Near-Time, Inc. has announced the official beta launch of its namesake hosted collaboration service. With Near-Time, users can launch workspaces that leverage Weblogs, Wikis, and group scheduling, to give groups a way to share ideas, information, and files over the Web.
Near-Time combines the non-linear, ad hoc collaboration of Wikis with the broadcast nature of blogs. It is designed to give small and mid-size businesses a way to collaborate via metaphors that require no IT "care and feeding" or infrastructure investment. Larger enterprises can take advantage of Near-Time's architecture to integrate with other collaborative tools and build interdepartmental and inter-enterprise collaboration hubs. Members of a workspace can privately collaborate and make some or all of their content publicly available. The product features an interface and a standards-based architecture. Users can access Near-Time via any modern browser and Near-Time supports standard Web organization schemes, including hypertext links, categories, and tags. Near-Time also leverages existing technologies such as Weblog APIs, email, RSS and Atom feeds, and XML to provide interoperability with existing applications and systems.
During the beta period, all access to Near-Time services will be free. The commercial launch of Near-Time is targeted for late March and will include a free, entry level annual service. Commercial plans include advanced services like encryption and domain mapping and will enable users to upload and share files. Commercial price plans start at $4.95 per month. All Near-Time users can create as many Near-Time spaces and invite as many members as needed.