Writely – Process Words with your Browser

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Company: Writely
Launched: August 2005
Location: California


Imagine Word, but as an ajax browser application that was free. And allowed tagging of documents. And you could set reader permissions for each document you create and allow others to edit the document, or just read it. That’s what Writely is.

Brian Benzinger at Solution Watch pointed it out to me this evening during a long Google Talk chat. It is a very functional word processor with most of the bells and whistles you’d expect – a range of fonts and styles, embedded images (up to 2 megs each), spell checker, etc. It has a fantastic wysiwyg editor. It also has an option to upload and/or save in Word format.

So the Writely guys and gals built the core feature set with an ajax UI, and then they went a step further and added some cool web 2.0 stuff. In addition to naming a document, you can allow others to edit it, or allow them read-only status. Documents can also be tagged for easy searches later – a nice touch. Writely is also completely free during its beta stage.

In many ways, this is a wiki with a nice wysiwyg front end (I keep thinking of wikiwyg), plus the ability to set permissions.

However, it is also more than that

Writely is a highly specialized niche application built with ajax. Ajax allows this (and other applications) to act very much like desktop apps. Stuff like this must get Microsoft’s attention…How long will it be before a full suite of platform-independent ajax-enabled office applications becomes available? If all you need is a browser to open and edit these documents, the huge network effect enjoyed by Microsoft Office could simply vanish.

For more information on Writely, see their blog here and Shadows in Motion.

  • http://datacenterjunkie.com/ Michael T. Halligan

    Every time TechCrunch writes about Twitter, an angel gets it’s wings?

  • Steve Gillmor

    Every time a commenter uses it’s when it doesn’t mean it is, an angel loses one of its wings?

  • http://blog.echovar.com Cliff Gerrish

    You’ve pulled all the threads together nicely. I’d love to see someone take the tinyURL piece and make that work with a Twitter client. That’s a new interface space that needs working out. It seems like the simplicity of the iPhone formatted web page may be about the right size. A little visualization of how it might work would go a long way to pulling the whole picture into focus.

    Keep diggin’

  • http://datacenterjunkie.com/ Michael T. Halligan

    My grammar is fixable with software. What tools would fix TechCrunch’s sad obsession with everything twitter?

  • twiggy

    That’s gold, Jerry.

  • http://blog.echovar.com/?p=454 echovar » Blog Archive » Sketching a TinyURL Strategy for Twitter

    […] to the list of Twitter’s possible business models: a proprietary URL shortener that expands into a special offer. Just a […]

  • Diego

    Twitter is dead. I hate the trolls, don’t they know I’m a A-list blogger? I’m moving to Texas. No, wait, I give up blogging altogether. This is my last post. Good-bye blogersphere. I’m back! I can’t live without the attention. Secretly I even miss the trolls. They are still attention and I love that! You know what they say; any publicity is good publicity. Give me! Give me! Give me! That’s it, you’re blocked! How dare you disagree with me. Echo… echoooo, echoooo. I adore my previous echo-chamber. I’m A-List Goddamn it! Twitter FTW!

  • Diego

    Typo: I meant “precious echo-chamber”, not previous.

  • http://www.erkenntniswerk.de/index.php/2008/07/16/twitter-kauft-summize-integriert-suche-und-findet-ein-geschaeftsmodell/ Twitter kauft Summize, integriert Suche und findet ein Geschäftsmodell | ErkenntnisWerk

    […] lesenwert sind Steve Gillmors Gedanken zu der Übernahme, ihre Bedeutung für Twitter, dessen Geschäftsmodell und Twitter in […]

  • http://helpnumber.org Customer service

    “we can put to rest the garbage that Twitter is not perhaps the most important service of the next generation of computing”

    Whatever you’re smoking must be illegal


    “Recently, groupware has gone by a new name – social media ” ??? Do you even know what groupware and ERP is/does? Have you managed groups beyond just 1 (yourself) to actually know what it is you write about?

    I hope news feeds don’t pick-up this article thinking its credible to Techcrunch

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    […] Steve Gillmor thinks we’re “Back on Track” to realizing that Twitter “is the most important service in the ne… […]

  • http://blog.broadbandmechanics.com/2008/07/dummies-guide-to-the-open-mesh Marc’s Voice » Blog Archive » Dummies guide to the Open Mesh

    […] pointed me to his latest on TechCrunchIT where he “Back on  Track” where he eloquently spells out why…  But in true Steve style and fashion he also points out that Microsoft Live Mesh launched […]

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    […] this means is that Twitter is taking yet another step towards openness and leaning on outside parties to help them with scaling issues. CrunchBase […]

  • http://jp.techcrunch.com/archives/20080718twitter-plays-nice-xmpp-firehose-data-feed-to-gnip/ TechCrunch Japanese アーカイブ » Twitterの好プレイ:XMPPデータをGnipにフィードして負荷軽減

    […] これまでに書いてきたことはすなわち、Twitterがオープン化の方向にさらなる一歩を踏み出し、スケーリング問題では外部の力を借りることにしたということを意味する。 […]

  • http://www.oragle.net/feeder/twitter-plays-nice-xmpp-firehose-data-feed-to-gnip Twitter Plays Nice: XMPP Firehose Data Feed To Gnip : Oragle

    […] this means is that Twitter is taking yet another step towards openness and leaning on outside parties to help them with scaling […]

  • http://www.accmanpro.com/2008/07/21/my-delicious-bookmarks-for-july-17th-through-july-19th/ My del.icio.us bookmarks for July 17th through July 19th | AccMan

    […] TechCrunchIT » Blog Archive » Back on Track – In typical dense fashion, Gillmor unpacks the relevance of track. You have to get used to the way he writes but it is worth the effort […]

  • http://damianspace.seitenclique.net/implicationsofmeshnetwork.html implications of mesh network

    […] the garbage that Twitter is not perhaps the most important service of the next generation of computhttp://www.techcrunchit.com/2008/07/15/back-on-track/Availability analysis of span-restorable mesh networks – Selected …20% or more, also has striking […]

  • http://www.drumsnwhistles.com/2008/08/23/intersections-twitter-track-and-cnn/ odd time signatures » Blog Archive » Intersections: Twitter, Track, and CNN

    […] Summize. Track. via […]

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    good post, thanks

  • http://www.insegment.com Boston SEO

    Interesting ideas, but the article could be written w/ a little more zing!

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