I read a great article in Beth’s Blog about tools for collaboration and note taking for conferences and non-profits. It struck a note, especially since it called out my event.

For PodCamp Boston, we’re using PBWiki as our organization tool. We’re using it for information delivery (tricky, so we launched a blog to go with it), as our registration tool, our promotional data repository, scheduling, ledger, and more. But, as Beth points out in her article: using a wiki’s easy if you’re somewhat tech savvy. It might feel daunting if you’re not.

(Note: I know for certain a 73 year old author friend of mine edited it just fine, so maybe he’s a good canary?)

So what tools would be the ultimate blend of easy-to-use (grandma easy, not Web 2.0 easy), accessible to many, and flexible?

Backpack

My first thought on something easier than a wiki was BackPack by 37Signals. It looks really easy, has a simple interface, and can be scaled to fit your needs quickly and without much fuss. The “admin” of the account can take care of things enough ahead of time to make it useful to others, and like we did with PodCamp, the password can be made visible on the landing page for users to sign themselves up.

Backpack allows for notes and images, and files, and the like. It’s really flexible. I think BackPack and Campfire have blended now too, right? Or is that just BaseCamp.

Your Choice

If you were going to host a big event, what would you build to a.) keep people informed, b.) take registration information (at least listing), and c.) communicate changes and updates?

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