The Hidden Genius of Writeboard

Well, the bright folks at 37signals have done it once again. Their newest application, Writeboard, was released over this past weekend, it’s great. For those who haven’t already heard of it, in a nutshell it’s a way to create single-page wiki without even needing a user account. You can just create a page, and all you need to edit the page is a password.

You can share it with as many people as you want. You can make as many edits as you want, and the versions are always displayed along the right margin. When someone comments on a page, the comment is associated with a revision of the document. You can save a copy as HTML or plain text at any point. They’ve done such a good job with their wholly unique take on the “wiki” that it’s become more useful to us than the wiki we’ve been using in-house!

And the hidden genius? Even though writeboard is really a standalone application, they’ve already integrated it with Backpack, and will soon integrate it with Basecamp. The Backpack integration has already convinced Kandace and I to plunk down $5/month on Backpack, even though our company has a Basecamp account. By letting Backpack users integrate unlimited Writeboards into their paying accounts, they’ve effectively tricked us into paying for their free service.