We feel an acronym coming. CustomerVision has just announced the use of RapidWiki, dubbed the industry's first "wiki as a website" product.
Can you see all the people that are going to jump on this WaaW thing? We're totally surmising that it will probably gain automatic geek points for the ease with which some may confuse it for WoW (and if you need an explanation for that acronym, consider yourself mercifully spared).With the hope of pioneering a new generation of small and mid-sized enterprise sites, RapidWiki enables SMBs to provide dynamic and up-to-date content to customers, partners and employees.
In short, this collabo-friendly wiki product boasts the potential to pull a number of small business websites out of the static-site '90s-aesthetic gutter. (Yes, web design snobs, the rumors are true: some people still use sharp corners on their homepages.)
RapidWiki also boasts the following Web 2.0 features:
* Wiki Widgets and RSS. Wiki Widgets are reusable components that can be combined by non-techies to easily build and customize a site
* Collaborative editing (archives can also be built for easy reference)
* Content management functionalities like permissions, advanced search and site design
"For many customers our website is the face of our business, any product that allows us to communicate more effectively with customers and prospects is extremely valuable," points out CEO Rick Valentine of Midwest Mortgage Partners.
"RapidWiki has improved the productivity of our business. Because it allows us to manage our own site without the need for IT, we are able to serve our customers better."
Everybody's always trying to cut out IT with ease-of-use. And speaking of ease-of-use, if you like to blog, then you'll dig this: RapidWiki's editor is reminiscent of a standard word processor with basic elements for titles, images and linking.
Ironically, the first WaaW won't be straying too far from its muse. RapidWiki can be placed under the SaaS, or software as a service, denotation of offerings. That means it's browser-based, accessible anywhere, and you don't have to download anything.
A built-in file management system supports GIF, Jpeg, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe PDF formats. More advanced users can build Web forms and add Flash files into the mix.
RapidWiki also includes a powerful search feature.
If you read David's post on Fast Search for Movable Type, you'll understand a good search function is an increasingly crucial -- but unfortunately downplayed -- component in a dynamic-content world. Search by category, exact phrase, or all and any words. Search results are returned alphabetically, by date created/modified or by popularity (which is impressions-based).
For those worried about all going awry with RapidWiki, the site includes Ask the Expert and Discussion forums. Ask a question; it's shot to an expert or group of experts; you get a private answer that can also be published as a new page. Handy, right? Assuming the RapidWiki community gets big enough, you'll have the comfort of knowing questions don't get lost in the ether or swallowed by a bot.
All right. Here's where you take the big gulp. RapidWiki ain't free, though we must say it's a boon not to have to install anything. Plus, it's accessible from anywhere, so maybe the investment will pay itself back in time.
This first-ever "wiki as a website" product is available for as low as US$ 100 a month. Get it from resellers or at the RapidWiki website.