The term massively distributed collaboration was coined by Mitchell Kapor, in a presentation at UC Berkeley on 2005-11-09, to describe an emerging activity of wikis and electronic mailing lists and blogs and other content-creating virtual communities online. Mitchell David Kapor (born November 1, 1950) is the founder of Lotus Development Corporation and the designer of Lotus 1-2-3, the " The University of California Berkeley (also referred to as Cal, Berkeley and UC Berkeley) is a major research university located in Berkeley Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 694 - Egica, a king of the Visigoths of Hispania, accuses Jews of aiding Muslims sentencing all A wiki is a page or collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content using a simplified Markup language. An electronic mailing list (sometimes written as elist or e-list) is a special usage of e-mail that allows for widespread distribution of information to A blog (a contraction of the term " Web log " is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary descriptions of A virtual community, e-community or online community is a group of people that primarily interact via communication media such as Newsletters Kapor said, in the introduction to his talk:
|“||The sudden and unexpected importance of the Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia created by tens of thousands of volunteers and coordinated in a deeply decentralized fashion, represents a radical new modality of content creation by massively distributed collaboration. This talk will discuss the unique principles and values which have enabled the Wikipedia community to succeed and will examine the intriguing prospects for application of these methods to a broad spectrum of intellectual endeavors. ||”|
- wikis — massively distributed collaboration is not the only purpose served by a wiki, such as Wikipedia, but it can be the central purpose and at least is a by-product, insofar as participants are assembling a body of data or information which can be re-used by themselves and used by others. . .
- example: Wikipedia:List of largest wikis
- example: Comparison of wiki software
- econferences / listservs — the archives, of econferences and listservs some of which have been in operation since the early 1990s, are the best records we possess of the establishment and development of digital information techniques, the Gutenberg Bible of the Digital Era — one hopes such archives will be preserved. The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of Wiki software packages . .
- example: PACS-L
- example: biblio-fr
- gaming boards / product forums — a vast range of topics gets discussed, in some of these. . . an entire younger generation obtains and develops much of its peer-group collective knowledge on these things, now, just ask them. . .
- example: Doom
- example: Keyhole BBS / GoogleEarth Community
- blogs — as for econferences (above), so for blogs, archives of these are at least as important as the realtime interactions they host: the best records of the Age of Incunabula of the Digital Era may well become blog archives, and again one hopes that they will be preserved. . .
- explanation and examples: Blog
- example: Avatale / Bloghubs
- Wi-Fi — any tool which extends the "distribution", "massively", to enable the "collaboration" — the increasing transparency (XeroxPARC term) of the technology is its basic enabling device, letting the machinery blend back into the woodwork just as the telephone did. A blog (a contraction of the term " Web log " is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary descriptions of Wi-Fi (ˈwaɪfaɪ is the trade name for the popular wireless technology used . .
- cellphones — another tool extending "distribution", "massively" — this one directly offering interactivity to enable "collaboration", as vs. say improvements in screen technology which more enable passive Infotainment etc. applications. . .
- virtual communities — another digital tool directly aiming at "collaboration" in "content creation" — as vs. A virtual community, e-community or online community is a group of people that primarily interact via communication media such as Newsletters passive Infotainment, or one-to-one email, or local & restricted & possibly centralized systems — some virtual communities can be highly-centralized, though, and restricted, defeating the purpose and depriving themselves of the advantages of "massively distributed collaboration", either intentionally or often unintentionally — proprietary corporate or government or military systems, for example, some of which might need & want to stay "secret", but others of which might not know what they're missing, here. . .
- example: The WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link)
- Education — modern education being generally less didactic and more collaborative, with teamwork emphases on just about everything including research and even test-taking, traditional classwork increasingly is being conducted online — lectures, research, discussion, debate, team projects, consultation with the "teacher", even the "tests" —
- traditional education — traditional schools employ "massively distributed collaboration" in their courses, establishing class wikis and blogs and email bulletin boards, and offering syllabi to the general public and soliciting input
- example: MIT Open Courseware
- * distance education — very old and established correspondence schools now are switching en masse to online, and many new such schools are emerging
- example: The Open University
- example: The University of Phoenix
- * continuing education / career retraining — in the outsourcing and offshoring Globalization changes, career retraining has taken on a critical significance, much of it using "massively distributed collaboration" online
- example: UC Berkeley Extension
- * lifelong learning — the current era is spawning ageing population demographic bulges, in Europe and the US and Japan and anywhere which hosted a postwar BabyBoom, now moving into its 60s — reaching such people with lifelong learning offerings increasingly uses "massively distributed collaboration" in instruction techniques
- example: AllLearn — Oxford & Yale & Stanford
- (lab and workbench resources such as the Human Genome Database and Medline, for both publication and realtime transnational collaborative research)
- example: metacollab.net - a collaborative (wiki-based) research project focusing on collaboration. Transnationalism is a Social movement grown out of the heightened interconnectivity between People all around the world and the loosening of boundaries between
- example: "Google and the Wisdom of Clouds : A lofty new strategy aims to put incredible computing power in the hands of many. . . Google could become, in a sense, the world's primary computer. . . deliver to students, researchers, and entrepreneurs the immense power of Google-style computing, either via Google's machines or others offering the same service. . . " 
- Corporations — by now, any corporation which doesn't "get" the Internet is in trouble. . .
