Looking to capitalize on the rush of Google Wave excitement, PBworks and Watchitoo Nov. 2 launched real-time collaboration platforms for business users. PBworks' real-time collaboration update lets users conduct instant messaging, live editing of documents and, eventually, voice conferences. PBworks provides asynchronous editing, allowing users to edit a document without others intruding. Watchitoo provides some of the same functionality but with a heavier emphasis on social networking.
Two companies are angling for a chunk of the real-time collaboration market
Google has cultivated interest in with Google Wave
, the platform that blends instant messaging, file sharing,
live editing and social networking.
and startup Watchitoo
launched real-time collaboration platforms for business users.
The real-time collaboration update to the PBworks platform will enable teams
whose workers are spread far and wide to ping colleagues through live instant
messaging notifications, rather than requiring them to send an asynchronous
Users then communicate via instant messaging to edit documents together live
in a wiki Web page. This is a break from the classic, scheduled Web
conferencing approach enabled by Cisco WebEx and Citrix GoToMeeting
Eventually, users will also be able to click a button in the platform to
initiate outbound calls to their colleagues using their existing phone service,
marking another break from the traditional practice of setting up a conference
call in advance. Users can add new participants at any time, recording each
conference call for later review. This feature will also launch from Apple's
Like Google Wave, which Google is rolling out slowly to users, PBworks'
Real-Time Collaboration Update provides a break from the traditional
asynchronous collaboration model, where users edit documents individually in a
wiki, hit save, and allow others to come in and work on them.
Unlike Google Wave, where gangs of bouncing cursors rove a Wave session as a
result of editing from several users, PBworks lets one worker edit a document
at a time, PBworks Vice President Chris Yeh told eWEEK.
For example, whenever a user is editing a workspace page, other users
viewing that page see the edits appear in real time, but they can't barge into
that page to disrupt the worker's editing process.
In that respect, it's similar to a WebEx editing session, Yeh said, adding
that users told PBworks they preferred the single editor approach to preserve
the wiki metaphor of page history and revisions.