Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

Dina Mehta – Social Tools for Research and Collaboration

Just left the conference of Dina Mehta – Social Tools for Research and Collaboration.

It the best one so far. She talked about the blog/wiki/network collaboration that grew out of an collaborative effort when the December 2004 Tsunami hit. They had a chaotic environment and operation but from that, order slowly become apparent.

The most interesting point for me is that the reason she thinks it worked was that people were helping out in the fields of expertise they had. Each person felt the pressure of responsibility and that made them keep on their respective fields but with a will to share.

The main problem she had was about classification: with so much information coming in, how do you classify all of it? They solved by keeping the points of entry of information low (3 public emails on the homepage) and then having those three persons pass on the information to the correct task force.

This pyramid scheme worked well for them, and kept the information flowing.

The tools used where blogs, wikis, IM, and a lot of Skype.

On other news, this talk was edited by 8 people in Subethaedit. The pace of the talk was enormous but it was possible to keep up. It was interesting to see a talk about collaborative tools being transcribed or annotated in real time.

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