Google today relaunched their hosted wikis acquisition JotSpot with a play on making it easier for teams, schools, and workplaces to create sites for themselves. Google Sites puts up three compelling offers for the user: “anyone can do it,” “one stop sharing,” and “work-together” — a bunch of words that go almost single-handedly with Google Apps itself.
Unfortunately, I’m not equipped with the appropriate account to use the service so I was unable to try it, but working examples of the “Sites” can be seen here, here, and here. The service, a free product, supposedly doesn’t look or feel anything like its predecesser JotSpot, though the core ideas remain in both. There is 10GB limit to free users on data hosting and there is also a premier edition available with includes the regular Google jazz.
A “site,” which is essentially a wiki, can be kept private or public and users can choose between a range of templates — though they cannot customize them yet. Obviously, there a number of integration points with other Google Apps like Google Calendar, and for a team which uses Google Apps to run other parts of their business, the service is an an instrumental addition to the set.
It’s been a long time since Google’s JotSpot acqusition from back in October 2006, but there’s no doubt a lot of thought has been put in since as to where to take the product in the Googlo’sphere. Google Sites is a compelling offer for most, but I think they could have made it much more accessible and general by not limiting it just to groups. That said, this could only be the first step in that direction. See TechCrunch for extensive coverage on the launch.