This March an online word processing startup called Writely was purchased and merged into Google. This fledgling company had one of those great ideas that Google seems to have a hard time passing up; online interactivity and document interaction. To quote Jen Mazzon, one of the creators and a part of the new Google Writely Team, “everyone told us it was crazy to try and give people a way to access their documents from anywhere — not to mention share documents instantly, or collaborate online within their browsers. But that’s exactly what we did.” (source URL).

Since the purchase Google shut Writely down to incorporate it into its system. As of last week, however, is back up and accepting new users (see Google posting)

So here goes Google again… launching another online application, except that this one appears to be exceedingly useful. I like the idea that multiple users can work on a document on the same time and the written material can be uploaded to their own website and even to their blogs. Automatically saving articles securely every 10 seconds is another great bonus (for those who forget to use the save feature!).

Since this is an entirely free system backed by Google I expect Writely to become quite the phenomenon in the next few months. Anyway, this is yet another place where Google can extend its formidable advertising reach.

Oddly, I tried to find the press release for the relaunch of Writely but there doesn’t seem to be one… did Google forget to publicize this?