Writeboard and Other Collaboration Tools

I’ve had some really bad experiences over the years, endeavouring to use MS Word for collaborative writing projects. The track changes feature looked very good to me when I first discovered it, but has caused me not a little grief on more than one occasion, trying to sort out who changed what and why, and then endeavouring to get a final version which properly accommodated all the appropriate changes.

I knew there were other collaborative tools available for group writing projects, but as far as I could figure out they were enterprise tools, needing an enterprise IT department and budget to have and run.

So I was very interested to find today, on Dennis McDonald’s All Kind Food blog, a very informative post about the collaborative authoring tool Writeboard:

This was my first time using a collaborative tool like Writeboard. Here’s the Writeboard website: http://www.writeboard.com. All you have to do is create a free account, post the initial text, create a password controlled group of authorized users, then people in different locations can edit and compare versions of the text using a standard web browser over the Internet.

Dennis is one of my co-moderators on the LinkedIn Bloggers group and he and another member of the group, web strategist Jeremiah Owyang, had used the tool to co-author a white paper.

In the comments on Dennis’ post as above there is additional, helpful information, about the Writely product, also free, and SocialText – ‘Enterprise Social Software’ – which is not free (to work out the prices you need to click through to the various products).

I’m going to work on giving Writeboard a spin, in the first instance.

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About Des Walsh

I show business owners and other professionals how to navigate the social media maze and use LinkedIn effectively. I'm an author, speaker, business coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn specialist. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get my weekly Social Business Bites.

Comments

  1. Business Financing Guru says:

    Writeboard is a very valuable small business tool when you need help with collaboration, and, like you mentioned don’t have an enterprise IT budget. I’d highly recommend it! There are also some other small business tools at http://www.wbsonline.com that we use on a regular basis. Thanks guys!

  2. Des, one of the intersting reactions I have to using WRITELY and WRITEBOARD is that, oddly enough, WRITEBOARD actually has some advantages ofer WRITELY precisely because it has fewer, not more features. WRITELY is more full-featured formatting wise, while WRITEBOARD is more bare-bones. In practice, I found that this meant that WRITEBOARD forces more attention on content than WRITELY. I like that since, being a user of WYSIWYG word processors since 1984, I’ve always been interested in making my documents look “just right,” and that sometimes takes time away from a focus on content.

    – Dennis D. McDonald