What makes Coventi Pages different?

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So people have been asking how we’re different from Wikis, Google Docs and other online collaboration products.  Here are some of the things we do differently:

1.  Comments in Context

Highlighting text and writing notes in the margin is something we’re all used to from pen and paper.  We built that same interaction into Coventi Pages, so a Reviewer can easily point out that “Dan and myself” should be “Dan and me,” or suggest a new way of opening paragraph 4 of a document. pen and paper

2.  Feedback at your Fingertips 

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The simplicity of the “Comments in Context” insight can be a bit deceptive. It’s when you dig deeper that you realize, for an author this is a really powerful way to organize feedback.
No more digging through piles of emails and paper printouts to look up what someone said about the fourth paragraph in the second draft.  With Coventi Pages, it’s all in one place, sorted, filtered, and right where you need it.

And since people can reply to each others’ comments in real-time, you’ve also got a discussion board/chat room, tied to the document, across its entire lifetime.  That is really powerful.

3.  The Big Picture

To take the 10,000 foot view, maybe the biggest way we’re different is in our conceptual model. 

Unlike everybody else it seems, we decided not to follow the philosophy that everyone is an author and anyone can edit at any time.  The “Wiki Way” definitely works great in some situations, like Wikipedia, where the goal (at least originally) is to aggregate information.*

But for most documents (press releases, legal briefs, college essays, etc)  one or two people take responsibility for driving the document, and the rest of the group is responsible for giving feedback.  That’s the model we used for Coventi Pages, and from our user interviews, it’s the way most groups work.  I think Dan is planning a future post to delve a bit more into how we do this with our role-based tools, so I’ll stop here. 

But post a comment and let us know what you think.  It would be great to hear from you.


* An aside: It’s interesting that once Wikipedia became a de facto authority, it was forced to address this boundary between openness and editorial control. 

Look at the role played by Wikipedia sysops.  And some of the issues involved.  It’s also interesting to read about wiki gardening.

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5 Responses to “What makes Coventi Pages different?”

  1. Sim Singh Says:

    I think Coventi, at a “base” level is similar to a wiki or Google Docs. People can edit pages, people can build an archive of knowledge etc.

    But the key differentiator for me at least, is the focus on “commentary” and “suggested edits.” In my role as a Program Manager, my job is to build consensus around an idea. That means we discuss and talk about issues. Coventi makes that easy to do.

    Most wikis and collaboration software relegate “discussion” as a side feature. Coventi, on the other hand, has made discussion of content the main draw. I also think that you’re spot on about everyone “Editing” a page. At least in business contexts, “ownership” is a key concept. While everyone could edit a page with Coventi, the focus on commentary and suggested edits is a more natural way for groups to operate. From my experience, my manager wouldn’t edit my page. We’d talk about what is good and what is bad, but I have to go and fix it.

    For me, the ability to collect comments and to get rid of the need to use Track Changes is huge.

  2. Learning Nuggets Coventi Pages Blog « Says:

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