Archive | March, 2009

Star important pages and receive personalized notifications

31 Mar

Our new feature, Starred Pages, makes it super simple to bookmark the pages that matter most to you and quickly navigate to them.

If you have a large wiki with hundreds of pages, you probably work on only few of these pages but you receive notifications about all the changes on every page.

Now you can bookmark the pages that matter most to you and create a personal folder of just starred pages.

Personalized Notifications (Premium Feature)
Starred Pages goes beyond simply providing a convenient bookmark. Now premium users can chose to receive selective notifications about just those starred pages. Before, you could only turn workspace notifications on or off. Now you can choose between four different levels:

1. No notifications for this workspace
2. Only notify me about changes to Starred Pages
3. Only notify me about changes to Starred Pages and newly added items (new pages and files)
4. Notify me about all changes to this workspace

Click the star, to bookmark a page
starred-pages

View your starred pages on The Navigator
starredpages2

Or view all starred pages on your personal dashboard
personal-pages

Set notification preferences (Premium Feature)
preferences

We’re really excited about this new feature and so are the people already using it!

“Personalized notifications!!! You guys listened to us! Woohoo! thank you, thank you, thank you. Our IT documentation will benefit from this greatly”. -Elias P.

For more details about how to use Starred Pages and Granular Notifications, check out our user manual.

New Feature: Easily share pages and update your team

31 Mar

Today collaborating on your wiki became that much easier!

We’re excited to introduce the new “Send a link” feature. This feature lets you tell other members of your team that you’ve updated the workspace, and ask them to review, comment, or edit the page.

Before when you wanted to share work with your team, you had to wait for them to receive wiki notifications. If you wanted immediate feedback on your work, you had to copy the URL and paste it into an email. (What a waste of time!)

Now use the “Send a link” feature to immediately share your work and ask for feedback. Here’s how:

When you’re done updating the page, click ‘send a link’
worknotify

Add a short explanation and send to any member of the wiki.
notify2

The “Send a link” feature makes it easy to collaborate on specific pages and share page drafts between your team.

How will you use this feature? Tell us in the comments!

New Feature – Navigate and organize your wiki

31 Mar

When we created PBwiki 2.0 one of the most important new features was the addition of folders. Folders allowed you to create specific sections on your wiki to organize pages and navigate to other pages in that folder.

We heard from many of you that folders were great, but you wanted an easier way to access content from other folders or even pages that weren’t in folders.

We heard you! Today we’re excited to introduce The Navigator, a new way view the pages and files of any folder and quickly jump to a specific page. The Navigator also gives you a quick way to locate your Starred Pages.

View all of your folders and starred pages
navigator

Click on the folder to view all pages and files
nav2

The Navigator will make it much easier to find all the pages and files on your wiki. Here’s what our Alpha Team users have to say:

“The Navigator is a great feature! I will definitely use it in my wikis, because it adds order, speed and convenience to seeing where things are.” – Larry B

For more details on how to use The Navigator, check out our user manual.

Huge Release – Four brand new features to organize and share

31 Mar

As a wiki grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to find and track the pages and files that matter most to you. For the last several months, we’ve been researching and designing a new way to organize and share information on your wiki.

Starred pages- Bookmark all important wiki pages and create a personal list of information that is important to you.

Selective Notifications- Tailor notifications to monitor only your starred pages. Stay up to date, automatically and avoid notification overload.

Navigator- Quickly navigate to any folder, and browse all pages on your wiki. The Navigator also gives you a quick way to view your Starred Pages.

Send a link- Tell other members of your team that you’ve updated the workspace, or to call them to review, comment, or edit the page.

We’ve already heard some awesome feedback about these features:

“Notification is the killer feature in this update. The idea that I can create/modify a page, then proactively notify all team members (or specific ones) that they have an action to perform is a great time-saver. We use PBwiki to manage workflow, and this make it a much more valuable tool.”

What do you think about this release? We’d love to hear from you!

A business perspective on the evolution of PBwiki

24 Mar

Gil Yehuda, the Enterprise 2.0 industry analyst (formerly of Forrester Research), has a great post up about his perspective on how PBwiki has evolved over time.

Here within PBHQ, it’s easy for us to forget what the changes to PBwiki look like to the outside world.  New features like the Mobile Edition seem like old hat to us, since we’ve been talking about them for so long.

