Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Google Acquires JotSpot

According to Google and Jotspot's respective blogs, Google has just finalized its acquisition of the three year old Californian startup JotSpot.

JotSpot is a player in the collaborative corporate online publishing field. Essentially they've built a business model on making easy to use Wikis for companies that don't want to setup something like Microsoft's Sharepoint or *shudder* Lotus Notes.

The current implementation can only be described as fugly. Still, the concept's sound and that's the key. Having seen it in action, I can imagine this as a neat way to tie together
Google Applications for your Domain. Each GAfyD service currently stands alone, using the JotSpot metaphor (but replacing JotSpot's calendar/spreadsheet/document/photo implementations with Google's) would be an excellent way to unify Google's office suite into more of a tight application set or workspace environment.

JotSpot has closed new user registrations while they move to Google's architecture, we'll see what happens when they re-reveal themselves to the world.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Google Coop Gets Useful

To coincide with Google breaking its stock price record, Google has released a product that makes Coop useful. It's the Google Coop Custom Search Engine, and it gives users unprecedented power to create a customised web search.

CSE creates a topic specific search engine by letting you:
  • Restrict to or weight by sites you specify as particularly relevant.
  • Tag sites using the 'Google Marker' to add labels to sites, or add sites to your search engine.
  • Monetise your search with Adsense.
  • Embed your search (and results) on your site with search boxes and Ajax.
  • Let others collaborate to create an uber search on a given topic.
It looks like a really powerful new tool that could be very useful in decluttering famously spam filled search topics, or helping promote good results in more obscure topics. As always the proof will be in the uptake.