2010 is being predicted to be "The Year of Collaboration". The social media exerts are ringing the praises of this emerging area of sharing and creating as a new dawning of the ages.
The buzz around Google Wave and other tools that promote the ability for folks to openly share their projects and get useful input and feed back into their work is exciting.... but is it really a sociological sea change?
Some things lend themselves to an open source model, other things do not. Some people are open to sharing, others are not. Without the right connections and reputation, none of the tools will matter to the random user wanting input. The power here goes back to your network, brand, reputation and ability to create community. We will see the "Collaboration Elite" emerge much like we have seen the celebrities on Twitter and other social media platforms.
I believe the attention on the collaboration movement is more about the cool tools and the super-users than it is about the projects that will come from the collaborations. The process will work well for those who live and breath social media (but it already does work for those people) .... but will not flow quickly beyond those who are early adopters. Many in the greater business community are still avoiding the social media tools (the 2009 buzzy flavor of the month) and making excuses as to why they they will not use LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter... they are hardly ready to join a mass collaboration movement (thus it will be fun and useful for those who are the social media gurus and mass users...and it will give them new things to talk about... but this not an change in society).
The best of the best have always collaborated with others (regardless of industry). The tools were not the sexy part, instead the creating of something bigger than the individuals could have ever done alone was the "wow" part. This is hardly new.
Also, open collaboration is a great concept when all the players are share the same morals when it comes to the "rising tide raises all boats" concepts... but there is still the need to monetize projects,.... and greed (and selfish people) will not disappear in the new year.
Part of this becoming the "hot topic" is that there is always a need for a "hot topic". Bloggers cannot keep writing about Twitter and Facebook in the new year .... as these have been done to death.
"Collaboration" is the new new thing. But is it?
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