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Dear braintrust: As most of you folks know, I sit on the board for a… 
19th-Feb-2009 04:54 pm
Dear braintrust:

As most of you folks know, I sit on the board for a co-operative natural foods grocery here in town. We have been working on keeping more of our documents, like meeting minutes, in electronic form. We've started a Google group, and we've been using it to post documents to work on. However, it's getting messy - there's no way to make folders on the Google group, and we're starting to have documents pile up and confuse people.

We need a document repository. We need to be able to

- make folders
- let anyone edit documents
- see who is logging in and changing things
- have some sort of log in - these documents can't be public

Some of our board members are... technologically challenged. I'm kind of scared to use Google documents for this, because of that issue; otherwise, it would be perfect for what we need.

Does anyone have another recommendation, or should I suck it up and try to teach people how to use Google documents?

19th-Feb-2009 10:02 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty high on http://zoho.com - you might look into what they offer.
20th-Feb-2009 12:05 pm (UTC)
Wow. They look really slick - I'll have to make an account and play around some more. Mesh, too. If it weren't for the technology curve, there would be a lot of fine solutions out there, but I need something that people who can't do much more than check their email can use, you know?
20th-Feb-2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
Mesh is more about one person having access to their own stuff on multiple machines, not really about multiple people sharing stuff. You could use it that way, but it would require everyone to save the shared co-op documents to a specific folder on their hard drive (otherwise, they'd open up their Documents folder to everyone). My gut feeling is that you'd end up with more tech support that way -- people making all of their personal documents available, people not saving to the correct directory, etc.

That said, I like and use Mesh between my (mumble) computers, but that could also be me being a company shill, so take it with whatever grain of salt you feel necessary. :)
19th-Feb-2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
Yahoo! Groups is much better for this purpose than Google Groups. Google Groups is essentially just a front-end to Usenet. Y!G lets you make folders, lets anyone upload/download the documents, and you can decide who's a member of your group. If you'd like to see a Y!G that has a fair amount of data in it, I'd be happy to temporarily add you to one group that I manage so that you can poke around and see how we've used it. There's nothing sensitive in there, and you won't be disturbing anything that anyone is doing.

Alternately, not to go all MS shill on you, but there's Office Live, which gives you a shared workspace to save documents. There's also online editing (requires Windows, and might require IE, I can't remember), or you can download them, work on them in Office, and then upload them back up.

Edited at 2009-02-19 11:11 pm (UTC)
20th-Feb-2009 12:08 pm (UTC)
I have to admit to a bit of snobbery about Yahoo, with no good reason for it. I'd love to poke around an existing group, if you don't mind, as it sounds just the thing. :)

And I don't mind MS shilling. :)
20th-Feb-2009 01:18 am (UTC)
I had another thought... http://www.mesh.com
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