Magazine article Information Today

XWiki Helps Users Make the Most of Data

Magazine article Information Today

XWiki Helps Users Make the Most of Data

Article excerpt

Here's an innovative technology company with a product that makes it easy for people to share information.

FOUNDER

Ludovic Dubost founded XWiki, a wiki platform, in 2004. The France and Romania-based firm uses wikis to address the needs of collaboration and data for all types of companies. Dubost, who is also the president of XWiki, became interested in wikis while serving as CTO at NetValue, an internet metrics company.

During the end of his tenure at NetValue, Dubost and his team "discovered" wikis and the value they held in content management. "We increased dramatically the amount of information people would share, and the organization of information was much better," says Dubost. "We had space for each team, and we were really able to start information sharing. At the end of 2 years using wikis when I left the company, it was one of our primary tools for working, and we would have our projects in there." NetValue was later acquired by Nielsen/NetRatings, and Dubost left the company to launch XWiki.

STARTUP FACTS

Dubost funded the startup of XWiki himself. He says his initial strategy was to build XWiki as open source software. "You reduce the cost drastically of making the software known because you send the software out on the Internet," and if users like it, they will ask for improvements or support for the technology, says Dubost. "I thought it was an interesting business model for my company, and I wanted this software to be widespread." He says the initial response was positive since people were looking for better wikis. People were actually calling him and asking to build on top of it. "It created the first revenue," he says. "It wasn't a lot of money, but it created a bit of revenue, which allowed me to add one more person and then another."

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COOL TECHNOLOGY

XWiki is a wiki that consists of tools to help people work together more efficiently by helping them share information within their organizations. Dubost says XWiki added tools for Microsoft Office documents. So, for example, people can share an Excel document and preview it in a wiki directly, without having to download it. The same can be done with PowerPoint documents, he says.

"The second aspect that we're adding to it is the ability to work with structured information," says Dubost. "What we realized is that people need to share a bit more than just text. They want to share information in a structured way that corresponds to the data they're working with."

XWiki can be used to structure a wiki page into different pieces of data to make it easier to navigate and use. …

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