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Automated Amazon S3 Backup Is Going Premium

2 Jul

As of July 3, 2014, the automated Amazon S3 backup will become a premium feature.  This means that it will be a separate add-on line item in your PBworks paid subscription.

Don’t worry, if you are currently using this feature to back up your PBworks network to your corporate S3 account, we will grandfather in a free license to this feature through the end of your current paid subscription.

Security Announcement: PBworks is safe from “Heartbleed”

10 Apr

As you may have heard, many websites and services have a major security issue named “Heartbleed”

The short answer is that your information is safe, PBworks is not affected, and you do not need to take any actions (e.g. changing passwords).

If you are interested in the details, you can read on.

A major security bug, nicknamed  “Heartbleed” was reported in the OpenSSL security cipher suite.   OpenSSL is an open source library used by over 3/4ths of all web services, and it is used to protect the privacy of data transmitted over the internet.

Actions PBworks has taken

Within hours of the report of the bug, we performed a security vulnerability assessment of our system, and found that the version of OpenSSL used by our system is not vulnerable to this exploit.

What do you need to do?

At this time, you do not need to take any action.   Your login, data, and passwords are safe, and have not been compromised.

What PBworks will continue to do

We believe that the security and integrity of your data is of the highest priority.   We are taking further precautions to make sure that your data is safe on our service.  We have also updated all our systems with the latest available security patches to the software and operating systems, and will continue to perform daily security audits.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact Support or your account representative.

PBworks Phasing Out IE8 Support Starting 1/31/2014

22 Oct

In March 2009, Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer 8.  At the time, the browser was state of the art.  Today, over 4.5 years later, IE8 is looking dated, and the usage numbers reflect it.

In the broad market, IE8 now has less than 10% market share, and we see a similar proportion in our own statistics.  Meanwhile, Google Apps dropped support for IE8 in November of *2012* and Google Analytics is dropping support by the end of 2013.

Therefore, we plan to end official support for PBworks on IE8 on January 31, 2014 (we’re giving you an extra month in comparison to Google).  This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to use IE8 to access the service, but it does mean that we will stop testing to ensure full compatibility.  This will enable us to maintain and improve the service more efficiently.

If corporate policy requires you to use IE8, please contact your PBworks account representative.

What do you do when a giant encroaches on your territory?

18 Sep

This week, Box held its annual conference, BoxWorks 13.  The online storage leader made two big announcements about products it intends to launch in 2014.

Box Notes are editable web pages, which users can write, edit, comment on, and embed content within.  Sound familiar?

Box also announced that it will be adding metadata to files, so that users can attach structured data to those files.  Again, sound familiar?

Both of these 2014 initiatives are available to PBworks users today.  In fact, they’re even part of our free business product.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen giants encroach on our territory.  Back in 2008, Google unveiled Google Sites, their free wiki product, aimed squarely at the wiki hosting market, and companies like PBwiki (which was our old corporate name).

So what do you do if you’re a startup that’s facing a challenge from a giant company that has millions or even billions of dollars to spend?

The answer is to play to your strengths, and keep innovating.

In 2008, we shifted from simple hosted wikis to a broader collaboration suite.  Today, we have the broadest suite on the market, with project management, file sharing, management reporting, and social, in addition to wiki-style collaboration.  As a result, we can deliver an integrated solution that our key customers use to make thousands or tens of thousands of employees worldwide more productive.

Meanwhile, we host more wikis than ever.  The attention Google brought to the market helped generate more interest than before.

We introduced file and page properties (asset-level metadata) earlier this year.  Since then, we’ve released our reporting tools, as well as a visual approach to managing workspaces.

By the time 2014 rolls around, we’ll have released several more key features that are pushing the boundaries of the collaboration space.

Giants are powerful, but their size slows them down.  When they encroach, use your nimbleness to keep innovating.

Why We’re Letting Accelerators Give PBworks Away

19 Jun

This morning, we announced our “PBworks for Startups” program.  We’re working together with five different startup accelerators, TechStars, 500 Startups, Acceleprise, DreamIt, and Lemnos Labs, to offer PBworks Starter Pack licenses (normally $1,995 per year) free to any of their portfolio companies.

While giving away premium licenses may seem like it contradicts the principles of the freemium business model, we believe that it actually represents a more highly-targeted version of freemium, and that it will help us make money.

At its heart, the mechanics of the freemium business model are that you provide a version of your service for free, and then make money when the free users encounter the limits of the free product, and decide to upgrade.  Its benefits are that it generates greater awareness of your product and lets you demonstrate your value to potential customers before hitting them up for money.

PBworks for Startups is simply a highly-targeted, high-value version of this model.  Our general freemium product features limits on users, storage, and the number of workspaces.  Most of our upgrades come from people who encounter the storage or workspace limits, after they’ve been using our product for a while.

PBworks for Startups offers 100 GB of storage and unlimited workspaces; the only limitation is the 20-user limit.  So why does it work?

