Following Andy’s observation about Google: “You can tell which acquisitions are important to Google’s bottom line and which are more speculative. All you need do is measure how long it takes them to start integrating the service with existing Google offerings.”
By that standard, JotSpot hasn’t been a priority to Google since it was acquired over a year ago – in October 2006. JotSpot provided free, enterprise-level wikis. Google immediately stopped new signups and we haven’t heard much since. Until today when Google announced that JotSpot will be integrated into Google Apps and will be resurrected under the name Google Sites.
“Google Sites lets you pull together information from across Google Apps by embedding documents, spreadsheets, presentations, videos, and calendars in your sites. “
In plain terms, Google is introducing publishing tools for businesses to build and edit web sites without a technical background. Everything is created and hosted by Google. And it’s free. You can upgrade (pay) to get more storage or admin level control.
Other Google features (like a Google calendar, spreadsheet, images from Picasa, etc) can be integrated in and everything can be edited by any members of a team in real time. The new addition to Google Apps comes with the Team, Standard, Premier, and Education Editions. Still, Google Apps/Pages/Sites/Postini with their new features, editions, and pricing has become quite confusing!
With this, Google is further encroaching on the small to mid-size business space even further. They going against products that Microsoft charges for (Sharepoint) and and startups like Synthasite offers free. There may be an opportunity for companies like Synthasite if Google doesn’t offer what developers and people who used JotSpot need from the product.
While pleased that Google is keeping the technology, they want more information about the features and how to migrate their existing sites to the new platform. Another concern is when the API will be released. Google said they will release the API but haven’t said when.