Springnote Offers Easy Wikis

Springnote logoIf you’re still waiting for Google to get in gear and open up JotSpot registrations again, it might be time to stop waiting. Springnote, a collaborative wiki service from Korea, has launched their English version with a good set of features. Though there are still a few rough edges, it’s worth a look if you’re after a shareable-but-secure wiki with an accessible API.

Getting started with Springnote is simple; if you have an OpenID identity, you can sign right in. If you don’t already have one, they make it easy to create one through their own OpenID provider. Once in, a few clicks will put you into your first Springnote page, presented as a lined piece of notebook paper inside a WYSIWYG Javascript editor (the editor itself has been spun off as an open source project). You can do all the expected formatting and linking and creating new pages and so on from toolbar buttons.

Sharing and security is a matter of adding other OpenID accounts, with either read or write privileges to your pages; you can also create a public RSS feed. Springnote saves everything as XHTML, and you can easily open a page as XHTML or download all of your notes together as a zipped archive, so there’s no data lock-in.

Springnote is also designed to encourage connecting its data to the world in other ways. You can use it to draft blog posts (with WordPress and Movable Type among the supported interfaces), or import Word, HTML, or OpenDocument formats directly. They also have their own open API for extension and integration, with a handful of mashups already built, including one that gives you MSN Messenger integration and another that hooks Springnote up to Flickr.

There are still a few rough edges here. I had some issues with getting the MSN Messenger integration working, and if you go too far into the mashup pieces you’ll find yourself in pages that haven’t been translated from Korean yet. There’s also not the business-application angle that JotSpot offers, so if that’s what you’re waiting for, you need to keep waiting. But for a fast way to get a shared, authenticated wiki running, it doesn’t get much easier than this.

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