PBworks

http://pbworks.com/

Overview

PBworks is a wiki with document management and file sharing capabilities.

Access and Permissions

Who can view your site is governed by a simple control.
Access01.jpg

If you choose the more restrictive option, you can also determine whether users can request permission to view or edit.

Access02.jpg

Site Administrators add users one-by-one or by pasting a comma separated list of emails into a text field. PBworks sends an invitation email.

Permissions levels are self-explanatory: Administrator, Editor, Writer and Reader. A fifth level, called Page Level Only, allows you to grant up to Editor level permissions on a single page or folder.

Ease-of-Use

Excellent. The interface is clean and simple both for the reader and the adminstrator. Users create content using a WYSIWYG editor or by editing the raw HTML. File upload and folder management is clear and direct.

Cost

The Basic edition is free and includes 2 GB storage and unlimited users. To get more precise control over user permissions and to customize the look beyond stock color palates, you need to upgrade. Pricing is too complex summarize here. View the Master Pricing Guide.

Fit with University

Unless you buy the premium package, you cannot brand your site with logos, colors or custom CSS.

Pros

For what it does, it does very well and simply. Adding, organizing and tagging content is super easy. Premium subscribers have access to so much more: the ability to customize notifications based on what pages have changed, the ability implement a to-do list and the option to publish mobile device-friendly content.

Cons

It lacks a discussion forum and a blog. The free version is too limited to work well in a business or academic setting. Unless it's locked away at the premium level, I don't see how to create categories or manage tags. PBworks can work as a public-facing wiki but the company seems to be positioning its product as a tool for internal work groups.

2 Comments

Hi Soni,

I've been using and teaching PBwiki now PBworks for the last couple of years. I can tell you more about how I use it and how the teachers I work with have used it, and I'd like to clarify a couple of the things you have written here.

Let's talk!

So you have experience with PBWorks? Yes! I'd love to hear what you know. I wrote the above after playing around in it for an afternoon, that's all.

This article is one of a series of reviews of Collaboration Tools. There's a growing interest among the units in sharing and working online. Everyone's needs are slightly different. I'm trying to get a working knowledge of the main tools so I can offer good guidance.