Looking for a writeboard on steroids? Coventi is that candidate. Coventi is a writing application for the web that offers a wide variety of the features people have come to know and love. Coventi’s main focus is on group collaboration for writing documents, and it executes this quite well. To begin, you’re able to upload documents from your computer or start with a clean slate. Their main writing area is a WYSIWYG, making it incredibly easy to format and compose your thoughts exactly how you’d like them to be. They have an address book that you’re able to add contacts, and then categorize into groups. Options such as downloading drafts, sharing your pages for collaboration, convenient review options, and target-based commenting through the form of highlighting phrases, makes Coventi a great choice for writers of all sorts.
Coventi also offers Page Roles, which consists of three ranks. First, there is the owner of a page, who obviously has all privileges and rights within the page. Next there are the authors, who are capable of commenting and revising the actual page document. Last are the reviewers, who can only comment on the document and not change any of the contents of the page. Once you have invited people to collaborate and share on a page you’ll see the “People” tab appears in the interface. The People tab tells you who has and who hasn’t read your page(s). Additionally, you also can view and change the rank of your users in this section. You’ll also notice that when you start sharing your pages, a count of revisions done to that pertaining document will appear. You’re able to compare revisions via drop down menus, making it easy to look back and/or find lost information.
Authors and Reviewers are able to comments on certain sections of a page by simply highlighting the desired word, phrase, even paragraph and selecting “Create Comment” from the pop-up menu that will appear once something has been highlighted. The user can then type out their comment in the panel to the right of the interface along with a subject. Each comment that is submitted to the page is logged as a separate “conversation” and becomes its own discussion area where other users can reply to comment that was created. When there are multiple users viewing the same document, this feature can prove very handy for narrowing down areas of the page where you might have had difficulty in, and receiving direct, valuable input from your invited group members. You are also able to filter through conversations to quickly find comments that might be currently in discussion. They also separate the conversation by “open” and “closed” to help organize comments that have be discussed already. Even though it is a group oriented applications, I thought it would’ve been nice to have the ability to highlight and comment on your own page, without inviting people.
You are able to download each of your writing pages as a Word document as well as, adversely, upload Word documents to be used in Coventi. They offer Review Options such as setting a review deadline, or asking for approval on a page. Setting a deadline is as simple as choosing the exact time you’d like your collaborators to have their reviews in by, attached with any necessary comments. Asking for approval of a page works similarly. Once you feel that you’ve finalized your draft, you can send out an approval notification to receive confirmation on your work by fellow collaborators. After getting the notification email, each user will then be able to view the page and then check off whether or not they believe it is ready or if it still needs further revisions. After each user submits their approval, all authors and the owner will be sent an email reporting their confirmation. Owners of a page are able to withdraw an approval request, if necessary. Owners, authors, and reviewers also are given the option to have any page updates email to them to keep them up-to-date with the progress of the page.
I enjoy Coventi and I plan on trying and use it for some of my future writing en devours. It functions very nicely and has some of the features that we all wished our Writeboards would have. The only picky thing I can say about Coventi, being that I’m a designer, is the design of the interface. While there is nothing exceedingly wrong with how it was laid out, I think they could have made the top navigation, main tabs, and button areas less busy. I like how the interface options and selections work, but spacing out some things couldn’t hurt to help clarify things. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t hinder anyone from trying out Coventi and what it has to offer. I’m always looking for new innovating ideas from writing applications and Coventi helped fulfilled some of mine.