Realtime collaboration with EtherPad

Posted on September 13th, 2009 by

Colleagues working at different schools writing a conference abstract together or students living in different residence halls working on a group project are just two examples of times when real-time online collaboration is helpful. Google Docs can serve this purpose, but you should also consider using EtherPad.  Unlike Google Docs, EtherPad doesn’t require account creation; therefore, you can email or IM the link for your document to anyone, and they can immediately start editing with you.  Edits by different authors are tracked on the screen as they happen using different colors, and in addition to providing a wiki-style revision history, EtherPad has a “Time Slider” feature (see the video demonstration below), which allows you to play back a video of your editing process.  You can see how the final written product developed over time and how each author contributed to that process.  (Thanks, Sean)

 

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