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PBwiki is now PBworks

27 Apr

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.

picture-23

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

See David Weekly at the SDForum Cloud Computing Conference

30 Sep

Are you a cloud computing user?  If you use PBwiki, you are.

Not only is PBwiki a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, but we also run significant portions of our infrastructure “in the cloud.”

If you’re interested in cloud computing, or in how PBwiki uses cloud computing to lower its costs and deliver better service, check out David’s panel at 10 AM on Wednesday, October 1.

While you’re there, you should probably check out the rest of the conference as well.  Here’s how SDForum describes it:

The burgeoning availability of computing resources “in the cloud”, while still something that’s only being utilized by early adopters and for small projects, is going to transform software development as much as any of the revolutions mentioned above.

Join SDForum as we present our first-ever Cloud Computing conference. This daylong event will address the issues and controversies surrounding cloud computing help you to understand the technologies and risks involved, and enable you to figure out what, exactly, your company should do to take advantage of the ongoing revolution.

Click here for more information about the conference.

Click here to register for the conference.

Post Your PBwiki In The New Public PBwiki Directory

1 Jul

Paparazzi

Are you ready for your closeup?

Our new Public PBwiki Directory (www.publicpbwikis.com) lets folks find examples of public PBwikis in all categories.  For example, here’s a list of public PBwikis that are official PBwiki resources.

It’s completely voluntary (you don’t have to submit your site if you don’t want to), but if you’re proud of the work you’ve done, and want to share your PBwiki with the world, submit your link now.

Congratulations to our 500,000 wikis contest winners!

4 Jun

A hearty PBwiki congratulations goes out to the winners of our 500,000 wikis contest.  Each of these winners will be receiving a lifetime upgrade for their wiki that includes all of our premium features features like single sign-on, IP whitelisting, and PBwiki’s famous automated design customizer (just upload your logo, and let PBwiki redesign your wiki to match it).

The lucky winners are:

Samantha, a teacher in the Washington Township School District, created wiki number 499,999 (renaissanceleaders.pbworks.com).

Mara created wiki number 500,001, the DI (Differentiating Instruction) Resources Wiki, which you can visit at http://diresources.pbworks.com.  “This is a space for educators to gather, share, and reflect upon web-based resources for differentiating instruction.”

And finally, congratulations to Dr. Carl Binder of SixBoxes.com, who created wiki number 500,000 (sixboxes.pbworks.com).  “This wiki is a place to collect what we know and what we are learning about the Six Boxes Approach, and how we plan to learn and develop more.”

Congratulations again to our winners, and thanks to everyone who helped us reach the 500,000 wiki mark!

Sign up before June 1 for a chance at a free lifetime wiki upgrade

14 May

Birthday Cake

(Photo courtesy of PinkCakeBox and Flickr.)

PBwiki’s 3rd birthday is coming up on May 31, and to celebrate that happy day, as well as PBwiki hitting the 500,000 wiki mark, we’re giving away free lifetime upgrades to wikis 499,999, 500,000, and 500,001.  Click here for the full announcement.

We’ll be announcing the three lucky winners on June 4.  They’ll be receiving lifetime upgrades with all the bells and whistles.  Tell your friends!

UPDATE: Congratulations to our lucky winners!

Terms of Service: We Got Your Back

5 Mar

When I was putting together PBwiki’s Terms of Service a few years ago, I spent extra time with our lawyers to make sure that it was as pro-user as possible. The first few versions I got back weren’t good enough and I pressed them to make it shorter, simpler, and to put more rights in the hands of users. I eventually ended up with something I felt good about. Something that made it clear that we weren’t going try and take ownership of user’s content and that we took their privacy seriously.

That hard work has been paying off, with many enterprise customers praising our confidentiality clause for private wikis and our lack of authoritarian clauses. Today, Joshua Greenbaum at ZDNet published an article called Making Web 2.0 Safe for the Enterprise: TOS à la PBwiki that did a great job showing how important terms are for an enterprise service. So hurrah! We’ve got your back. 🙂

David E. Weekly
Founder & CEO

PBwiki = paintball wiki

7 Aug

The PBwiki team is Colorado for our annual offsite this week, and on top of a bunch of regular work we’re doing a couple of great activities — here’s some photos from our paintball session this morning.

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