability to collaborate with as many people as you wish on a document by document basis is great. I see the following functions as real positives:

  • That you can post out to most blogs
  • bring content to writely by email, upload, or original creation,
  • download into Word, HTML,
  • all with revision history and the ability to revert to previous versions at the click of a button.

I agree with Harold, this is definitely the future for use today.


Bill Bruck said...

In our distributed work team, we post drafts in our team center in Word, then use Word's track changes feature to post successive drafts, and our asynch discussion rooms to discuss the document (which is easy for us since we use these to discuss everything). So what are the relative advantages?

So far, for us, the balance leans towards Word. It supports the rich formatting and graphics we incorporate into documents, and allows better "page processing" (fitting the text to the space available on a page).

Since we've committed to a common platform (Word) and have discussions built into our team space, some of the other advantages others will find in Writely aren't as important to us.

But the future? Who knows...

Harold Jarche said...

I've found Writely to be an easier to use platform than this latest one, from 37Signals; Writeboard, especially for non-techies.

Lee Kraus said...

I have been using Writely with a very small distributed group and we really like it. I have also used it to post to my blog. I think it will continue to replace my MS Word activity.

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

very interesting helpful post, writely beta too.