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Nov 18, 2004

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» Crossroads Dispatches: WOM Marketing in a Blog world from | Street Bzz |
Word of mouth in action - Evelyn Rodriguez looks at how startup JotSpot has been helped by word of mouth on blogs after their launch at the Web 2.0 Conference this year. [Read More]

Comments

Brian Yamabe

One caveat I would place on the success of JotSpot is that it is currently free. Would they be getting as many account inquiries if it weren't? I believe the business model is a $5/user/month fee. JotSpot is a very nice, externally managed (outsourced :), wiki. But is it worth $5 bucks a month per employee?

I've got a beta account to track a project I'm working on, but I'm not going to pay if/when they start charging. Shoot, I've already got a web server running, all I have to do is find a wiki package to fire up along side it.

The problem I see is that JotSpot and wikis are geared to a certain type of people and many of them will roll there own wiki rather than pay for it. Sure, some people will pay just like some do for blogging, but the one-to-many vs. many-to-many factor comes into play.

Some people will pay for blogging because they see a value in specific features. The only person who pays is the blogger. A wiki sets up a many-to-many community that is fundamentally about the free exchange of ideas (both free as in speech and free as in beer). Each member of the community has to pay their association fee to be a part of a JotSpot community which seems unlikely to happen. I'm not convinced that companies will pay for a wiki either. The ones that find value in them probably have some spare machines and a sysadmin who could set one up in a couple hours.

JotSpot has some extras like the calendar, recruit tracking, bug tracking, etc. but unless they are going to give full blown implementations or have tight integration with standard packages, why would anyone bother with them?

Hey, I'm sure I could be wrong. I've never built one successful company. However, as we know from the bubble, a cool technology doesn't make a successful business (Think zaplets). Wikis are cool and JotSpot takes them to the next level. I just don't see the business as a slam dunk.

Evelyn Rodriguez

Good points. I agree that if it were simply a wiki it would only be mildly interesting.

Anyway, this post focuses on the outbound marketing strategy, but your comment triggers a thought that it would be worthwhile to cover in a separate post (next week) why I think it's intriguing from a product, target market, and strategic business point of view.

On the per-seat issue, they said that 'guest' accounts are free (thus, only named accounts would be charged).

One hint to their business strategy is they have a very different target market than you might suspect; they are targetting what Clayton Christensen (great books, btw) calls a non-consuming market. The Long Tail of software is another hint and so too Clay's Situated Software paper.

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