The folks at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence think they have a better way to organize the creation and consumption of content around complex topics such as global warming. Their new Collaboratorium project aims to fix what they perceive as wrong with current Web collaboration tools such as forums, blogs, emails, IM, and wikis.
It is one thing to create a tool and to throw it out into cyberspace. It is another to get people to use it. As I listened to the video, I asked myself, is the Collaboratorium a place I would choose, to write, comment, and read about climate change solutions? My response is mixed. While I share some of Dr. Klein’s frustrations with the status quo, I am not sure I agree with his solution.
One of the beauty of blogging is the immediacy and creativity that comes with it. Same with wikis. It is precisely because of their loose and imperfect nature, that these tools are so effective. One understandable reaction to such haphazard creation, is a need to control the process. This brings up an interesting tension, that may be best resolved with the offering of a broader range of tools, including other structured collaborative sites besides Wikipedia. Whether Collaboratorium fills that void, only the future will tell . . .
I am curious to hear your thoughts!
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