Over the weekend I dusted down my JotSpot Wiki, cleaned out some old Wiki pages and generally made it useful as a client collaboration tool. I created some new pages and few “project diary” type blog entries to do with a proposal for work. I also set up a potential client as a contributor and sat back to reap the collaborative benefits of one of the finer Wiki tools out there.
Unfortunately, by Monday afternoon all was not well. The jot.com domain no longer pointed at JotSpot, instead it was “parked” at Network Solutions a domain name registrar. Now this generally happens to domains when they’re not renewed or your credit card company refuses to honour your request for payment. If JotSpot were a two-guys-in-a-garret operation you could see how this could happen, but JotSpot is now owned by Google.
Google’s neglect of the product and its secrecy over future plans has been a major concern to the original service’s loyal, (but I would imagine, declining) user base, but yesterday that neglect hit a new low.
The problem was fixed relatively quickly, but due to DNS migration issues, 24 hours later, many users of the service are still locked out. That’s a problem, but hey, s**t happens. What’s really astounding is Google’s complete silence on the subject over on the JotSpot support forum.
Makes you wonder how much of your commercial or indeed personal data assets you should entrust with such an organisation. Big brother may be watching you, but he’s not about to demean himself by actually communicating with you.
I’ve had this sort of problem with another Google Apps services in the past and I’ve seen problems with gmail similar to those experienced by Jeff Nolan. I’m about to launch my http://www.gobansaor.com business site and my intention was to host it under Google Apps (which rumour has, will soon incorporate some variation on JotSpot). My dilemma is now whether to forge ahead with my original plan to use Google Apps or use a local Irish hosting service. Or, maybe I should fork out the $50 fee for the Google Apps Premier Edition with its “24/7 assistance, including phone support for critical issues”.
Two days after the event, Google acknowledges the problem.
UPDATE: 28th Feb 2008
JotSpot is reborn as Google Sites.
Initial quick look; I like it, keeps a lot of the simplicity of the pure Wiki side of JotSpot (the “structured Wiki”as an alternative to a database/”application builder” is no more). But the integration with the rest of Google Docs is to be welcomed if a bit limited at the moment (documents must be published first from within Google Docs and their URLs then “cut and pasted” into the Sites application).
The new Google Spreadsheet’s forms functionality should make up for the loss of the JotSpot database functionality, at least for me. Having the ability to point a CNAME at the resulting wikis is also very useful for client project collaboration.