EdLab Review - Wiggio

Submitted by Jason Mariasis on Mon, 07/26/2010 - 5:06pm.
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edLab Review: Wiggio

editor: Jason Mariasis - Jason@JasonMariasis.com
                                           www.JasonMariasis.com

Wiggio


For more on our ratings, download our rubric

[The Good] This simple and intuitive yet powerful system allows students, faculty, and business people alike to easily work in groups. After creating a group in Wiggio people can 1) communicate via group email, text, or voice messages, 2) host web meetings, conference calls, and chatrooms, 3) store and edit files in one common folder, 4) keep track of tasks and resources, 5) and poll all group members. Best of all, anyone can get started using the system right away since, unlike other systems of its type, there’s no learning curve and it’s free!

[The Bad] Even though Wiggio offers many useful features, not all work properly in the current release. The To-Do list is faulty, as is the conference calling system and the document editing system. When compared with similar software packages such as Base Camp or ActiveCollab, Wiggio is not yet as streamline or as reliable. Wiggio also lacks components that many would consider crucial in group management software like adding milestones, sub To-Do lists, and due dates to tasks. The site could also use a new look at some point.

[The Bottom Line] Wiggio understands that group collaboration software should be focused around simplicity and usability as well as efficiency and has successfully built a group collaboration system with those ideas at its foundation. Once it adds a few more necessary capabilities and fixes current bugs, Wiggio will be far ahead of all competitors. In the meantime, Wiggio’s has a lot to offer, all free of charge, and is highly recommended. Additionally, an updated version will be released next month, supposedly squashing current bugs!

Recommended Uses: High school through grad school students and small businesses will find Wiggio incredibly useful. Students can collaborate with each other when working on group projects, keeping track of tasks, due dates and files in addition to keeping in constant contact with each other. Small businesses can do the same.

Full Review

This ambitious, one-of-a-kind system presents students, teachers, and business professionals alike with a drastically different approach to collaboration.

Unique from other systems currently on the market, Wiggio allows users to create groups and then quickly and easily push information out to all members – either by email, text message, sticky note, voice note, calendar update, To-Do list update, or via the discussion board. File sharing and real-time video or text chat is also available and is incredibly simple to use.

As Dana Lampert, Founder and CEO, believes, “Everyone should be in the loop from day one,” and keeps to his word. While other systems are complicated, taking time to set up and learn, Dana and his team of five developers weaved simplicity and functionality together to ensure group members of all types can focus on communicating information instead of dealing with complexities of the system.

Usability

From the very beginning, Wiggio is dead simple to use with no learning curve. Once on the site, Wiggio allows you to either join a group by clicking the large, conspicuous “Join a Group” button, or create an account by clicking “Sign up now”. Creating a group is fast and simple, and joining one is even faster.

After creating a group, joining a group, or logging in to your already-existing account, Wiggio then provides a number of options. If you created the group, you can easily invite others into it by clicking “Roster” then “Add Members”. All you need are others’ email addresses.

Once the 1-minute setup is complete, you can immediately find and begin using all features offered. The interface consists of a top navigation bar including the following tabs: Home – Calendar – Folder – Meeting – Poll – Message – To-Do. After selecting a tab, you then can easily continue with next steps, usually by clicking helpful visuals.

From an administrative standpoint, adding new members after creating the group, creating subgroups, and changing group settings is easy to complete.

Like with any novel package, occasionally difficulties can arise. Sometimes trying to add a user does not work properly or opening a document comes up with a “File not found!” error, as if the system is excited. But, overall, these issues are not frequent and are said to be fixed in the next release this summer.

Features:

Wiggio has many, many terrific features, all easy to use. Here is a list of each feature and my thoughts on it.

Discussion Board: Although a simple system, Wiggio’s discussion board is visually pleasing and makes for a great way to communicate with group members outside of formal meetings. Users can quickly make a post by typing a message in the post box on the top of the page and then clicking the pink “Post” button. Afterwards, members can comment on it by clicking “reply”, or they can start a new post. Unfortunately, there is no way to organize categories of posts.

Calendar: Yes, there’s a calendar that works! You can add events, make then repeat, set email reminders, and choose which members’ calendar the event appears on. The only frustration with this is the system does not allow you to add a repeating event and afterwards delete the event on one particular day.

Folder: With the folder system (or file cabinet as I like to think of it), any member can share files with other members. These files can be text documents, images, PDF documents, etc. Best of all, this “file cabinet” can be organized in any way the group desires since members can create folders inside of folders. Uploading a file into a folder is a simple process – just click the big folder icon that says “Upload a File”. Or, if you want to create a file to store in a folder, just click the button “Create a File” and Wiggio’s document editing system will open.

Meeting: With this, you can create a virtual meeting, begin a conference call, or open a chat room. And of course, once you click on one of the three large buttons, setup is a breeze. Sometimes, though, there are issues with the virtual meeting and conference call system.

Poll: Wiggio allows you to poll all members. This is a great feedback feature and works very well.

Message: You can send a text message, an email, a sticky note (posts a note on member’s homepage), or a voice note (posts a voice note on member’s homepage). You can choose which members receive the particular message. Wiggio also logs all messages sent so that you have a record of them, although you cannot search through messages.

To-Do: This allows members to create To-Do lists. Any number of these can be created, and any number of tasks on a single To-Do list can be added. In addition to only letting members create lists with tasks, members can assign other members to particular tasks. Even better, when a person is assigned a task, the system automatically sends them an email letting them know! Many times, however, the list will stop working properly when too many tasks are added. Furthermore, while the lists do allow members to assign tasks to others, due dates for tasks, sub To-Do lists, and milestones cannot be added.

Automatic Emailing: Whenever something is added or updated, Wiggio let’s members know by sending either one email at the time of each update, or by sending one daily updates email.

Overall, Wiggio includes a large list of features, all of which are easy to use and very convenient. Many of the current issues are said to be fixed in the upcoming release, including a new To-Do list, better sorting, improved document editing, and new and innovative ways to further collaborate.

Innovation:

Wiggio is one of the first collaboration tools that mastered combining almost every necessary collaboration feature together with an easy-to-use, innovative interface. It has also figured out how to include communication methods such as text messaging properly into the system. Wiggio is not just another way to collaborate; it is the way to collaborate.

Value:

Did I mention, Wiggio is FREE! Not just free for 14 days, free forever! What a deal! In addition to no cost, using the system makes working with others and managing groups much simpler. Group leaders no longer need to remember everyone’s email address, send emails with attachments all the time, text message each member manually, and dig through old emails and text messages to find files or information. They can log on to Wiggio and find everything there in an organized manner.

Conclusion:

Wiggio understands that group collaboration software should be focused around simplicity and usability as well as efficiency and has successfully built a group collaboration system with those ideas at its foundation. Once it adds a few more necessary capabilities and fixes current bugs, Wiggio will be far ahead of all competitors. In the meantime, Wiggio’s has a lot to offer, all free of charge, and is highly recommended. Additionally, an updated version will be released next month, supposedly squashing current bugs!