Google Provides Templates for Site Creation

Sample Google Sites template
Click on the graphic for a larger view. Source: Google

Google has released a set of templates for its site creation service Google Sites designed to help companies and individuals get more of a running start using the Web site creation service.

The search giant launched Google Sites in February, 2008 and has attracted tens of millions of users since then. Google Sites is based on based on technology Google gained with its acquisition of JotSpot, a provider of wiki creation tools in October, 2006.

The new release offers pre-defined starter templates for creating intranets, projects, team sites, employee profile pages and more. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is offering a public gallery of templates users can add, too. “What we’re really trying to address is the current state of business collaboration which is still broken,” Scott Johnston, project manager for Google Sites, told

Johnston said Sites was developed to give more people the ability to publish content on the Web. “There are really limits to the number of people who can publish content in an organization. It either requires a very expensive or time-consuming solution that takes a long time to set up,” he said.

Ron Brister, senior manager of worldwide IT operations for Serena Software said his company is moving its project workspace collaboration to Google Sites “because it requires less expertise and administration than SharePoint, and it’s easier for employees to use. Better ease-of-use directly translates into more fluid information-sharing, which helps our teams move faster and cross-pollinate good ideas,” he said in a statement.

The cloud-based Google Sites offers an easy enough ramp to creating a site, but since it starts with a blank page, Johnston said many users weren’t sure how to start or what to include. Several dozen templates are launching today that include sample content. The number available on the public gallery could increase rapidly once it opens to the public Tuesday. The templates include page layouts, navigation links, embedded gadgets, content, themes and more.

Project managers can also publish reusable private galleries to share best practices with others in the organization. “We’re also giving third parties the ability to come in and show where they can add value,” said Johnston.

Social networking to video-sharing

The news come at a time when a broad range of companies are targeting the collaboration space with everything from social networking tools to video-sharing. At last week’s Collboration Summit, Cisco CEO John Chambers said companies like his are going through a cultural change to embrace a more collaborative structure.

“The way we used to do things is rapidly becoming a dinosaur,” he said.
Chambers said organizations in which a company leader makes all the key decisions in a top-down manner don’t work anymore. “We’re moving from command and control, which I love, but it’s in the past,” he said. “It’s about collaboration and teamwork now.”

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