Collaboration Tools for Virtual Teams

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Communication is essential to collaboration. The consideration of time, place, media richness, task, and adoption are important for choosing the collaboration tool(s) appropriate for communicating and collaborating in any team. Teams who choose the use of an inappropriate tool(s) could cause faulty communications or an inadequate exchange of information hindering their creativity. (Nemiro, 2004) COLLABORATION TOOLS

Violino (2007) presents several online collaboration tools teams are taking advantage of in order to share information, communicate, debate, research, design, develop products, and many other activities regardless of where the members are located. He offers seven tools to facilitate work identifying certain tools as more appropriate and valuable than others dependent on conditions such as time and place and tasks at hand: •Blogs: Described as commentaries or journal entries found on a website containing insights by one or more authors in reverse chronology, most blogs are interactive allowing readers to leave comments. Blogs can either be open to anyone or by invitation only for participation. •Desktop Sharing/Shared Workspaces: Web-based software that allows users to share their PC desktops or a shared workspace with other users for real-time collaboration and content sharing. •Discussion Forums/Bulletin Boards: Moderated web applications that allow registered users to discuss topics at their leisure. They are described by Violino (2007) as central clearinghouses for sharing knowledge, ideas, and resources. •Instant Messaging (IM): A type of real-time online text-based chat between two or more people. IM conversations can include video conferencing, voice over internet, and file sharing. •Podcasts: Podcasts are recorded digital media files (audio and video) distributed via the internet. •Web conferencing: Online conferencing system used for electronic collaboration in real-time. Web conferencing can be conducted...
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