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Social collaboration

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Social collaboration refers to processes that help multiple people or groups interact and share information to achieve common goals. Such processes find their 'natural' environment on the Internet, where collaboration and social dissemination of information are made easier by current innovations and the proliferation of the web.

Sharing concepts on a digital collaboration environment often facilitates a "brainstorming" process, where new ideas may emerge due to the varied contributions of individuals. These individuals may hail from different walks of life, different cultures and different age groups, their diverse thought processes help in adding new dimensions to ideas, dimensions that previously may have been missed. A crucial concept behind social collaboration is that 'ideas are everywhere.' Individuals are able to share their ideas in an unrestricted environment as anyone can get involved and the discussion is not limited to only those who have domain knowledge.

Social collaboration is also known as enterprise social networking, and the products to support it are often branded enterprise social networks (ESNs).[1]

It is important that we understand the rhythm of social collaboration. There needs to be a balance, with ease to move from focused solitary work to brainstorming for problem solving in group work. This critical balance can be achieved by creating structures or a work environment where it is not too rigid to prevent brainstorming in group work nor too loose to result in total chaos. Social collaboration should happen at the edge of chaos.

Social collaboration happens at the edge of chaos
Sparks of social collaboration fly at the edge of chaos. The existing structure and environment should not be too rigid to prevent people from collaborating nor too loose to create chaos. It is essential to strike the right balance. [2]

Work practices should support social collaboration. The most effective environment is one that supports opportunistic planning. Opportunistic planning provides a general plan but then gives enough room for flexibility to change activities and tasks until the last moment. This way, people are able to cope up with unforeseen developments and not throwing away everything with one grand plan.

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