Talking Tech Friday – Wetpaint

This week I thought I’d review a site I’ve been using to develop our new MCLC webpage – Wetpaint!

What is it?

Wetpaint is a website creator that features a combination of several collaborative technologies, such as wikis, blogs, forums, and widgets.  The main goal of Wetpaint is to create “A social website that’s so easy to use, anyone can participate.” (from their about page)  If you’re a good Tech Talker, you are already familiar with Wetpaint because of the Baker’s Dozen program (if you haven’t done Baker’s Dozen yet …what’s keeping you?!).  When looking at a variety of options for the MCLC website, I decided on Wetpaint because it was easy and collaborative – none of us have the personnel anymore to have a dedicated webmaster for an organization.

How does it work?

To create a site, you just come up with an idea, name your site, choose your URL (sitename.wetpaint.com), and set user permissions.  You can open your website to anyone, restrict it to those that register, or even just to the people you invite.  After that, you can choose from a variety of color templates to get started.

Creating and editing a webpage feels very much like a wiki.  Wetpaint uses a WYSIWYG interface for text.  It’s also very easy to add media, such as images or videos.  They offer a variety of widgets, also, such as Google Calendar, YouTube, importing an RSS feed, and Meebo.

Wetpaint has a very useful support site to answer questions, give web creation tips, and inform their users about updates.  They also offer a Sandbox to allow people to experiment with using the site without having to create their own – very handy for reviewers!

One small downside to Wetpaint is that they do allow ads on their wikis.  There are a few ways to get rid of them – you can subscribe to the site for $10-$15 per month, or, if you’re creating an education wiki, you can apply for an ad-free wiki.

Wetpaint also offers a paid service to integrate their social web tools with your current site, or to completely redesign your site, using Wetpaint, but done to your custom look and feel.

Possible Library Uses

There are tons of possibilities, both for internal staff use and external for library patrons.  Book clubs, event portals, teen spaces, educational tools, etc. all come to mind.  There are lots of examples out there, so take a look.  Also, I definitely welcome feedback and ideas about the MCLC website!

Reviews

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~ by Anali on January 16, 2009.

 
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