Global collaboration tools of the Future

I will try to update this later with new fresh eyes:

I also wrote this in august 2012:

Now, for real, we’re all in the process of creating business around some of these ideas so I can’t give every details on exactly HOW we plan to do it – then you need to hire me! ūüôā ¬†Although, I think the WHAT is worth sharing in order to be able learn from others and maybe open for partnerships, early-adopting customers etc. I think we all know the WHY and that we all are longing for the proper tools to evolve – the networking becomes more and more complex. I sometimes think of a global blog with an open account.. and then hmm.. that’s a Wiki.. but where’s the open TODO-list.. where’s the global calendar (there are probably hundreds by now)..? ¬†And then I stumble intentionally on really exiting threads here and there.. Wow, if only we could find a way to coordinate every effort.. every little budget… every little “singer” out there..

Virtual choir


Back to topic, how do we put information together now and in the future? The trick is to see information in little other way than usual – holistically – both on application and network level. This means both when sending messages like email (imagine 100s of email-protocols and clients) and when building functions inside tools/systems/frameworks. We have a tendency to put a persons name, address, age, parent, references, groups etc in one database-table and then an organisation’s name, address, age, parent, references, groups etc in another. And another table for a calendar-event with it’s¬†¬†name, address, age, parent, references, groups properties… Not mentioning every variant of each organisation’s information models – there can be hundreds of models in each organisation. Apologizes for the geekyness, but this is a root cause of many problems we have today – how to solve it? Time will… Or suddenly the big actors make an agreement over night.¬†In further detail: a message always have certain meta-tags (from, to, subject, time, geopos etc) and then comes the content – look at for example the (not perfect at all) INSPIRE-directive:

And of course, with the further work of the semantic web many of our problems will be solved – but how will the tools work for us?


Now, the main problem today is that every tool regards itself as the¬†center¬†of the universe – when in fact it’s with 99,9999999% certainty something or someone else is. More true, the Center is always each and every user! No matter what I do on my computer or on my smartphone I should be able to share it through my own virtual information channel that uses a standard new generic protocol. Once I have published it, tool outthere should be able to pick it up and present it in any other preferred tool. Let the social network tools to the job – you should not need to do it!


So if any of you guys are subscribing to my information channel (feed) you shall be able to see it in fb, twitter, Quora , g+, your calendar, a map or in your headphones.. any platform of your own preference. Due to the protocol, the cooperation tools can converge the information to own formats – the tools only become “looking glasses”/filter of the information. Now, how shall this be done you might ask – that’s my headache. It will be some confusion first but after a while the “nervous system” will stabilize and the tools will adapt. If you want to filter global information in geography you use the map, if you want to filter in time you use a calendar or timeline. If you want to filter by groups/persons you use a Social Network Analysis-tool. If you want to filter by topics you use a twitter-like-tool.. etc. The tools only becomes tools for bringing out perspectives – and not the information owning silo. Now, that’s an idea of the century, Google!


And then of course there’s the social complexity to address. Users need to become engaged.. committed to the way of working and to share information – the best way I think is to use gaming technology. That task-list need to be created and people could instead of solving problems in WoW solve problems in real-life and even make money out of it. Make life interesting – make a game for global improvement. Make challenges and cooperate on common goals. Be open, random and supportive (thanks ¬†for that and Bert-Ola for linking and connecting).

And then the resource management, taskmaking, common intent, information cards on the current situation, the feedback and feedforward tools, the apps, the desktop version and the web version and semantic web, rss news feed analyser, wiki, blog, microblog, logs of different focus, friendmaking, voting + 20 more essential functions you can choose to need depending on your role.


Check this out – here’s a bible on how to undertake complex endeavours:

How does a tool for Self-synchronization look like – it must be user-centered..!

And this:

I could of course develop it further but it’s better that YOU think. And please share to me how you percept reality and the future!


Now, I have made this blog. How can I publish it. I can ask WordPress to publish automatically. But I need to post it on several groups on Facebook and in specific threads, cc to certain people. On Twitter I need to find the right tags and address again the right people. And then there’s people on G+, wordpress and swedish forums and then find the right questions on Quora and then, email… Still I know for sure that the right people that needs just this post will not read it. And I am sure not one single potential customer will find it unless I know who it is an¬†email or call that person specifically and . This is how it’s working today – and it’s stealing time.

This is a response to a thread that Zaq Mosher owns with the original “question” – follow the discussions at:¬†¬†

Blogs are dead. Wikis are dead. socialNets are dead. We have new medias, instead of using them to mirror old medias, lets start using them in ways that weren’t possible before.

Kaya Rose, Josh Devereaux, I, and others ave been trying to figure out the best way to share the progress of we are calling the collaboratory. When thinking about it, however, we realized that we don’t want to publish finished products to telling folk what we’re gonna do; how we’re gonna do it; and what we ended up doing, and then get feedback after the fact.

Rather, we are more interested in exploring ideas with people and figuring out things together. We don’t claim to know everything, and don’t want to let our ignorance hinder us. We want to share what we’ve got, have people be able to share with us what they’ve got, and out of that have generative conversations with the potentialy to grow something more comprehensive than any of us had before. Let’s collapse the consumer/producer boundary. Also, we’d like the conversations to be dynamic and ongoing so they can adapt in a world that is both changing on its own and in response to the actions we are taking in it.

At first glance, it seems like wikis best fits our requirements. However, upon deeper reflection of our needs, its missing important components that seem better served by blogs and socialNets.

Although, the process of figuring things out is ongoing and dynamic once we get to a place where some work is relatively done we’d like to broadcast it in order to start a conversations with a larger and more general audiences. It’d also be useful to clearly see how our progress has developed over time.

One way we could do this is to copy in paste the work into a blog, the problem we see with is that although the idea would be more refined, we’d like it to be able reflect changes that will occasionally occur in the wiki it was pasted from. Perhaps their is something out their that would allow us to embeed wiki documents into blogs?

Social networks are cool because they allow us to ping Stuff, Concepts Places & People, than can serve explanatory purposes and potentialy provide valuable input into the conversation. It’s nice to be able to ask knowledgeable peep what they think about a particular topic. (cc Mark Dilley Mark Frazier) Point out places that need work to a core team. (cc Uriah Maynard) And notify those others we think may be interested. ( cc Dru Micn)

Some problems, as we see them, with socialNets in their current instantiations is that they are generally siloed, don’t provide good organizational and search tools, aren’t very (co)editable.

We can clumsily do some of this right now.

For example, I can link and ping people to a conversation happening in twitter by pasting a links:

We can keep good conversations from getting lost in the stream by manualy creating reference documents (btw, feel free to edit):

We want more elegant solutions. If I’m working on a wiki document on a website, and I think Dan RD may be able to provide some insight on a particular topic it’d be nice to be able to ping him from within the document wherever he is, not just from within facebook, twitter, etc…

This is why having a open social protocol would be useful, similar to email, we could ping people as long as we had one of their profiles. Also, similar to email, because people could create mutliple profiles it would allow for people to easily create their own silos. Their are certain email addressess I only give out to family and friends, some I use for junk mail, some I use for school, etc.

Some of this functionality is already being worked in in projects like netention:

& Diaspora:

But, they are far from be able being able to be functional for working on real life projects, like the collaboratory, right now with everyday non-geeky folk.

I’ve attempted to use this as both an explanation and demonstration of the concept we’re talking about. (Particulary the socialNet aspects.) Please, join int the conversation.

(We’d really appreciate some help with coming up with a feature list for a protocol that could do what we wanted.)


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