- see Business Week Magazine, US edition November 21 2005 — "Best Practices, Smart Ways to Use the Web, Companies That Get It" — they provide a list. . . almost all of their praise goes to "massively distributed collaboration" applications. . .
- Communities — political organizing, and other community efforts, are moving toward wifi and "massively distributed collaboration" techniques for keeping busy households in touch with one another
- example: Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, Eastern Oregon
- example: The Howard Dean Campaign, 2004
- example: Democracy for America
- example: The Roosevelt Institution, a distributed national student think tank
- Emergency relief — Katrina, the aid appeals for the Tsunami. . .
- example: Katrina Survivor-Connector List
- Literature — community-based writing of literature, usually fiction.
- example: StoryMash - anyone can contribute a chapter to any existing story in a social networking atmosphere where all writers get paid over half of all revenue.
- Music — an abortive / aborted attempt at "massively distributed collaboration for content creation", perhaps, if Napster etc. represented an attempt to assemble a globalized music database? On the other hand perhaps the iPod is a renewed and more practicable effort at this, although there does not seem to be much feedback built into that. . .
- Civil resistance / rebellion — "massively distributed collaboration" seems to have had its most dramatic applications here, so far
- example: "people power" in the Philippines, the EDSA Revolution of 1986 — reportedly planned & coordinated via flipfones
- example: 2005 civil unrest in France, October-November 2005 — also planned & coordinated via flipfones
- Political Action — organization of broadly-based communities for political purposes
- example: organization and operation of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines by Nobel Prize winner Jody Williams, a transnational and even worldwide instance
- Legislation — community-based writing of government legislation
- example: New Zealand's government is making the statutes that govern the New Zealand Police available as a wiki for worldwide public input into the process of updating the legislation. The EDSA Revolution may refer to three events in Philippine history referring to popular political upheavals occurring in the EDSA highway People The 2005 civil unrest in France of October and November was a series of Riots and violent clashes involving mainly the burning The Nobel Prize (Nobelpriset (Nobelprisen is a Swedish prize established in the 1895 will of Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel; it was first awarded in Peace, Literature Jody Williams (born October 9, 1950 in Brattleboro, Vermont) is an American Teacher and aid worker who received the Transnationalism is a Social movement grown out of the heightened interconnectivity between People all around the world and the loosening of boundaries between New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island The politics of New Zealand takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic Monarchy. The New Zealand Police ( Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa) is the national Police force of New Zealand, responsible for enforcing criminal and A wiki is a page or collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content using a simplified Markup language. See http://wiki.policeact.govt.nz/ Details at BBC news story
- Law enforcement — quid pro quo of the preceding. . .
- example: 2005 civil unrest in France, October-November 2005 — and the police response was planned and coordinated via flipfones, too. The 2005 civil unrest in France of October and November was a series of Riots and violent clashes involving mainly the burning . .
Older formulations, distinctions
- Various online techniques have been characterised as one or the other, or several, of these. One-to-one in Communication is the act of an individual communicating with another One-to-many in Communication is the act of Publishing or Broadcasting from one Sender to many Receivers. Many-to-many is a term that describes a Communication paradigm It would seem though that the new "massively distributed collaboration" very definitely is the last — many-to-many. Many-to-many is a term that describes a Communication paradigm
- Global Village, Virtual Community, the Web, the Matrix
- All of these labels characterized the statics, of what appeared to be going on, online, at the time the terms were coined. Some were accurate, some were not. But "massively distributed collaboration" addresses more the dynamics of what is being done now, online. It can be done by a Global village, or by a Virtual Community, or by the World Wide Web, or by William F. Gibson's entire Matrix: the point is, it must be done many-to-many — if not, it's just advertising, or preaching, or didactic teaching, or rabble-rousing, or old-style commercial publishing, or something else besides true "collaboration". Global village is a term coined by Wyndham Lewis in his book America and Cosmic Man (1948 A virtual community, e-community or online community is a group of people that primarily interact via communication media such as Newsletters The World Wide Web (commonly shortened to the Web) is a system of interlinked Hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. William Ford Gibson (born March 17 1948 is an American - Canadian writer who has been called the "noir prophet" of the Cyberpunk subgenre The "collaboration" is the new thing: using the Matrix not as a passive medium, as television turned out to be, but for active involvement by all participants — that is the truly new element, enabled by the novel techniques of digital information, in these new "massively distributed collaboration" features of the Nets.
