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Google to JotSpot Users: Wait And See

For over a year, JotSpot members and would-be users have waited for a sign from Google that it planned to do something with its wiki site. Now a faint glimmer of hope may be beginning to appear.

Google acquired JotSpot in October 2006 for an undisclosed sum. Immediately afterward, the online behemoth closed JotSpot to new registrations, which it has remained for the last 13 months -- much to the chagrin of its fans.

Since the purchase, JotSpot's management has remained remarkably quiet. Company officials have posted only three times to its blog, with the last coming in July. The July posting, from JotSpot Vice President Scott Johnston, indicated that the wiki company's new owner intended it to become part of the Google Apps suite.

Johnston hasn't posted any follow-ups to the official JotSpot blog since, though he hasn't been silent. He recently gave a presentation at the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce where blogger Andrew Miller said he elaborated on JotSpot's integration with Google Apps, in an effort called Google Sites. According to Miller's report, that effort will launch sometime in 2008.

Official Google spokespeople, meanwhile, remain mum about its plans.

"Google shares JotSpot's vision for helping people collaborate, share and work together online, and JotSpot's team and technology are a strong fit with existing Google products like Google Apps," a Google spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to InternetNews.com while declining further comment.

"For now, we're keeping our specific intentions for JotSpot's technology under wraps," the spokesperson said.

The activities of other JotSpot execs offer even fewer clues. Joe Kraus, a former Excite.com co-founder who co-founded the company in 2004, joined Google through the acquisition.

It's unclear whether Kraus is still working with Google on the JotSpot integration, however. Kraus is now listed as a director of product management at Google, and recently blogged on the official Google blog about the OpenSocial effort, which he is helping to lead.

Google's spokesperson declined to comment on whether Kraus is still involved with JotSpot.

Slight indications that JotSpot appears to be moving forward may come as cold comfort to the site's users. In the JotSpot Help group forum, members have been pleading with Google to re-open memberships as well as for more information about what's going on. These requests largely have come to no avail.

On Nov. 4th, for instance, a poster using the name Diominiquean said she has continued using JotSpot even without being able to add members to her wiki.

"It's an ideal communication/interaction tool for a community institution like a school," Diominiquean wrote. "Please open it up again soon. It's been over a year since JotSpot stopped new memberships and frankly I'm loosing hope."

A Google representative, writing using the alias "JoJo," responded to the post and said JotSpot isn't offering new memberships now, but that people will be able to use Google's new wiki product when it is released.

"I'm not able to offer more information regarding timing, but can ensure you that a migration path to the new product will be provided for your current wiki when the new product is available," JoJo wrote.