I strongly believe that workshops improve writing and thus improve the world, so anything that improves workshops is a good thing. One improvement I noticed when I set up private web pages so NCWW members could share manuscripts/etc. was that this greatly simplified the timely exchange of manuscripts within the group. Folks who previously might have missed a piece because they never connected with others in their routing group were able to get them, and get them earlier. Some people even opted not to need paper copies at all. Folks had more time to read and more folks read. Life was good. :-)
Then I began to get requests from other workshops to help them with the same predicament (the difficulty of creating password protected web pages)... So, I automated it, and am now offering small sites to other workshops who would like one too.
This could also be beneficial to "reading aloud" workshops, where it might be beneficial to have an online copy members could browse beforehand.
This is a sample page to demonstrate what sort of pages are available to workshops -- nothing fancy, but secure. You can have a group password or (preferably) each workshop member can have their own.
The idea is that any workshop who'd like a password protected site can have one, on which they may put both public or private files. (Or it can be linked to a primary site elsewhere.) Each workshop is 100% responsible for content (i.e., I provide the space and password protection mechanism, someone in your workshop maintains the web and manuscript files). File space and access bandwidth is limited -- anything an ordinary workshop of up to a couple dozen people does is no problem, but I ask that you only store currently-up-for-critique manuscripts and only put up pages meant for members (i.e., no archiving lots of files and no encouraging the general public to your page :-). I will also keep an eye on things for abuse (or laziness!).
The demo password is 'tes-ty'; there are no actual manuscripts or much real here, so have a look around.
If you want more information, drop me a line.
Web page space and programming courtesy of Andrew Burt, founder of the Critters Writers' Workshop and author of...
Yes, Virginia, there is still a Y2K problem... :-)
(All book profits donated to the American Red Cross)