JotSpot emerges from stealth mode with Voce Communications

PALO ALTO: JotSpot, a new provider of wiki platforms, emerged from stealth mode last week with PR firm Voce Communications. Together they aim to help raise the profile of wikis among the corporate community.

PALO ALTO: JotSpot, a new provider of wiki platforms, emerged from stealth mode last week with PR firm Voce Communications. Together they aim to help raise the profile of wikis among the corporate community.

A wiki is an application that enables a group to build a project together online. One of the most prevalent uses of wikis is a collaborative encyclopedia that allows multiple users to make edits and additions to entries. In corporations, multiple users can make edits on a Word document or press release at the same time.

The technology has historically been text-based, but JotSpot's product enables other collaborative applications, including calendars, contact books, and RSS feeds.

The messaging will be a two-prong strategy that educates potential users about wikis and reinforces JotSpot's differentiation to early adopters, according to Melissa Walia, JotSpot PR director.

"The application wiki takes the segment to the next level," she said.

Joe Kraus, JotSpot's CEO and co-founder, announced the company's formation last week at the Web 2.0 conference. The company, which has been in stealth mode all year, simultaneously sent out a press release, but Walia said that bloggers began mentioning the company immediately after the announcement. JotSpot has already tracked 5,500 mentions in various blogs, she added.

JotSpot did not do a full agency review, choosing rather to find an agency in Silicon Valley that had a history of serving tech clients.

"We met the team through local contacts and [found] a lot of early synergy," said Walia.

Voce has been working on the account since June. Matthew Podboy, client supervisor, and Mike Manuel, senior client executive, will co-lead the account. Manuel said the team would draw in additional resources when needed.

Manuel said that one of the first message points is to inform people of the wiki's ease-of-use.

"One of the bigger message points in that they exist, but haven't been terribly easy to use," he offered

"We're trying to address that the barrier to entry and skill level [of wikis] is dropping," Manuel said, adding that as wikis become commoditized, one that enables applications becomes more differentiated and important.

The company will limit most of its media outreach to trade and business publications.

"I don't know if we'll ever hit the mainstream consumer press," Walia noted. "Mainstream business users will be more likely to be a Jotspot wiki user, but it's not a product for your mother."

Voce and JotSpot also see a fair amount of opportunities at events and trade shows, although the two do not have any definitive plans now, according to Walia.

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