Collaboration tools in relation to the level of trust

by Lilia Efimova on 20 March 2006

Martin Dugage on Collaboration tools for communities of practice:

I have never been really satisfied with various studies and white papers on collaboration tools because I believe that the tools you use to collaborate depend on the level of trust you have established between the parties involved. There is no point in blogging if you don’t want to engage into conversations, and it’s no use introducing instant messenging in an organization where nobody trusts each other. So I tried to summarize this is a little diagram which I have found to be helpful in my communication.

I took the liberty to copy and resize Martin’ diagram, since I believe that it’s worth attention of a broader audience (and the visual is better than any summary I would make :)

Communication spaces and related technologies. By Martin Dugage

Loved the approach! A few thoughts:

Thinking of correlations with my long-term thinking on relation-building stages and blog networking.

Martin calls it “community space”, but some of the tools (e.g. IM) are primarily one-to-one tools… Wondering if/how we should take into account binary relations between people within the “community cloud” (also: degrees of trust in the community “in general” and between specific people may differ substantially).

Not sure I’d place IM/Skype into “shared values” space: personally I’d often use it in “information” or “cognitive space” (intrusiveness of IM is defined not only by the tools themselves, but also by social conventions around – this can redefine uses).

Wonder if next to the “trust” scale there is a need some another scale (“purpose”?) – at least to account for the “action” end of collaboration (thinking about the observations of bloggers switching to email/IM/wiki when it comes to joint actions.

See also: comments and an example from Jack Vinson

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