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Collaboration Is A Human Endeavour Using More And More Sophisticated Tools

Whilst I have advocated getting away from the computer and using whiteboards for collaboration previously I am also keenly aware that many tools (incl. the whiteboard) can assist .. which is just as well as it is my business. Technology that supports this human endeavour is becomming more and more sophisticated and, due to the consumer nature, the "Web 2.0" approach has seen great leaps forward for us all.

However, it won't be until we have fully emersive technologies widely available will it achieve it's goal of becomming invisible and truly useful.

Web Worker Daily (one of the blogs I reference on a daily basis) has posted Is Nortel’s Next-Gen Collaboration App Too Ambitious? which talks about a "Second Life"* approach to on-line collaboration. I suspect this is also why Google is playing with Lively.

Watch a version of the future that is coming within 5-10 years and wonder how old and fuddy duddy our use of blogs, wikis and the like will seem:

* Second Life:
A free downloadable client program called the Second Life Viewer enables its users, called "Residents", to interact with each other through motional avatars, providing an advanced level of a social network service combined with general aspects of a metaverse. Residents can explore, meet other Residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade items (virtual property) and services with one another.


  1. I disagree. I think the business case for a 3d avatar or 'alternate reality' to collaborate effectively is (IMHO) tenuous. Consider that the tools people are using now - IM, Twitter, Wikis - are inherently simpler to use than forums or other 'old-tech'. The trend is for simplicity over complexity.

    I see some sort of immersive live video feed (think the 3d properties of Photosynth, combined with live video) as a far more useful line of development - perhaps with a shared phyisical workspace (MS surface? Shared whiteboard? Lots of interesting areas for innovation!). Using the 'real' world goes a long way to achieving the ultimate goal of removing technology from the equation altogether.

    In effect, we need more immersion than you can get from trying to force more interactivity into existing tools. And really, the last thing I need in a meeting is trying to remember the button to 'sit down'.

  2. That should say I 'agree'. D'oh!

  3. Ha ha ha - great line, "the last thing I need in a meeting is trying to remember the button to 'sit down'." - I think I've been in meetings where that's been the case for some real-life people.

    I hear you, but once the technology is "easy" to use - imagine this with a multi-touch screen (say) then technology replicating real-life has to be easier than using a weird-as things such as 'keyboard' and a 'mouse', no?


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