That’s when an outside perspective like Gil’s is valuable for us.  While we love the feedback we get from you, our valued users, the fact is, you’re biased.  You use PBwiki, so you probably like the product and us.

Someone like Gil, who covers the whole industry and speaks with alternate companies and their customers is much better positioned to judge PBwiki objectively.

Here’s what Gil had to say:

I have been watching as PBwiki adds more business-focused features and services.  One important feature was the inclusion of lightweight document management features. You can upload, share, and download files (document, images, etc.) with others.  The document management features are not too fancy, but they are good enough for most.  When I first saw these features, I thought of the way most people use SharePoint as a simple document management server with some lightweight page markup capabilities.  In reality, SharePoint provides a powerful platform that includes much more than document management.  But most companies I have spoken with don’t use a small fraction of SharePoint’s features.  For many, SharePoint gives them more than they will use, but less than they need.  And this begs the question – would you be better served with a hosted wiki that provides simple document management?  If you are like many who just use SharePoint for doc management and page markup, but you need to collaborate with partners outside your firewall, then PBwiki becomes quite interesting.

Then PBwiki added a 24/7 end user support service.  For just a few bucks more per user, you can get the assurance of online support, anytime.  I don’t know how many of their business customers use the support feature, but I’m sure they all like the message that PBwiki is sending by offering this service.  Business Wikis are about business – and PBwiki gets it.

And now to this week’s announcement: You can take the wiki with you on your mobile device.   Although you don’t get full editing  capabilities on the mobile device, you can read wiki pages, search for content, create new pages,  and add comments to existing pages.  And there’s no fancy URL to remember since PBwiki’s servers detect if you are using an iPhone or BlackBerry and provide you an experienced optimized for your device automatically.  This is critical for those business needs that arise when you are not at your computer.  Like when you are in a meeting, with a client, a patient, or vendor.  On the road, working from home, or on the shop floor.  Information availability is critical to agile businesses.

I had a chance to speak with a very satisfied PBwiki customer, an investment holding company that is involved in a bunch of businesses — ranging from aerospace engineering, personnel services, telecommunications, casinos, real estate, you name it.  Each business manages their own affairs and technology infrastructure, but the central businesses group collaborates with each of the satellite businesses.  The central group is relatively small, and they have no need to spend lots of money on technology infrastructure.  but they do need the flexibility to work with their contacts in each of their affiliates.

There are many business with similar profiles — like PR agencies who interface with multiple customers.  I spoke with one who expressed the same pattern of need.  They need an easy to use, SaaS based, secure platform to co-create and share documents with many partners.  They know that email is the wrong tool for fluid collaboration. And they want to keep things simple and cheap.  They can handle monthly per-user charges, since they operate that way with other vendors too.

PBwiki provides a compelling option for these Enterprise Wiki buyers.  I don’t believe they are the best option for everyone – sorry, but no one offers that silver bullet yet.  But I do believe they should be on your short-list if you are looking for hosted wiki solutions.

(click here to read Gil’s entire post)

In the end, it’s easy to get caught up in the individual releases and updates.  We live in an attention-deficit world, and it’s just as tempting for companies to try to “win” the news cycle as it is for politicians.  But it’s the big picture that matters in the end.

The Final Showdown

23 Mar

Some of our frequent blog readers will recall the PBwiki Biggest Loser Challenge. During this challenge PBwiki employees learned a lot about themselves. We learned how great it felt to eat right, work out, and lose weight. We also learned how fiercely competitive the team is here in the office! Trash talking, sabotage attempts through delicious baked goods, and mind games.

It’s been a few months, and sadly some of the weight has crept back on. Without the push of the challenge, we’re not quite as tempted to hit the gym, avoid PBwiki cupcake treats or stay away from the delicious caloric beverages in the PBwiki fridge. That being said, PBwiki’s VP of Marketing, Chris Yeh, and yours truly have decided to start up our own weight loss challenge – the Final Showdown.

You can track our progress on our weight loss wiki, read our blogs posts about this adventure here, or you can contribute to the winnings and help raise the stakes. Don’t forget to vote on the wiki for your favorite pick for winner!

Starting today at 9am, it’s on!

