Saturday, March 21, 2009

Real time collaboration tools

Want to collaborate with a user, or fellow librarian but you are both not at the same location? No problem try one of the following tools

1. Wikis

Wikis are of course all the rage these days. Besides the two free ones offered by NUS (see here and here), you can also try wetpaint, wikispaces etc.



Wikis allow you to edit each other's document, to track and revert changes. To put comments on the discussion place etc. Still Wikis are strictly speaking not real-time. Only one person can edit the same document at the same time, or you risk having edit conflicts. Also you will probably need to use some instant messenger client to actually chat in real time.

2. Googledocs

Googledocs allows you to upload office documents. You can then invite users to comment via email and edit the documents in real-time (they require a google account). Googledocs includes a online chat window so you can communicate in real-time with people editing the document.



There are many other similar online services that one can also consider including Zoho, OpenGoo, and Adobe Buzzword

3 Etherpad

Etherpad is touted as "Googledocs done right". For one thing, even googledocs isn't really real-time as it takes 10-15 seconds for changes to update. Secondly Etherpad doesn't require that the user log in with google account. Thirdly etherpad automatically shows changes added by different users in different colors which makes it handy to see who changed what.



4. Yuuguu

For a change of pace try Yuuguu . It is a screensharing and IM application. Users can see your screen, they can request for the right to control your mouse and keystrokes etc ( too dangerous to allow if you ask me). While you need to do download and install the application, other users just need to point their browser to a url and enter a pin that you give them. There is also a Instant messenging chat function built in , so you can communicate with those watching.



For even more online collaborative tools see this amazing post!

So what do you think dear readers? Can any of these be used for your work?

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