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Anyone can edit a spreadsheet… but why?

I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around what it means to combine a spreadsheet with a wiki.  Yesterday, Google announced a new feature on Google Spreadsheets called “anyone can edit”.  Create a model, pop it up on the web, and let people start editing… even anonymously.

Crowd-sourcing complex formulae?  Fact checking numbers?

What am I missing?  What are the user scenarios for mass collaboration on a spreadsheet?

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Andy Church May 15, 2008, 5:41 am

    Accounting anarchy. Imagine that.

  • Jason May 15, 2008, 5:15 pm

    Collaborative business planning, as long as there is a changelog with some basic version control.

    wiki-leaks style collaborative analysis of records.

    Anything that you would collaborate on but you need to do some math. How about collaborative analysis of government budgets?

    There isn’t a mess as long as there is some version control, at least no more than Wikipedia is.

  • jules May 16, 2008, 7:36 am

    I can totally get it.
    Especially if you are collaborating with people and you don’t have a centralized data location. Emailing spreadsheets is just mean. I’ve had 3 project managers working on tracking capital spend, and the flurry of emailed spreadsheets can even make outlook shudder in fear.

    😉

  • Mike Hardin June 7, 2008, 4:25 am

    I totally get it too. It allows you to collaborate with others without them having to have a Google account. You don't post the URL on a website unless you want total chaos. You email or IM it only to the people you want to collaborate with.

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