With the judicious use of a few of the popular tools that use Web 2.0 technologies and philosophies, you can collaboratively create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, websites, project documentation, and just about anything else you can think of while adding the benefits of distributed computing, asynchronous access, and storing your work "in the cloud." Many also offer document storage options that give you the ability to store documents created offline in a centralized place for all team members to access.
Collaborating A c r o s s Time Zones How 2.0 Technology Can Bring Your Global Team Together The Web 2.0 tools and services that are making socializing, networking, and communicating in general so easy are also making group projects seriously simple. 16 | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008 » www.infotoday.com COMPUTERS IN LIBRARIES collaborating across time zones C ollaboration—the process of documents are shared and on the inter- search and Institutional Libraries) 2008 creating something with more net, rather than on one person’s com- conference. If you are working with some- than one person involved—is puter, they are accessible 24/7. This one from a different region who is a mem- not new. People have been collaborat- gives you a huge number of potential col- ber of a completely different site, you may ing on written documents, on graphi- laborators to work with. need to make some compromises in the cal artwork, and on software for years. As Missouri River Regional Library’s matter of which platform you use. While What is new are the amazing tools now information technology manager, I be- all three platforms mentioned here have available that make collaborating with lieve that the key point with asynchro- applications that you can install to enrich people who are next door or six time nous and cloud-based computing is that your experience, a quick search of the ap- zones over just as easy as if they were everyone needs to decide on a common plication galleries in all three sites shows in the same room. The Web 2.0 tools platform to work on. Once your group that Facebook offers more in the way of and services that are making socializ- has made that decision, the rest of the applications for collaboration purposes. I ing, networking, and communicating collaboration mechanics are easy to will focus on Facebook’s applications and in general so easy are also making work out. how to use them for collaboration here, group projects seriously simple. With but keep in mind that you can use other the judicious use of a few of the popu- networks around the world as perfectly lar tools that use Web 2.0 technologies acceptable platforms for collaborative and philosophies, you can collabora- work, depending on you and your collab- tively create documents, spreadsheets, orators’ needs. presentations, websites, project docu- Even for teams whose members are mentation, and just about anything all in roughly the same time zone, else you can think of while adding the choosing a common chat platform benefits of distributed computing, (AIM, Yah
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