PBwiki is now PBworks

The beginning

Back in early 2005, I was helping a number of folks out by setting up private wiki installations on my servers. I got tired of setting each wiki up by hand and had a vision for a simple wiki service that people could set up themselves. In fact, I’d make it as easy to make a wiki as making a peanut butter sandwich. So at 1:00 AM on May 29, 2005, I registered PBwiki.com. By 8am, I had my first users testing the service, and within 48 hours over 1,000 groups were trying the service out.

Since then, the company has grown from just me to a staff of 29. We received venture capital financing, hired a professional CEO, and totally rewrote and improved the service and interface to be a powerful but approachable collaboration tool for individuals, groups, non-profits, educators, and corporations all around the world. Now we have some 3,000,000 users a month on well over 800,000 workspaces.

Why we’re changing our name

The product has evolved well beyond the definition of a ‘wiki’. What we have now is not just some user-friendly generic wiki; it’s an increasingly full-featured hosted collaboration environment, used by tens of thousands of companies around the world to get their work done. It became clear that ‘wiki’ was caging us in.

We went through a lot of different possible names, some of them dramatically different (Viscade) and some of them adorable but too long (Accordiance) and ones evocative of the wild west (Collabero). But we kept on coming back to the warm fuzzies that PBwiki seemed to give folks and the enthusiastic community built around PBwiki. While we knew we needed to drop ‘wiki’, we ultimately couldn’t find it in ourselves to get rid of the ‘PB’.

Introducing PBworks

After months of deliberation and consideration, we’re proud to introduce PBworks. All of your existing wikis have been magically ported over to PBworks.com thanks to the diligent work of our engineering team. Some things will change, like your URL, but the service still works and costs just the same. You can check out our FAQ on the renaming for more details about how your PBwiki will change.

Thanks for your support

We’re glad to have you with us as we go through this development. As I’ve remarked to many friends, it’s been a joy to watch my company grow and mature from a project I put together in a weekend into a real professional enterprise Software-as-a-Service offering, one akin to watching a child grow up, take its first steps, make its first friends, and go to school.

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For those of you curious what that first version of PBwiki looked like, here’s the first version’s front page, thanks to the magic of The Internet Archive.

Much Love & Collaboration,
David E. Weekly
Founder & Chairman, PBworks

Published by David Weekly

I like starting things. I founded PBworks (originally PBwiki) and am the cofounder of SuperHappyDevHouse and Hacker Dojo. I advise a dozen startups and am a mentor for Founders Institute, i/o Ventures, and Women 2.0.

15 thoughts on “PBwiki is now PBworks

  1. Congrats on the great new name!

    I have a question, the backup service for free account has gone in the pbworks?

    And, approximately when the read-only mode will turn into a full mode?

  2. pbworks… It works! So do your wikis. We love the workflow and collaboration tools, as well as the searchability, findability and usability. Great places and spaces to build a knowledge repository. Just when we think we need another feature… it appears! Your tech support is unbelievable. And friendly. And prompt. We feel pb pampered! Thanks and good luck with the new name.

  3. Hello, congratulations and all the best with new company name. Methinks, PBworks name is a good choice. BTW: based on big changes you guys are doing all the time – can you please estimate any date when can we expect a nested folders feature? Is it already scheduled?

  4. I like it, am glad you kept the pb. Although I don’t like pb&j, my choice is peanut butter and syrup. Anyway, hope this change won’t effect anyone who just wants to have a free and easy site, especially with Geocities shutting down later this year. Also, I’d like it if the source editor was improved to put sound on pages via html like it was in 1.0. I have some accessibility issues with the new editor and one of the problems is being unable to click the right thing to get a sound from a google gadget to play on the page. Otherwise, nice job, and I think PBWorks, works. It’ll be an easier url to remember and tell others about.

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