How do you pick the 'best' tool for collaboration when attention shifts, activities change and engagement exhibits a rhythm?
- Wiki - collaborative writing, concept centric text collecting, mapping, business intelligence - needs a responsible community
- Conversation engines - building social capital, co-ordination, dialog, exploration, planning - easier to adopt that a wiki
- VoIP - immediate feedback, presence detection, back-channel - helps speed things along
- IM - quick contact, passing URLs, cross-checking - part of the collaborative arsenal choose a tool that records
- Web surveys - gathering semi-structured inputs - infrequent use, mainly to poll and gather feedback
Often times starting with a conversation engine (Caucus, WebCrossing), that allows linear scrolling to enable context, gets the juices flowing. When things turn to 'doing' and away from 'just talk', turn to a Wiki - hammer out a joint document, contract or plan.
Use IM and VoIP as cement to build relationships and maintain strong ties, capture attention, and to keep the show on the road - gentle reminders?
When you need to alert a wider audience, obtain push-back or to ask those penetrating questions, consider blogs or web-enabled survey tools.
Tools for (personal) learning need parts of all of the above