Google Sites vs Much Ado about Nothing
By billy.cripe on Mar 11, 2008
Google Sites (here) is the latest entry into the SharePoint, BaseCamp, Moodle, Alfresco, Magnolia, team Wiki space. Basically the idea is that you and your virtual team need a web space in which to collaborate, store documents, manage schedules etc.
Google brings it's name to the game here but what is it targeting? Some have situated it against SharePoint, others agianst more traditional WCM solutions. Even Google aludes to the enterprise space (at least in that they suggest you invite your co-workers to uses the team web site you set up).
But I've got to confess, this looks more like a typical Google offering - put out some capability and see what happens, than it does a bid to take out MS SharePoint or WCM solutions or to abscond with corporate data for marketing purposes (see their legal terms of servic and some harsh analysis about it here in this post from Sarah Perez of RWW).
Right now Google Sites will "compete" against BaseCamp and similar sites. They all have similar TOS agreements that will make CIO and Corp Legal cringe. But this is standard MO for the Goog. If it catches on and there's enough traction, we may see a SaaS version for enterprises that will have a much more palatable TOS and data privacy.
In the meantime, the rest of us in the enterprise WCM game should be taking notes on what *works* and what doesn't from a usability standpoint. We've got a free, zero risk beta here gang. Google Sites, BaseCamp and others are piloting new ways of stimulating end user interaction and site usage. They're getting some stuff right and we would do well to take note rather than keep on our myopic blinders.