After more than a year since the JotSpot acquisition, Google finally launched a service that uses JotSpot's technology: Google Sites. The new service is a part of Google Apps and allows you to create web sites collaboratively. "People can work together on a Site to add file attachments, information from other Google applications (like Google Docs, Google Calendar, YouTube and Picasa), and new free-form content. Creating a site together is as easy as editing a document, and you always control who has access, whether it's just yourself, your team, or your whole organization," explains Google.
Google offers templates, a rich-text editor, 10GB of storage for each Google Apps account and integration with other Google services so you can embed gadgets, calendars, spreadsheets, presentations, photo slideshows and videos. You can invite people to collaborate or just view a site and you can also publish the site so that anyone can view it.
VentureBeat likes the new service. "Creating a new site with Google Sites is very easy. (...) You can start out by creating a front page for your site and from there decide whether to add more standard pages" or use one of the built-in templates: dashboard, blog, file cabinet, list.
Webware notices that Google doesn't offer too many features. "As is typical for Google productivity applications when they first launch, the functionality inside Sites is on the spare side, but the collaboration features are clear, easy to use, and well-chosen. This is a capable workgroup wiki, and even in this early stage its integration with the Docs and Apps suites makes it an excellent collaboration tool."
Here are three examples of Google Sites: a company intranet, a ski club site and a team project.
The video shows how easy is to create a simple site:
The new service is enabled by default for all the new Google Apps accounts, but administrators need to enable it explicitly for the existing accounts.