Cool Tool: Etherpad

A friend of mine introduced me to a new project he’s working on. As the website touts, Etherpad is really real-time collaboration. It lets multiple people work on the same document simultaneously.

I used it to great effect working on a recent document collaboration. I collaborated with 2 other people, making a proposal for the San Francisco Unified School District. Sometimes we worked in person on multiple laptop computers in a coffee shop. Sometimes we worked completely online, using the tools chat functionality. It worked well both ways.

And it is really a hoot watching someone type on their computer and have the each character appear on my screen in realtime, just 1 second delayed.  

The product is very new but it accomplishes its core functionality flawlessly. Try Etherpad.

One Comment

  1. lee says:

    Update: The original open source Etherpad isn’t at anymore. I notice that points to which is a new open source project called Etherpad Lite. It looks like a good project, though they don’t run the service on their site, it’s for developers who want to download and run it. I’ve been using the Etherpad installation at I wouldn’t trust it for private data or for long term data retention but that’s generally not what people use Etherpad for anyway. Give it a go!

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