Seamless and intelligent collaboration and version control for writers is hard to come by – even with WordPress 3.5 it’s cumbersome and anything but elegant.
Sure, with the next release of 3.6 we’re going to see some dramatic changes that will up the collaboration features greatly and that’s going to help a lot but I think it might be a good idea to look at what Draft is doing and see how they have created a fully-featured (and trim) solution that’s got me thinking big.
I got a sweet email a few hours ago from the founder citing the already-overwhelmingly positive reviews. With over 1,500 people who have helped test the system it has allowed Nate to turn the idea into something incredibly useful.
I decided to spend the late afternoon digging in, taking a few screenshots, and experiencing it for myself. Check it out with my comments on the overall experience. The net result? I think there’s something really swell here – WordPress, take note.
Simple sign-up and sign-in. Nothing fancy. Love it. Love it. Love it. A few testimonies and you’re in. No waiting on an email to verify either.
Jump right into the drafting table. Go ahead and create that new document. The subtle use of colors makes navigation idiot-proof.
Writing is simple and elegant. Very much like iA Writer. Get in, start drafting, and then you can start collaborating with others.
Saving it is simple and doesn’t get in your way. A simple notification on the bottom. Done and done.
Now it’s time to take a look at the version control system. You can make comments and see the other versions.
Wow, powerful stuff. With easy sharing with others you can start collaborating easily:
And once they are done editing they can send notes to the rest of the collaborators:
Finally, if you want to know the formatting options, they are right here – easy to remember too if you’re familiar with markdown:
Their financial model? Simple – talk to the pros and get some help with that draft or piece of writing:
For $5 you get 15 minutes of someone’s time. $10 will get you 45 minutes. Not bad.
And honestly, that was the entire service from soup to nuts at this point and I’m not looking for anything more or wishing for X or Y feature. It’s great as is for now. I’m sure they are thinking about the next version but the start is fantastic.
Give it a go if you’re interested – and at least look into it if you want to be inspired in terms of collaborative writing and revision control. If you want another review you can check out TechCrunch’s look too.