Near-Time, Inc. announced the beta launch of its namesake hosted collaboration service. With Near-Time, users can quickly launch workspaces that tap into the power of Weblogs, Wikis and group scheduling, giving groups an easy and secure way to share ideas, information and files over the Web. Near-Time combines the non-linear, ad hoc collaboration of Wikis with the time sensitive, broadcast nature of blogs. It gives small and mid-size businesses a way to collaborate via familiar 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. Near-Time’s support for standard Web organization schemes, including hypertext links, categories, and tags, gives users an easy way to discover, reuse and remix group content. 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 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. http://www.near-time.com

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