by Michelle Lentz
Remember back when Google scooped up JotSpot? Well, a few months ago, JotSpot (now called Google Sites), was launched as part of Google Apps for Your Domain, which I”ll just call GAFYD.
I use GAFYD with my writetech.net and wine-girl.net blogs. It allows me to have email with my URLs, which I could do anyway. The catch is that I can have that email through GMail, which I really like. The GMail spam filter is excellent and I love the archiving and threaded conversations. GAFYD is sort of a pain to set up – I had to modify DNS settings, CNAME settings, and the like, but it’s do-able in an evening. In exchange, I get GMail with my own URL, personalized iGoogle start page, personalized Google Docs, Google Sites, and more. I really only use the Google Docs and the GMail.
Last month I had poked around in Google Sites. Previously this was only available through GAFYD, but today, it was opened up to everyone. Google Sites is simply an online site creation tool that is amazingly simple to use. It helps those with little to no HTML skills create a nifty web site that is also part social network. The social networking aspects of the site are built in, and more Wiki than Facebook. Google thinks these sites are perfect for small groups or clubs, even using a Ski Club as their example. Without a purchased domain, your URL reads something like this: http://sites.google.com/YourSite.
There are still a few little kinks to work out, but this is a nice feature, for free, allowing more people to acquire a web presence with little effort.
This Google video explains it all: