In private beta testing mode since January, the England-based ProofHQ has just opened it’s program up to the the public. What makes it so appealing to so many is the obvious allowance for collaboration. ProofHQ makes this simple with the use of several formats on the web. Blogs, social media applications…users are able to comment and give feedback on a project that can be seen by anyone working on it by using embeddable objects.
There is no cost for this new personal version, unless you want to upgrade to a more advanced package that offers more storage. The free package only allows for five proofs a months (50 megabytes of storage), and the upgrades run anywhere from $29 to $99 a month. However, you can get a feel for it to see what you think by taking advantage of their 14 day free trial offer. It is both PC and Mac compatible.
The whole “cloud collaboration” idea isn’t a new one. There are several other companies out there doing much the same thing. You have for instance, Conceptshare, Octopz, Scribd, and the well known Basecamp. What is especially handy about ProofHQ is that users of Basecamp are able to integrate ProofHQ right into their Basecamp program. Or for those more familiar with Scribd, in ProofHQ, you can also embed items you need to proof right into your site and have other people leave feeback since your document lives inside an embedded file viewer that runs on Flash. When it’s time to make edits, just kick over to the full editor. One downside is that there isn’t any video conferencing or chat (like Octopz offers), but although there isn’t any real-time collaboration in these modes, changes do get shown to other viewers as soon as they are made to a project.
At this point, the biggest perks separating it from the others really are the ease of use, and the fact that you can merge it with another program you may already be using.