Tag Archives: Blog Post

Market Based Collaboration

Blog Post 5/12/2010

At the Ohio Public Media camp I had an interesting conversation about the purpose of collaboration. I was speaking with an educator who is interested in using more collaboration tools (things like wiki’s or google docs) as a way of getting more out of her students in their group projects. While discussing the merits of different tools we came to a point where we realized that collaboration does not, in itself, mean working together for a larger goal – or at least it isn’t being taught (or interpreted) that way in many cases.

Consider how people come into a collaboration. First, there is the idealized way; people see an opportunity to create something new that can only be done with help from each other and so they come together to create this greater thing – giving of themselves what they can with that singular goal in sight. 

The other way is the market based collaborative effort.

This market based effort is more about trading one thing (skill, money, goods) for another to create something that couldn’t have been done by one person. This is still collaboration but the end result for those involved is usually less about what they are creating and more about that creation giving them each individually something in return (fame, fortune, a good grade).

The difference is subtle but I think important. When you are considering collaborative efforts are you looking to create a better community or are you looking to exploit the project to expand your revenue stream?