Texty: Not All Good Names Are Taken, After All

The best thing about Texty may be its name. TechCrunch calls it Dead Simple Content Creation And Editing. You just start typing in a simplified editing window on their site, add images if you want to, do some formatting, click a button and pick up an embed code to include in your site.

The result: WYSINWYG: What You See Is NOT What You Get. Your page is a container, it has a little javascript code, but the actual text body is on Texty’s site. The text appears to be there, you can read it, but it does not show up on Google Reader, and certainly does not get indexed by Google or any other search engines: you lose findability.

Of course there may very well be situations when the ability to send / publish a piece in multiple copies, while you retain the ability to centrally update it is beneficial. In fact a Zoho Writer user “discovered” this months ago. Some of Owen Kelly’s scenarios:

  • Centrally update his resume, while it’s posted in multiple places
  • Submitting academic paper for a conference – organizers want to publish it early, while it still goes through iterations

(Read the full essay here: Zoho for distributed publication.)

The score for Texty: good for some (distributed publishing), dangerous for others ( no search, text may disappear if the service goes belly up). And, as we’ve just seen, it’s nothing new.

But I have to give it to them (whoever they are) they got just the right name: it’s catchy, simple, and actually tells what they do. I can’t believe such a name was still available! I guess *not* All Good Product Names Are Taken, after all. smile_shades


Koral Acquired by

Wow, this was fast. I met Koral CEO Mark Suster some time in November, when he gave me a demo of his then pre-beta Content Collaboration system. I instantly liked it, largely for it’s simplicity – hence the title of my review: Koral – Collaborative Content Management without the Hassle of “Management”.

Apparently I was not the only one who liked the productsmile_regular. Koral is no more. has acquired it, launching its new service … hm, SalesforceContent, or Apex Content, or Salesforce ContentExchange – apparently there is a bit confusion over the name, but we’ll know it tomorrow for sure. The logo is from the (former) Koral site:

Update: Clarification from CEO Mark Suster:

“The overall initiative is called Salesforce Content. That consists of the Apex Content platform where developers will be able to build their own content based applications and Salesforce ContentExchange, which is a Web 2.0 application for managing corporate content that sits on top of this platform.
Basically, we took an integrated product, Koral, and split it out into a platform piece for developers and an application piece ready to sell to customers.

TechCrunch, Read/WriteWeb and ZDNet has all the details. Congratulations, Mark, Tim and the rest of the team!


Read/Write Intranet 2007

Rod Boothby is running a Read/Write Intranet Idol – it’s a poll I invite you to participate in, so I am attaching it at the bottom. But first, it gives me a chance to share some of my (wiki)-thoughts.

The list is a mix of industry behemoths (Microsoft, IBM Lotus), emerging but established brands (Atlassian‘s Confluence, Socialtext, WordPress), relatively known startups and quite a few obscure names. The latter probably not by pure chance: both Rod and I are on the Selection Committee for the next Under the Radar Conference on Office 2.0, and scouting for candidates we have made quite a few new discoveries, including some of these “obscure” names, that likely won’t remain obscure for long.

Perhaps the biggest “discovery” for me was Brainkeeper, a user-friendly enterprise wiki startup that officially launches today. Totally out of left field, they aim to be like market-leader Confluence in functionality yet have a friendly UI like Wetpaint. Oh, and add niceties like Workflow (Itensil?) and an API. Like I said before sometimes it pays to *not* be first on the market …

It was really interesting to watch the poll dynamics change yesterday and this morning. First, with only a handful votes cast unknown little Brainkeeper was leading the chart. Another leader was Koral, a content collaboration startup I’ve been planning to write about way too long now (until I pull my act together, see two reviews by Ismael and John Wilson). What’s content collaboration? It’s content management without the pain of “management”. As much as I am a fan of wikis, not all companies will embrace them: Koral helps those who mostly work with desktop documents (MS Office) share, update, collaborate painlessly.

Back to the poll: as more voters came in, predictably the “brand names” strengthened their position and the “obscure” ones fell somewhat behind. Still with 117 votes cast, I believe it’s mostly InnovationCreators’s primary reader-base, where Microsoft Sharepoint or Lotus Notes Blogsphere are not exactly popular. Like it or not those products will make a killing on the corporate market. So “brand name” here means the likes of Confluence by Atlassian, Socialtext, WordPress, Movable Type…etc.

Confluence’s #1 position on the list reflects it’s real-life market position: absolute leader in market share, revenue, functionality. Of course to maintain that position they can’t just sit on their laurels and they know that. At a really productive meeting with the San Francisco team recently we discussed their development plans, most of which I cannot share for now. However, I am happy to share that in the not-so-distant future Confluence will offer a hosted version – something I’ve repeatedly asked for:-).

As for competitor Socialtext, they revamped the product a few months ago: while I was fairly critical of some of the functional misses, the single biggest improvement was the UI: they went from an outright ugly product to a pleasant-looking, clean, friendly one. In fact this, along with other players (JotSpot, Wetpaint, Zoho, Brainkeeper) has turned the table: formerly good-looking Confluence now feels a bit … well, 2005-ish (?) Still the best, but somewhat boring. They are keenly aware of this and improving the UI is one of Atlassian’s key priorities.

JotSpot is in hibernation in the meantime, although TechCrunch speculates it may open up soon. Zoho is a newcomer to the wiki space, but not one to underestimate: they may just leapfrog all other players when they tightly integrate their full Suite (Write, Show, Sheet, Create) thus creating a truly powerful read/write/collaborate platform online.

Last, but not least two smaller wiki-players from the list: Itensil combines workflow with a wiki (now, religious wiki-fans deny the need for any structure or workflow, which is probably OK for a small group, but workflow is the way large corporations work), and System One combines a wiki with relevant enterprise search.

Without further ado (wasn’t this enough?) here’s the poll, please cast your vote:

You can click “view results” after you cast your vote, then “Complete results” to se more stats on the Zoho Polls site. Once there, click the “Rating” header to sort the list in ranking order – right now, with 117 votes cast Confluence is #1 with an average of 3.54, closely followed by Brainkeeper’s 3.50.