Meta Collab

Online collaboration consists of collective creative practices and activities which employ ICTs (information and communication technologies). Also referred to as 'Internet collaboration', however with the rapid extension of network activities across a wide array of platforms and infrastructures, 'Internet' may ultimately be a limiting term in conceptualising the phenomenon.

Regarding the practice of employing such collaborative activities as a strategy (i.e. concsiously), in his article, The Participatory Challenge, Trebor Scholz says:

  • Start with a core group of users/producers (a group of 10-15)
  • Start with relevant, high quality material (the quality of initial contributions sets the tone and expectation for posts to come; it creates the identity of the online space)
  • Keep contributors informed (it is not unusual for contributors to drift away after a few initial interactions with the collaborative system; thus a useful response is to give contributors an update on what is going on)
  • Emphasize the benefits (it is natural for contributors to resist getting involved; hence facilitators of a social tool need to talk about the advantages of using it in workshops and face-to-face meetings)
  • Give individuals credit (verbal acknowledgment, the pleasure of making a submission, and having your ideas appreciated contribute to the success of online collaboration)
  • Allow for conflict (controversial debates are important - disagreement fosters engaged, substantive conversations)
  • Let the users/producers rule (trust your contributors to take your system and adapt it to their needs)

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