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New Feature: PBwiki Has Spellcheck!

18 Mar

Yes it’s been a long time coming but today we’re thrilled to announce — PBwiki now comes with spell check!

To double check your spelling, click on the spell check icon in your toolbar (beside the plugin icon). All misspelled words will be underlined with a dotted red line. Right click on the word to view suggested spellings.

spellcheck1

We love feedback, let us know what you think!

PBwiki Mobile Edition for iPhone and Blackberry

17 Mar

Ever needed to access your PBwiki using an iPhone or Blackberry? Now you can, with PBwiki Mobile Edition.

PBwiki Mobile Edition automatically recognizes when you’re using a smartphone to access your PBwiki, and serves up a blazingly fast mobile-optimized interface. We’ve stripped out everything that’s extraneous to minimize load times and maximize the content you see.

And PBwiki Mobile Edition is available free of charge to our Professional and Professional Plus customers.

With Mobile Edition, you can:

  • Search your PBwiki (including uploaded files) to answer a question
  • Access policies/procedures/manuals
  • Download files to send via mobile email
  • Keep up with your team’s activities via notifications and recent changes
  • Provide instant feedback via comment
  • Record thoughts via comment or new page

Here’s what InformationWeek had to say about PBwiki Mobile Edition:

“The mobile device is a logical extension for collaboration tools, particularly given today’s fractured work environment, where contributors may be on the road more than in an office. With the digital tether of the iPhone or Blackberry, road warriors can satisfy the urge to check in on a project, make comments and keep the ball rolling.”

To try out PBwiki Mobile Edition, just visit your PBwiki using your iPhone or Blackberry (if you’re on a Professional plan) or check out our sample wiki at http://mobileedition.pbworks.com.

While we only officially support the iPhone and Blackberry, other smartphones will probably work.  Begin your Android lobbying now!

New Feature: Display the same content on multiple pages

16 Mar

Do you have content on your wiki that needs to be displayed consistently on multiple pages? We have build the ultimate plugin for you! It’s called ‘Include another Page’ and it’s available in your plugin menu under PBwiki Magic.

This plugin lets you embed the content from one wiki page onto another wiki page and lock it in place.

Here’s an example:

Your company has several key guidelines that must be followed for all projects. Instead of trying to remember these guidelines or search around to locate them, just post them to a wiki page.

For your next project, include your guidelines page on the project planning page so you make sure to follow them.

Here’s how:

Create the content you want displayed across multiple apges: From our examples you would post your guidelines and hit save.

untitled

Include the content from one page on a different page
: Use the plugin ‘ Include another page’ to display the information from your guidelines page. Plugin –> PBwiki magic –> Include another page

include-plugin

Display your content across multiple pages:Hit save and view the content from your guidelines page on your project planning page.

Included

Instead of manually inserting the content on each page, which can lead to errors if the content ever needs to be changed, this plugin takes the content of a page and instantly inserts it into your wiki.

The included content is locked, you are not able to edit content that is pulled from another page. If you want to change the content across all pages, simply edit the information on the first page – in our example, the guidelines page.

Head to our manual to learn more information about the new ‘Include Another Page’ plugin, and all the other plugins available for your wiki.

PBwiki in the news: Week of 3/9/2009

13 Mar

(Image courtesy of Leslie Duss)

Another busy week of PBwiki in the news, including the New York Times, local TV news, and of all things, how PBwiki helped reduce crime in one city by 25%!

The Static Document Model Is Dying–RIP .doc, .xls, and .ppt (TechCrunchIT, 3/9/2009)

  • In which I opine on the role of PBwiki in tying together the disparate components of the enterprise.

In Hard Times, Freelancers Turn to the Web (New York Times, 3/12/2009)

  • Ever wonder about the great support you get from PBwiki?  In this article, Support and Services supremo Rachel Pennig talks about using oDesk to manage her team.

It’s All About Wikis (News9 Oklahoma, 3/12/2009)

  • In case you ever wondered what a local television news story on PBwiki would look like.  Stay classy, Oklahoma.

Crime reduced in major cities through prayer-walking (Examiner.com, 3/13/2009)

  • I’m not sure PBwiki can take sole credit for the 25% reduction in violent crime in Chico, CA, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt!
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