Remember that Wiki Collaboration Software Jotspot which Google acquired in 2006? Finally Google has resurrected and renamed the collaboration tool into Google sites, Google’s own take on the team website building business.
Google Sites, which will be part of Google Apps, uses Jotspot’s technology for creating team websites. It allows users comprising a team to centralize all types of information, be it videos, presentation slides, photos, calendars and attachments under one collaboratively built website.
Websites built using on Google Sites gives the users full control of who can view the site as well as who can edit it. Users can invite co-workers, classmates or an entire organization to update the site.
Google Site is a scaled down version of rival Microsoft’s Sharepoint collaboration software. But unlike Sharepoint where users will have to buy hardware and software at costly terms, Google Sites eliminates that by offering a free service under Google Apps.
The only lowdown with Google Sites is that it is hosted on Google computers. So conservative organizations might hesitate to use it for their company websites, team projects and other collaboration activities.
But for those who don’t mind having their content hosted on Google, then Google Sites is definitely a better alternative to the more expensive Microsoft Sharepoint.
Another similar collaborative suite that comes into my mind is Lotus Notes. But of course, Lotus is designed for larger companies who requires more robusts and highly secure software to handle their corporate sites.