November 24, 2006

PBWiki rich text editor preview


  PBWiki rich text editor preview 
  Originally uploaded by factoryjoe.

PBWiki, the free online service which gives you websites and webpages anyone or anyone you choose can edit, are perhaps about to launch a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) page editor. This means that you get the great looking PBWiki pages (far nicer than those on Wikispaces) with the ease of clicking 'B' for bold and 'I' for italic etc. etc.

Great news as we start to rationalise our wikis in East Lothian. I'd have much preferred using PBWiki as our 'recommended' service but the current interface has been just a bit too technical for most digital immigrants. Now it looks like we might be able to take the jump.

Now, for me, PBWiki is in competition education-wise with SocialText. SocialText's Ross Mayfield announced that they had partnered with Microsoft's Sharepoint, the mechanism behind Glow, Scotland's forthcoming national intranet. VoilĂ  'SocialPoint' - there's more in IT Conversations' Podcast. This, in turn, implies that incorporating an authority wiki system with SocialPoint as its basis might be easier and slinkier than trying to incorporate a PBWiki as an outside web page in a 'Web Part'. All a bit technical - sorry - but interesting for those considering wiki integration with Glow. Thing is, I like the look of PBWiki. is it only a matter of time for SocialPoint to pretty herself up a little? Looking forward to trying to nab Ross at Online Info or LeWeb3 in coming weeks.

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I like the sound of this, Ewan! I'm a long way from being a Microsoft apologist but there's a lot more to Sharepoint than the anti-Microsoft bores would have us believe. The web-part technology is the route to some real flexibility around the future configurability of Glow. Developments such as this are just the beginning.

Hi Ewan,

I wonder if you might share some more detail on what you found lacking in our editor over at Wikispaces? We'd be interested to hear your thoughts, please feel free to drop us a note at help@wikispaces.com.

Thanks,
James

Hi Ewan!

Just had a look at pbwiki and must say that I did not see what they had more than wikispaces.
I have been using wikispaces for a few months now, and for educators they offer free options, like choose who can edit the pages, and add free service, which does not seems to be the case on pbwiki.
I think that wikispaces has a lot going for educators.
Have you seen their floating tool bar - great feature - they also have the bold/italic/underlined features.

I think what I like most about PBWiki is its design - that's about it. Wikispaces has served me well and has been the basis for many of my projects, particularly those in East Lothian and the Scotedublogs wiki. If Wikispaces could make it easier to integrate small menus, text boxes and so on - to encourage some real design control for the user which doesn't need tonnes of code - then I wouldn't give two minutes more to PB.

At the end of the day, Socialtext might be the most viable option for schools for the reasons I've given, despite the distinct effort from Wikispaces to get teachers using their tech.

I now feel very shallow for picking on design solely, but it's important for users like me - and for kids.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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