- It's the "new thing" with which email filter designers and econference Moderators and Wiki editors are most familiar, perhaps. . . It's also the new thing which many have said never could be done: "massively distributed collaboration", among millions of people, including very different kinds of people scattered all over the planet, to produce — together — something respectable and useful to themselves and to others. . .
- Another attempt to characterize the structure, or the essence, of the Internet. . . The original packet-switching network architecture appealed to many as a failsafe, and among other things bombproof or relatively so, system for conveying data. But even this was "statics": the way digital information looked, on a map, or at least the way its telecommunications channels looked — "mapping" the Internet became a minor industry, producing elaborate images of 2-dimensional and even 3-dimensional splotches / nodes, surrounded by radiating little neuron-like subnodes, all of which interconnected in various scattered ways.
- "Massively distributed collaboration", on the other hand, is how people now use all of that: are beginning to use it, as the Internet era of one-to-one email, and passive Infotainment, gradually is giving way to more literally inter-active applications. The latest, of these interactive applications — in wikis, and collaborative online science research publication, and inventive sales and marketing and product development techniques, and the rest — appears to be what Kapor has characterized as "massively distributed collaboration" in content creation.
- One of the greatest fears of the ancient Greeks was democracy, which in their terms was rule by the demos, "the mob". Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system Their philosophers went to great lengths to insert safeguards, into political systems — hierarchies, checks and balances, voter "qualifications", anything to prevent mob rule — and apologies were written for oligarchy, aristocracy, philosopher-kings, any system which would keep the great masses and demagogues making use of them from truly running things. Separation of powers, a term ascribed to French Enlightenment Political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu, is a model for the Governance Oligarchy' ( Greek, Oligarkhía) is a Form of government where Political power effectively rests with a small elite segment Aristocracy is a form of Government, where rule is established through an internal struggle over who has the most status and influence over society and internal relations Demagogy (also demagoguery) ( Ancient Greek δημαγωγία from dēmos "people" and agein "to lead" refers to a political
- Massively distributed collaboration offers exactly the "scale" problems which face modern political democracy: how to organize, and discipline, vast numbers of participants — effectively, yet without stifling difference and dissent and creativity and, ultimately, participation. So wikis and other massively distributed collaboration tools offer fascinating subjects for study, now, by sociologists and anthropologists and particularly by legal and political theorists. The roles played, in these tools and applications, by their new system structures and linkages and peer-group relations, are as interesting as are the more traditional but still vital roles still played there by online moderators and editors and, yes, hierarchies: estimates have been that inevitable spam and vandalism remains online, on a pure-democracy system as enormous as Wikipedia, for a maximum of 5 minutes on average — so, how does that happen, "democratically"? — at least it ought to reassure the Greeks. ***************************************************************************************** * * . .
- Modern political philosophers who strongly favor democracy, such as Robert Dahl, have worried constantly about the effects of scale in large democratic systems: Dahl's polyarchy concept has cast much light, although it has been relentlessly attacked by critics. Robert Alan Dahl (born 17 December 1915) is the Sterling Professor emeritus of Political science at Yale University. In modern political science the term Polyarchy ( Greek: poly many arkhe rule was introduced by Robert A Modern politicians have worried, too: both at home and in overseas "nation-building" efforts, trying to construct representative democracy, overnight, among peoples who never have known it. For nation-building in the sense of enhancing the capacity of state institutions building state-society relations and also external interventions see State-building . . Massively distributed collaboration, on wikis and flipfones, and in transnational scientific research and Globalization big business marauding / "free market" equalizing, all might be very interesting laboratories for and even precursors to the better implementation of democracy in other policy arenas too. Transnationalism is a Social movement grown out of the heightened interconnectivity between People all around the world and the loosening of boundaries between Globalization (or globalisation) in its literal sense is the process of transformation of local or regional phenomena into global ones . . like politics. . .
First stab at elaborating the definition: massively distributed collaboration for content creation. . .
- The key to this is meaningful and significant feedback: without it, signals may be sent and received, but there is no collaboration. Feedback is a circular causal Process whereby some proportion of a system's output is returned (fed back to the Input. Collaboration is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together toward an intersection of common goals — for example an intellectual So a feedback-less television show or ad campaign or education session would not be covered, by the definition.
