Daily Illuminator

October 16, 2005: Writely

Writely is a handy-dandy little online word processor, with about the equivalent functionality of WordPad. What makes it useful, though, is how easy it is to swap files around with other people, either for collaboration or just for showing off. Set someone as a collaborator, and they can edit the document from wherever they happen to be. Or decide who can see what you've written, and pass around the URL as appropriate.

Why do I mention this website? Because it's become enormously useful for me in the few weeks since I started using it, especially for RPGs. I do most of my roleplaying online these days, and it quickly becomes annoying to keep e-mailing updated versions of character sheets. At the moment, I can head over to the character sheets my players put up in Writely, and see the most recent version they've chosen to update. Like a really quick-and-easy website that only does lightly-formatted text! My character sheet for another game is up there, and I set the GM as a collaborator so that he can make adjustments as needed. Another project I'm working on has been set to collaboration with people I want comments from, so that they can write into the text any questions they have about what I've done so far.

In short: if all you need is text-editing you can access anywhere and pass around to other people quickly, with the option to let others edit what you've written, it's a handy tool. Currently technically in beta, but it seems quite stable. Check it out.
-- Fade, Warehouse 23 Clerk

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