37Signals Launch "Writeboard"

Story Text:

The somewhat anticipated new product from 37Signals is out. It's called Writeboard and is billed as "web-based writing too" to compose, share and compare text. Kind of like a wiki, but simpler, and for single documents.

Writeboard is a web-based writing tool. It lets you simply write, share, revise, and compare text. With Writeboard you can write solo or collaborate with as many people as you’d like. Writeboard isn’t about heavy text formatting, or WYSIWYG, it’s about the text itself. The words on the page. If you care about design and layout, you’re best bet is to take the finalized text from a writeboard and import it into a page layout program.

Have a mess around with the one i just created - the password is 'tw' - no quotes.


Not impressed

I do like their stuff, this just seems like a wiki with important bits removed and with harder to use urls


neat. I was looking for something like this, just yesterday.

I went throught the suite of

I went throught the suite of products this morning. Looks really "neat" but once you get past the "pretty paint job" you see it's lacking

I totally agree with your

I totally agree with your review GW. My thoughts exactly :-)

Completely uninteresting

...and for most of the same reasons others have said here.

I hypothesized just a few days ago that some big company is gonna make a user-friendly hosted wiki. But heck, 37signals' implementation is shockingly primitive compared even to efforts from smaller players like EditMe and JotSpot. Both of those offer relatively decent WYSIWYG'ness along with many other useful options for consumers and small businesses.

Frankly, if it don't got WYSYWIG, IMHO, it's crap. Making something bold, italicized... making a bulleted list... these are foundational requirements, not frills.

as graywolf says...

It's lacking. However, as Graywolf says:

I saw the buzz yesterday about the new product Writeboard. When I started playing with it I ended up looking at the whole suite of products.

I think that's it. That's the "conversion"... check out BaseCamp and BackpackIT (which is also a lead generator for BaseCamp).

These guys aren't dumb, and have demonstrated their love for buzz marketing (43things). RubyOnRails community branding is like Apple or Google... devotees just gush about the products. Publicity..publicity..publicity..

for the record...

I never understood the buzz around 43things, 43folders, 43piecesOfBellyButtonLint, etc. Beyond seeming rather primitive technologically, none of it really seems to scream "wow, this is interesting stuff!" overall to me either.


I could certainly work with something like Jotspot, but for people who don't build webpages I could see that being downright frightening.

You want something that works like a "web appliance" for people who don't want to rewire the electrical panel every time a light bulb goes out.

What about Jotspot is hard?

While the WYSIWYG panel may be a bit daunting with all the options, the whole thing seems pretty straightforward to me. No HTML knowledge required (though that's not completely true; if you're using Safari or an old old browser, the WYSIWYG stuff doesn't work)

skill set

What about Jotspot is hard?

If I want Mrs. GW, the two say-at-home mom's I have who write me copy, the person I'm training to do link development, and the other people I have who are writing blogs for me it's got to be simple. Say whatever you want about M$ office products but thats the low bar IMHO. WIKI's are far more useful, but they would spend more time monkeying with the interface on the mamnagement layer than actually doing the work.

We had a great discussion on

We had a great discussion on wikis back in march, and my view has not changed. I agree that wiki's in general are just too damn complicated for most people.

whatever you think of it,

whatever you think of it, you have to admire their marketing:

Over 10,000 Writeboards created since yesterday's launch! - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

We’re happy to report that more than 10,000 Writeboards were created since the launch yesterday. In celebration, we’ve launched HTML exports today to accompany the pure-text choice. And it’s not even all over. Before we leave Writeboard sit for a while, we got a few more things in the pipeline. I believe there’s another application besides Backpack that could use Writeboard, no?


I've been looking at about a dozen other programs this week for online project management, and i have to say I may have been overly hard on basecamp. It's definitely missing some features, but it's by far the easiset most intuitive choice of everything I've seen. All of the other programs were written by 'programmers' and 'data base administrators' not by people who understand how a UI needs to be easy and clean and not interfere with the workflow (KISS). It's a subtle point to be sure but an important one.

This almost feels like

This almost feels like namesdropping, but: http://www.writely.com/ - that one appareantly got slashdotted a few days ago, according to their blog.

Whatever, there are probably hundreds of that kind of apps.

Nice one claus, i'd

Nice one claus, i'd forgotten about that one. Never tried it out, but i think i will now...

Yep. Claus

I can use that almost daily. Never saw that before.

just bait

writeboards is now integrated into basecamp, of course if you want to harness the full power you have to step up to the paid level

We spent the week after launch integrating Writeboards into Basecamp. And now they're live. Look for the Writeboards tab in any project.

Free Basecamp accounts are allowed to create 2 Writeboards. Paying accounts (all levels) can create unlimited Writeboards.

via: http://everything.basecamphq.com

And in contrast...

You can create up to 20 pages free with Jotspot or unlimited pages free with Writely, both far superior services, IMHO.

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