I have been looking around the cyberspace, to find the best collaborative workspace for a small team in a professional environment. The business case : as new product introduction manager, supervise the whole Dev. team, which is made of people located in different parts of the country. The product is an InternetTV website that will be launched in beta; being still under development, it is mandatory to track each and every change and modification, according to the project schedule. Mandatory as well is the possibility to store all relevant files into on single location, instead of using email and ftp. Last, ease-of-use and simplicity are key factors, because the workspace will be used by non tech-savvy people.
For sure, the "Web 2.0" offers plenty of solutions, from wikis to project management online tools and storage sites. Last month, I spent almost a week to review all options, using Web2Logo.com, Webware.com, and TechCrunch as information resources. The outcomes :
- it appears that wikis are not so easy to use for novices in a project management environment, although some platforms such as PBwiki are pretty simple (I will use it myself, but for my own project).
- collaborative platforms are diverse, from those featuring a rigid user interface à la Web 1.0 to those right into the user-generated content trend.
- my choice : Socialtext. Says the short description on Web2Logo : " Socialtext captures the best features of web-native tools called "wikis" and "weblogs" and brings them inside your enterprise to create a collaboration and knowledge tool that works the way people do. " I do agree 100% : it works the way you do. Setting up your home page takes less than 3 minutes all together, including your registration on the main site. Sending the invitations to the members of your team is a one-click operation, as all basic stuff such as file upload. The user interface is pretty smart, Socialtext being a multi-language platform : in our case, French was mandatory provided that some team members don't speak english - which is quite a problem those days ;-).
Detailled reviews of Socialtext here, here, and here of course.