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


Wetpaint Attracts More Funding


Wetpaint, the “wiki-less wiki” received a $9.5 million Series B round in addition to its $5.25 million Series A in October 2005.

TechCrunch compares it to other wikis, especially key competitor Wikia:

“Wetpaint has a much more newbie-friendly user interface than Wikia, and is targeting a different audience. Frankly, it’s just a lot more pleasant to look at a typical Wetpaint site than a Wikia one, although the content on Wikia is often much deeper than the equivalent on Wetpaint.”

I’d take this one step further: Wetpaint isn’t really just a wiki, it’s a wiki – blog – forum hybrid. Even novice users can just happily type away and create attractive pages with photos, videos, tagging …etc. without the usual learning curve. These pages can be shared, other users can contribute, entire communities can grow and thrive – in fact that’s what it’s all about: online community creation.

Last August I issued a challenge to find another wiki just as easy to use with a comparably rich feature-set – the challenge still stands.

My only concern is that they appear to burn money faster than the other wiki-companies – but I guess if the investors are not worried, it’s really not my business

smile_wink (And in fairness they have a different business model)

Update (1/9): VentureBeat comments:

“With Jotspot gone for now (presumably, Google will relaunch it in some fashion), and players like Socialtext increasingly focused on selling its wiki software to company users, Wetpaint is among the more convenient Wiki softwares for individual projects.”

As much as I like Wetpaint, I have to disagree. I’ve never considered it a project-oriented collaboration tool. It’s clearly geared towards community creation, and like I’ve hinted above, for that purpose it’s the friendliest platform avaialable today. Business -even small projects – requires a few additional features like document handling (attachments, version control..etc), email integration ..etc.

JotSpot was quite good for that, too bad it’s gone. Socialtext used to be quite ugly, but the new UI is quite nice – it misses a few features though. The new kid on the block is Zoho’s Wiki , (bias alert: I’m and advisor to Zoho) with quite a few features for an initial beta release. It already supports embedding documents, spreadsheets, presentations, videos..etc, and with improved integration to the full Zoho suite later this year it will be a killer combination.

Update (5/13/08):  TechCrunch article on Wetpaint’s traction.