Twiddla: Team Whiteboarding Done Right

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Twiddla, which crossed my radar just yesterday as the winner of the Technical Achievement award at SXSW (see full list here), is a new team whiteboarding site that, in their words, offers a “no-setup, web-based meeting playground”. By offering a really neat AJAX-based experience, the site lets teams collaborate online with a real-time, interactive whiteboard.

To start, users can sign up or use the service as in guest mode. Additionally, there’s a public sandbox for all drifters featuring ever-changing public art work in real time. For real life team-use, the way the service works is that one person can start a session, label it as private or public, and invite all the collaborators. It’s then up to everyone in the session to twiddle all they want.

Twiddla offers a bunch of really neat tools in the white-boarding stages that undoubtedly resulted in its position as the technical award winner. Users can draw freehand, create shapes, add text, media (via upload), and even chats. We’ve seen collaborative drawing tools before, but I can bet there’s nothing like Twiddla. In a real life team situation I tried with a friend of mine, it worked out seamlessly.

With a tool like Twiddla, it’d be too cliche to say “team whiteboarding done right,” but it holds true — so I’ll say it anyway. The tool rocks! In various cross-continental “brainstorm chats” I have been in, a tool like Twiddla is what we’ve always looked for and almost always ended up using 37signals’ Writeboard or Google Docs — text-only collaborating alternatives to the real deal. Hopefully after finding out about Twiddla, I needn’t look for another tool or having to put up with that ever again.


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