The Collaborative Spectrum

We often talk about collaboration in text production as if it is a switch with default position 'off'. There is no in-between state. Either collaboration is turned on, or it is turned off.

Collaboration is a broad spectrum of activities and effects all text production. Any given work can be discussed as a position on a spectrum of collaborative activity. At one end we have ‘weak collaboration’, and at the other ‘strong collaboration’. The character of production can be described by a collection attributes which identify where it sits (at a given time) on this continuum:

Weak Collaboration

  • coordination through technical frameworks
  • little or no human coordination
  • coordination rather than collaboration
  • isolated producers
  • small contributions
  • no shared visions on the individual level
  • discrete parallized production outputs

Strong Collaboration:

  • the technical framework is an enabler
  • strong human facilitation
  • intensely connected contributors
  • large contributions
  • shared vision
  • synthesized production

A text may move along this spectrum as it undergoes different stages of production.