The program works because it targets a very narrow market for whom the user limit is critical: High-growth startups.  Startups may start in a garage, but when the growth hits, it hits with a vengeance (along with large amounts of venture capital, and, hopefully, revenues).  If a startup adopts PBworks when it is in the proverbial garage, it is likely to want to keep using PBworks as it grows.  The easiest way to win the next Facebook as a customer is to get Facebook to adopt you when it is still in its corporate infancy.

We’ve targeted startup accelerators because they provide a convenient, high-volume channel for reaching this kind of startup.  500 Startups, for example, has 450 portfolio companies–far more than a typical venture capital firm.  But the guiding principle is simply to plant seeds at high-growth startups.  We’re certainly willing to work with VC firms, law firms, or other partners who can help us reach the next Facebook.

So if you think you can help us plant the seeds of PBworks at the next Facebook, apply to join the PBworks for Startups program.  Simply email us at accelerators at pbworks dot com.

PBworks Spring Cleaning: Reclaiming idle workspaces May 15

29 Mar

This May, PBworks celebrates its 8th birthday.  We have thousands and thousands of workspaces dating back to 2005, many of which have lain idle for years.  The problem with these idle workspaces is that they take up a lot of valuable URLs without doing either us (PBworks) or their creators any good.

That’s why PBworks is doing a little spring cleaning to prepare for our birthday.  On May 15, 2013, we are going to reclaim any workspaces that haven’t been changed (page edited, comment made, file uploaded) since May 15, 2012.  In other words, if a workspace has been inactive for more than a year, we’re considering it abandoned, and will reclaim it and delete the data.

Reclaiming these idle workspaces will free up thousands of potentially useful URLs for people who will actually put them to use.  This won’t affect our paying customers (though we’ve checked–no one who is paying us has left their workspace/network idle for an entire year!) or anyone who has actually used PBworks since the middle of 2012.

If you have any old workspaces you’d like to keep, all you have to do is log in to them!  We’ll know you’re still getting value from them, and they won’t be reclaimed.  We’ll also post warnings on your workspaces prior to the reclamation date, so if you don’t see any warnings, your workspace is safe.

Printing Workspace Pages

25 Oct

We recently discovered an issue with the software package we use to create printable PDFs from your workspace pages.  We’re looking for a suitable replacement.

In the meantime, you can still print your workspace pages.  Instead of using a PDF, you can select “Printable Version” and we’ll provide an easily printed web page.  If you still need a PDF, many web browsers, like Google Chrome, now offer the option to print to a PDF file, or installed software on your own computer can also generate a PDF through the printer interface.

Once we’ve found, tested, and implemented a suitable replacement (a process which we believe will take a number of weeks) we will switch back to providing printable PDFs.  We apologize for any inconvenience in the interim.

Introducing the New Legal Hub

27 Aug

For the past few years, law firms of all sizes, ranging from solo practitioners to AmLaw 100 members have used PBworks Legal Hub for internal, client, and partner collaboration.  Legal Hub gave law firms all of PBworks’ standard collaboration tools (wikis, file sharing, project management, social software) with the additional legal functionality of server-side encryption and a complete audit trail to ensure the privacy and security of confidential information.

Now we’re adding new legal-specific functionality to help litigators by providing online case binders.  As litigators prepare for their courtroom appearances, they can use Legal Hub to store and coordinate all the key documents and filings, including motions, pleadings, and expert witness testimony:

Legal Hub even applies Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to uploaded images of court documents, indexing these previously unsearchable files and making them part of Legal Hub’s search engine.

If you’re at the ILTA conference this week, contact our sales team at sales@pbworks.com, and we’ll be happy to arrange an in-person demo.  You can read the full press release here.

30 Minute Maintenance Window, Midnight Pacific Time, Saturday May 19

16 May

On the morning of Saturday, May 19, PBworks will be down for maintenance from midnight to 12:30 AM Pacific Time (3 AM Eastern/7 AM UTC/8 AM BST).  During this time, the PBworks service will be offline; you won’t be able to log in, nor will you be able to access your site.

During these 30 minutes, we’ll be upgrading our infrastructure to better support our customers.  We’ve tried to select a time when as few people as possible will be impacted.  Once the maintenance is complete, you will be able to return to using the service as you normally do.

Thanks for being a PBworks user, and for your patience throughout this process.

Publish PBworks Pages As Printable PDFs

28 Dec

One of the most popular feature requests we’ve received over the years is the ability to convert a PBworks wiki page into a PDF.

One of the most common complaints we’ve received over the years is that the printable version of a PBworks wiki page doesn’t look that much like the on-screen version.

Today, we killed two birds with one stone by releasing the ability to convert any PBworks wiki page into a printable PDF.  This replaces the old “Printable version” with a more attractive PDF, which you can either print or download and share.

The “PDF version” is available at the bottom of every page, and to every PBworks user, paid or free.

Thanks for your suggestions, and helping us make PBworks an even better service!

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