- The idea here is the Internet multi-nodal model, the one which DARPA legendarily liked because the foreign bombs couldn't take it out easily: an information system which is greatly centralized, like the French Minitel or most traditional corporate and government information systems, would not be covered by the definition. The Internet is a global system of interconnected Computer networks The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new Technology The Minitel is a Videotex Online service accessible through the Telephone lines and is considered one of the world's most successful pre- World
- The scale of the Internet, and of globalization and other enormous information dissemination and sharing projects now under way, gets folded into the definition here. Systems deliberately restricted to small-scale use — relative to other systems which are not — would not be covered by the definition. "Distributed collaboration for content creation" in your household or within your (small) academic department or corporation probably would not qualify: the idea here is the "mass" scale of the system — bigger is better, here.
- "Massively distributed collaboration" can be undertaken for many purposes: to build a dam in China, to sell automobiles nationwide, to distribute medical assistance in sub-Saharan Africa. But if the effort is one-shot — the automobiles get sold and there is nothing left over thereafter — it is not "content creation". The content — the data-plus-intelligence which yields "information" — is the point. Certain Global efforts might be admirable, in other words, and require collaboration which is massive and distributed, but the key idea behind the definition as it is used here is that such efforts should concern information systems: meaningful data which can be archived, and searched & retrieved, and used over and over again.
If all this is a sound characterization of what is going on, now, with wikis & econferences & flipfones (?) & blogs & virtual communities & the rest, then maybe we have our definition. . . the purpose being not to freeze that definition in place, but to use it to understand what is going on, changing it as all these things change. . .
- ^ Kapor presentation, UC Berkeley, 2005-11-09. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 694 - Egica, a king of the Visigoths of Hispania, accuses Jews of aiding Muslims sentencing all
- ^ Cover story: Google's Next Big Dream, Imagine what you could do with the world's mightiest computer, BusinessWeek, 2007-12-24. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Events 563 - The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is dedicated for the second time after being destroyed by Earthquakes
- ^ Plato's Republic Book VIII: "democracy comes into being after the poor have conquered their opponents, slaughtering some and banishing some, while to the remainder they give an equal share of freedom and power; and this is the form of government in which the magistrates are commonly elected by lot. The Republic ( Greek: / Politeía, meaning "political system" Latin: Res Publica, meaning "public business" or . . "the forgiving spirit of democracy, and the 'don't care' about trifles, and the disregard which she shows of all the fine principles which we solemnly laid down at the foundation of the city. . . how grandly does she trample all these fine notions of ours under her feet, never giving a thought to the pursuits which make a statesman, and promoting to honour any one who professes to be the people's friend. . . "in what manner does tyranny arise? — that it has a democratic origin is evident. . . " http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.9.viii.html And see generally Eric Havelock, The Liberal Temper in Greek Politics (London: Jonathan Cape, 1957), (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964). Eric Alfred Havelock (ˈhævlɒk (June 3 1903 &ndash April 4 1988 was a British classicist who spent most of his life in Canada and the United States
See also Cloud computing is Internet -based (" cloud " development and use of computer technology (" Computing " The Cochrane Collaboration is a group of over 11500 volunteers in more than 90 countries who apply a rigorous systematic process to review the effects of interventions tested in biomedical CAML ( C ollaborative A pplication M arkup L anguage is an XML based Markup language used with the family of Microsoft Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store organize search and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of Metadata The Collaborative International Dictionary of English ( CIDE) was derived from the 1913 Webster's Dictionary and has been supplemented with some of the definitions Collaborative authorship is the act of co-creating and consulting within a group of people to create a project in which the author of the project is the group itself rather than a single Collaborative editing is usually the practice of groups producing works together through individual contributions Collaborative fiction is a form of writing by two or more authors who take it in turns to write a portion of the story. Collaborative intelligence is a measure of the collaborative ability of a group or entity Collaborative learning is an umbrella term for a variety of approaches in Education that involve joint intellectual effort by students or students and teachers A collaborative editor is a Software application that allows several people to edit a Computer file using different computers Collaborative software (also referred to as groupware or workgroup support systems) is software designed to help people involved in a common task achieve their A collaborative workspace or shared workspace is an inter-connected environment in which all the participants in dispersed locations can access and interact with each other The term collaborative writing refers to projects where written works are created by multiple people together ( collaboratively) rather than individually Collaborative software (also referred to as groupware or workgroup support systems) is software designed to help people involved in a common task achieve their This is a list of Collaborative software (or list of groupware) applications A virtual community, e-community or online community is a group of people that primarily interact via communication media such as Newsletters Parallel computing is a form of computation in which many instructions are carried out simultaneously operating on the principle that large problems can often The West Midlands Collaborative Commerce Marketplace (WMCCM is a project focused on small-medium sized engineering enterprises (engineering SMEs in the English county WikiMapia is an online Map and Satellite imaging resource that combines Google Maps with a Wiki system allowing users to add information
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