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Join the discussion! "Collaboration 2.0"

Come share your thoughts!

Collaboration 2.0

A HASTAC Scholars Discussion Forum, open NOW at

What makes for successful collaborations, and how can the Web facilitate these?

In Here Comes Everybody,
Clay Shirky argues that any group undertaking (online or offline) can
be considered in terms of a three-rung ladder. Each rung requires more
and more coordination, and Shirky uses these rungs to help us
understand Web collaboration. The first rung is sharing, in which users
knowingly or unknowingly share information with no specific plan for
the end result. The second rung is cooperation, which requires more
energy and coordination than sharing. The third rung is collective
action, which "requires a group of people to commit themselves to
undertaking a particular effort together, and to do so in a way that
makes the decision of the group binding on the individual members." As
we move up Shirky's ladder, we are presented with situations that
require more and more control and coordination. But collaboration does
not always require such conscious coordination, and the Web provides a
particularly poignant example of this. In a space that allows for
collaboration across space and time and that allows Web denizens to
share information knowingly or unknowingly, how does collaboration
happen? Given that texts circulate to different audiences in ways that
we cannot always control, does our definition of collaboration have to
account for both the intended and unintended? Who is responsible for
such "unknowing" collaborations? What are the challenges and promises
of collaboration on the Web? How can Web collaboration help us rethink
our collaborative efforts offline?

This forum will address these questions and many more in hopes of
opening up a discussion about how the Web presents new opportunities
and challenges for collaboration. This HASTAC Scholars Discussion
Forum will be hosted by University of Texas at Austin graduate student
Jim Brown and will feature winners of
the 2007-2008 HASTAC/Mac Arthur Foundation Digital Media & Learning Competition
. We
hope you will join the discussion starting January 14!

Jim Brown is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English
at the University of Texas at Austin. He is finishing a dissertation
entitled "Hospitable Texts" that uses Wikipedia as a case study to
examine shifting notions of agency, community, and intellectual
property. At the University of Texas, Jim teaches courses in New Media,
Rhetoric and Writing, and Literature.


Special thanks to Flickr community member krazydad/jbum for this image of
"Flickr Mosaic: A Thousand and One Sunsets" (click on the image for documentation and
more of the photostream.)


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