Collaboration 2.0 – What is it?

See also Information technology topics and Module III – Collaboration

Perhaps the most important aspect of the move to web 2.0 tools and technologies is the ability to collaborate. Collaboration is a coordinated activity performed by members of a team in order to complete a project or reach a shared goal. There are three primary ways in which humans engage in communication: conversations, transactions, and collaborations. There is plenty of software that enables conversation – email, chat, social software and e-forums – and plenty of software for making transactions – eBay, PayPal, internet banking, online shopping carts. But what kinds of software are available for collaboration? There are many software applications that seek to enable collaboration — which we will discuss shortly.

What are the goals of collaboration?

  1. Collaboration is action-oriented. People must do something to collaborate. They may exchange ideas, arrange an event, write a report, lay bricks, or design some software. To collaborate is to act together and it is the combined set of actions that constitutes collaboration.
  2. Collaboration is goal-oriented. The reason for working together is to achieve something. There is some purpose behind the actions: to create a web site, to build an office block, to support each other through grief, or some other human goal. The collaborators may have varying motivations, but the collaboration per se focuses on a goal that is shared.
  3. Collaboration involves a team. No-one can collaborate alone. Collaboration requires a group of people working together. The team may be any size, may be geographically co-located or dispersed, membership may be voluntary or imposed, but there is at least some essence of being part of the team.
  4. Collaboration is co-ordinated. That is, the team is working together in some sense. The co-ordination may follow some formal methodology, but can equally well be implicit and informal. There needs to be some sense at least that there are a number of things to be done, some sequences of actions, some allocation of tasks within the group, and some way to combine the contributions of different team members.

Writing environments

  • How will these social tools affect communication and collaboration in an era of social media?

Project & time-management

  • How are collaborative projects transformed through distributed-control tools such as Basecamp, Wrike, JotSpot and shared calendars?
  • Do these tools reflect and/or precipitate work and organizational changes?

Collaborative analysis

  • How are distributed knowledge-sharing environments changing academic environments? Libraries? other organizations in the digital age?
  • How do concept maps, collaborative mind mapping, collaborative data visualization, and similar environments affect the way people communicate? (i.e. sense.us, Kit Up, ConflictWiki)

Social networking

  • Social networking sites have exploded in recent years, allowing people to form communities and share expertise.
  • How are sites like del.icio.us, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Ning and YouTube changing how people share knowledge?

Mashups

  • With many streams of data online, people are combining them in radical, disruptive and unexpected ways.
  • How are RSS feeds, combined services such as Global Incident Map, practices such as workstreaming, and mashup infrastructure such as Yahoo Pipes changing the way that we understand, process, and use information in professional communication?
  • How do desktop visualizations affect how workers see their own work in the aggregate?

Virtual environments

  • Virtual environments such as Second Life and World of Warcraft have increasingly become sites of work, innovation, and collaboration.
  • How are these environments likely to change professional communication, if at all?

Some collaborative software

  • b2evolution is a free blog tool for the next generation of blogs. It includes all the features of traditional blog tools, and extends them with evolved features such as file & photo management, advanced skinning, multiple blogs support as well as detailed user permissions.
  • Bloglines is an aggregator that allows you to create a single page for updates from your favourite blogs, comics, newsgroups etc.
  • Drupal is equipped with a powerful blend of features, and can support a variety of websites ranging from personal weblogs to large community-driven websites.
  • Edublogs is a free blog hosting tool for education purposes. It is particularly useful if you want to set up a blog for multiple users (classroom) as opposed to an individual student or instructor.
  • Elgg is an open source software platform designed to allow people to easily connect and share resources. Elgg Spaces allows you to create social networks like MySpace for your school/institution. You decide if the network is private or public.
  • Journler is a daily notebook and entry based information manager. Scholars, teachers, students, professors, scientists, thinkers, the business minded and writers of every persuasion use it on a daily basis to connect the written word with the media (video and images) most important to them.
  • Moodle is a course management system (CMS) – a free, Open Source software package designed using sound pedagogical principles, to help educators create effective online learning communities.It is also used to host online conferences.
  • TakingITGlobal.org is a Canadian online community that connects youth to find inspiration, access information, get involved, and take action in their local and global communities.
  • Tapped In is an online workplace for a community of education professionals. K-12 teachers, librarians, administrators, and professional development staff, as well as university faculty, students, and researchers gather here to learn, collaborate, share, and support one another.
  • Thinkature is a collaborative workspace to which you can invite coworkers, friends, and colleagues to join you in just seconds. Once inside your workspace, you can communicate by chatting, drawing, creating cards, and adding content from around the Internet.
  • Worldbridges is a community of communities that use ‘homegrown webcasting’ and other new media technologies to help people learn.

References

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2 Responses to Collaboration 2.0 – What is it?

  1. Pingback: Alusión (weekly) « Alusión…Llamada Virtual

  2. Pingback: PI (weekly) « PI en Second Life

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