JotSpot has done it once again. They now have released an amazing collaborative editor called, JotSpot Live. I have written about real-time applications in the past, but this one is all web-based and requires no need to download any applications to use it. JotSpot Live allows you to signup and create pages that you can work with others on at the same time and see every change made. This is not like Writely because it isn’t focused on whole rich text documents, rather it is focused on making notes and ending up with a document everyone agrees on.
TechCrunch (also has written about JotSpot Live) and I have been testing around with JotSpot Live today and I personally love it and find a to be an excellent use of today’s growing technology. We have found some good qualities and also some bad. Lets get started on the review:
When first signing up, you will be asked to create a page or to be expected to join a friends page. You will see something similar to the above. As you can see, I have two pages that I have been using to test JotSpot Live. In the screenshot, if I were to make it longer, you would see that below it would show an area for pages that you can collaborate on that belong to your friends or fellow employees. When you click on a page, it will then bring you to the editing area.
The area that you edit your pages in are very nicely laid out and easy to use. Features such as double clicking and drag-and-drop make it very easy to use as they make it feel like an application. One the right of the page is a column that shows people that are currently in the page, much like a buddy list. If it is your page, you can also invite someone to join by adding their email address in the invite field. Once they are invited they can come back at any time. On the left side is the editing area and this is where all the fun begins.
Adding and editing to a document is very simple. It involves basic triggers that you are used to in your everyday computing life. You click on add to bring up an area to add content and you double click on an area to edit content. In the above picture, I am in the edit area testing out the formatting that you are given. You have your basic bold, italic, links, headings, etc.. As you are editing the page, it will inform the others in the page that you are currently working on it. When you are done, click on “Save” and it will then update the page along with everyone else that is viewing it. Seems to work great and is fast at responding.
As TechCrunch and I were testing JotSpot Live, we did run into a few problems and questions. Sometimes when clicking on an area as someone is editing and saving it, it will cause an mixup and halt the page from you. You then have to refresh the page to get back into action. Also, we both wondered if there were any way to remove pages or people that you have invited to your pages. We did not see anything about this.
Overall, JotSpot Live is excellent. I have been waiting to see a service like this for a long time and am very glad that JotSpot had picked it up. Great work to the team.
The service is free for 5 pages only. You can upgrade to two other plans: Team ($4.95 per month) or Workgroup ($19.95 per month).