Mark’s disclaimer[edit source]

As the initiator of this LDI, (and the founder of MetaCollab, I feel a certain responsibility to put forth some sort of position statement. While my aim is fairly straightforward in its objectives (not that they are necessarily easy to execute), my motivations are somewhat more complex. I won’t delve deeply into this point, however if you are interested you can read more about my PhD and general interests here. Rather, I’d just like to say that:

  • I am not a sociologist – I am an artist and a media/technology/cultural theorist with an application-oriented interest. Therefore I believe there must be many more qualified people to carry out this research than me, I just can’t seem to find them and so I’ve taken matters into my own hands. Of course, the whole idea of wikis like this one, is so that people like me can do just this.
  • I am trying to keep this project very simple (which isn’t easy) – in my opinion, everyone collaborates, so everyone is a practitioner with relevant insight and therefore qualified to contribute. I know this kind of contradicts what I just said above, but such is the nature of life ☺. My aim is to help facilitate the collaborative development of a general theory of collaboration which is not only straightforward in its theoretical aspects, but isn’t bogged down in technical language of one particular field or another. Not that I’m opposed to disciplinary specific technical language, but I would like to see the core concepts applicable to all situations where collaboration occurs – which is of course the point of a general theory of collaboration.
  • I am working to a schedule - I will be incorporating as much of this material into my PhD dissertation as possible, and submission is in early May 2007. So I’ll be working like a madman and proposing many ideas without the long, considered thought and reflection that I would prefer – though this seems to be the way most PhDs get written ;-). On the up side, this means that this research will have an immediate publication output beyond this website and the social networks of those who partake. However it may also mean that my theoretical interests are likely to be strongly contextualised around the rest of my dissertation material, which is largely stigmergy – I suppose this may be good or bad depending upon the merit of the intellectual investments I’ve made over the last two and a half years. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see…

So aside from generating dissertation fodder, bootstrapping a GTC into existence and reflecting the form/process of inquiry in the content of the proposition of a GTC, one of my chief interests in using Meta Collab for this endeavour is to get your feedback and input, so please don’t feel timid, just jump right on in and click edit.

Mark Elliott 11:52, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

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