Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tools for On-Line Collaboration

My friend Chris Pudney and I record a regular audio podcast about all things Internet. The two most recent episodes were about on-line collaboration. In particular, the most recent episode was about some powerful tools for making on-line collaboration easier (The previous episode was about the principles).

Listen to this episode here:

MP3 File

Web sites we mentioned in this episode:

Setting up the project:

Scheduling meetings:

  • Send around meeting invites using Outlook, Lotus Notes, etc.
  • allows you to nominate up to 5 possible times for a meeting
  • (and many others) allows you to show the team when you're available for meetings

Conducting on-line meetings:

Informal discussions:

  • Discussion forums are useful for asynchronous discussions (Ning provides this facility)
  • Chat rooms are good for synchronous discussions (Ning provides this facility)
  • for collaborative mind mapping
  • to create your own bulletin board - example:

Document sharing

  • Google Docs: A web-based office productivity suite, i.e. a word-processor, presentation tool, spreadsheet etc.
  • Wikis: Web sites for collaboratively editing a collection of interlinked web-pages (e.g. Wikipedia)
  • Use a Wiki farm for hosted wikis
  • Use Rapidshare or Dropbox for sharing big files

Document management:

  • Help desks and issue trackers: Bugzilla, Trac
  • Google Docs provides revision control