What is Collaboration?

In reference to Web 2.0, this concept states that shared contributions of large numbers of individuals, using social media tools, is the main driver of quality content on the Internet.

A Web 2.0 website allows users to interact and collaborate with each other through social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community.

Collaboration refers to Web, social and software tools used to facilitate website customer communication for increased sales and satisfaction on the Internet in real-time.

Web collaboration-techniques include phone/text chat and remote multiuser conferences/seminars via intranet or phone systems. Web collaboration also facilitates employee communication and interaction within an organization.

Web collaboration is a component of unified communications, which facilitate organizational teamwork and workflow. If unified communications are not well developed within an organization, Web collaboration implementation is challenging for management and personnel.

Managers should ensure that employees understand new technologies. Web software packages include tools for monitoring and evaluating attendee activities during Web training sessions.

Collaborative software helps you facilitate action-oriented groups or teams that are working together, even across geographic distances, by giving tools that aid communication, as well as the overall process of problem-solving. In addition, software technologies may help in various project management functions, including managing deadlines, overseeing task assignments, and shared calendars.

One classification of collaboration technology is based on the level of collaboration among the users of a project or task.

  1. Communication tools

You can think of these electronic (web-based or cloud-hosted) communication tools as the interchange of information and discussions that are unstructured. They allow you to send information (such as messages), files, data or information, or other documents between people or groups of people and, hence, coordinate the sharing of information.

These include:

  • asynchronous or synchronous conferencing
  • email
  • voice mail
  • Wikis
  • web publishing
  1. Conferencing tools

Also known as collaboration-level tools, these conferencing tools often refer to interactive work for a common goal. They too facilitate the sharing of information, but compared with the earlier communication tools, they facilitate in a more interactive fashion.

Common examples include the following:

  • Internet forums (also known as discussion boards or message boards), which serve as a discussion platform on the Internet to facilitate as well as manage online messages
  • online chat, which is a discussion platform online that facilitate as well as manage real-time messages
  • instant messaging
  • videoconferencing, where users or groups of users can discuss ideas and information real-time using audio and video (among the top cases for this include Skype)
  • data conferencing, where networked computers use a common whiteboard that the users can each modify
  • application sharing, where users can access a shared application from their own computers in real time and simultaneously
  1. Coordination tools

Coordination tools generally refer to the more complex interdependent work for a common or shared goal.

These include:

  • electronic calendars (also known as time management software programs), which can schedule events and notify or remind group members automatically
  • online proofing, which can share, approve, review, and reject documents, files, web proofs, artwork, videos, photos, between designers, customers, as well as clients
  • project management systems, which can track, schedule, and chart the stages in a project as it is being finished
  • workflow systems, which involves managing of tasks and documents within a business process
  • enterprise bookmarking, which is a bookmarking engine that can organize, tag, share, as well as search data
  • knowledge management systems, which can collect, manage, organize, and share forms of information
  • prediction markets, which allow people to predict together the aftermath or outcome of future events
  • social software systems, which organize various social relations of groups
  • online spreadsheets, which collaborate as well as share structured data and information
  • extranet systems (also known as “project extranets”), which can collect, organize, tag, and share information that are associated with the delivery of a project
  • client portals, which allow you to interact as well as share with clients using a private online environment

Another classification of collaboration technology is based on the method they are used. These are:

  • Web-based collaboration software tools
  • Software collaboration software tools

One more classification of collaboration technology is based on the area served. These are:


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