Fun with Twiddla

I have just been playing with a thing called Twiddla, which I think is really quite awesome.

I was chatting with Jen Okimoto about how nice it would be if there was a free, simple to use, Web 2.0 style application to do shared whiteboarding.  A quick Google search later, and there we were, testing out Twiddla.

Twiddla is very easy to start using - it doesn’t even require you to register.  You can either send e-mail invitations to whiteboard meetings, or just provide a URL. We piled right in and drew stuff, both freehand and via the built in templates for things like boxes and arrows.

Another cool thing is that you can put pretty much anything you like up on there to draw on top of (serious minded people read: annotate).  Examples include pictures, web pages, PDFs, Powerpoint files, image files, and quite a few others.

Of course you can register on the site if you want to, and you don’t even have to tell them your address, mother’s maiden name, or any of the other intrusive personal details that seem to characterise web site registration forms.  Registering enables the ability to password protect your whiteboard, or make it invite only.  This is important because the URLs for the different whiteboards end in a very short number, and you can quite easily visit other people’s e-meetings by changing the number in the URL.  This of course allows you to enrich their lives by draw happy smiley faces on their whiteboard.

Oh, it was a bit happier with Firefox on my Mac than it was with Safari.  I couldn’t detect much of a difference, but the spots for changing the line draw thickness didn’t appear in Safari.

Other than that, it was great fun and pretty useful seeming.  Jen’s colleague Liz joined us, and we all just played and drew stuff with happy abandon.

Collaboration at its finest!