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When Intelligence Type, Collaboration Follows

30 Mar

 

AT the advent of new technology, Web 2.0 for me has so far been a success story involving both collaboration and innovation. As an information technology student, I also consider myself as a young practicing IT professional so this means that at a university level, collaboration amongst peers in projects is extremely important. Needless to say, this encourages what we call as TEAMWORK to prepare us for the real world—the QUT way.

Like how I use actual paper notepads whilst gathering some news when I was a journalism student back in Silliman University, Philippines, I’ve always found it essential for me to get hold of some collaboration tool to keep in touch with my classmates especially on news beats that we share before. And mind you, we have to painstakingly write on a pad of paper (that’s if you don’t have a recorder) news quotes straight from the horse’s mouth. And yes, that was yesterday but now who would have thought what impact Web 2.0 applications can bring to our daily lives.

While there are many Web 2.0 applications that tackle about collaborative models for teamwork, after experiences of personally using TypeWith.Me I finally realize that, not only does it help students share notes amongst peers, but it also allows that capability to collaborate real-time with each other on the same page. But on a news reporter’s point of view, it does not substitute a voice recorder of course!

Flash News

The search giant Google, as mentioned by Kevin Purdy in his blog, previously bought EtherPad in order to help the giant’s dead project Google Wave but the former’s producers “open sourced” it with the latter’s agreement. So when it was over, EtherPad eventually decided to create the new TypeWith.Me site which turned out to be a quick and dirty collaboration tool.

But allow me to personally focus on the meat of the news: If you happen to like Google Docs’ real-time collaboration but can’t be bothered on the registration, TypeWith.Me might suit your taste—just as it does to mine. It goes without saying let the typing begin!

Once at the site, all you need to do is Click to create a new documenton the very main page.

Will you TypeWith.Me?

Each online document has its own unique uniform resource locator (URL), as in the following format http://typewith.me/xxxxxxxxx. As per previous encounters, I prefer to email rather than just dictate out loud the URL to my classmatesalbeit to spare them some sanity as it does not follow a certain fixed pattern. So I suggest don’t even bother figuring it out too. But just be sure to put your name on the top right of the page, this will help keep track of who is doing edits as well.

As seen in this image below, Laura and I are still discussing about our group assignment even though another group mate, Dan, has left the page. What’s really handy is that Dan left us some tidbits of information for us to pick up from where he left off. To demonstrate how well coordinated we are, whatever I’m typing on my end shows up instantly on Laura’s computer and to add to that our respective texts appears in a different colour highlighting, this way I can tell who did what. How amazing is that?

Some Special Features

  1. Chat – you can communicate with your classmates (or workmates) about what you need to write over the main document sans the need for IM clients.
  2. Import/Export –this is where you can either import or export your final documents in various formats like HTML, Microsoft Word, PDF, etc., once your done.
  3. Authorship colors—identifies the color of the record of whoever fine tuned what in the document
  4. Time-Slider—shows a step-by-step slide playing the entire work done by any of the collaborators, again documenting who typed what.
  5. Saved Revisions—most importantly if you want to save a document in a sort of an archive, you can click save so anytime a collaborator can just get in there and totally mess it up but still go back to that particular revisions and start from there, given that you still have the same URL.

Overall this is an excellent site for students like me, to build and work on some sort of reports together. So in a teacher’s perspective this can actually be pretty handy as well, say a teacher uses this site while assigning students to work on a project. Being the instructor, you would also want to make sure that you get the URL of course. To monitor, you can go in there and click the Time-Slider feature and make sure everybody’s pulling their own weights and see at what time or day that they made those revisions on. And funny, you can see if they did it all the night before it’s due—good thing it’s not the case for this blog!

In conclusion,like any other budding IT professionals now I have learned that I need to keep in mind that harnessing collective intelligence also means participating, distributing, sharing, monitoring, listening and communicating to each other (and you can say TYPING) as ONE TEAM and truly that’s the fastest and safest road to Web 2.0 success.

So, now I ask the question Will You TypeWith.Me?

Reference

O’Reilly Network: What Is Web 2.0. 2011. O’Reilly Network: What Is Web 2.0. [ONLINE] Available at: http://oreilly.com/lpt/a/6228. [Accessed 17 March 2011].

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7 Comments

Posted by on March 30, 2011 in Web 2.0 Applications

 

Tags: , , , , ,

7 responses to “When Intelligence Type, Collaboration Follows

  1. Matthew Gurr

    April 3, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Hey Xavier,

    That is a cool app.

    I took it upon myself to test your example as its hard to understand an organisation that doesn’t want you to register first. Anyway, I typed in the URL and went straight into creating a new document. Awesome.

    My only concern is with the privacy of information entered into the typewith.me pads, in that they can be read by anyone that can find or guess the URL. Do you think people that use typewith.me pads are interested in securing their information? Or what future implications this may have?

    Good post.

     
  2. Xavier Villagonzalo

    April 3, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Thanks a lot Matthew for that great concern you brought up. Yes, of course I would always take into account the security of my information in data that I put online. But like I said this would do very well only if it does not concern much of my security. Say in reports that are for classroom consumption only, there’s nothing pretty much that I would certainly be worried about. So in different cases whereby I need a more secured medium I would definitely use one that would require some registration at least. But who knows if that’s even secured? =)

    Again, I appreciate your time leaving a comment.

     
  3. Diether TIczon

    April 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    TypeWith.me seems to work effectively with basic document content management, version control and export capability. The application is very lightweight and is very user-friendly. However, its functionality is too limited to rich text editing leaving it behind from the demands of users to share, collaborate and synchronize using rich media data for a more substantial content.

    The application is still useful when it comes to the essentials of sharing ideas and multiple-author concurrent word processing.

    I also get import failures when uploading html and doc files. I wonder if this only happens to me or to other users as well.

     
  4. venice chua

    April 6, 2011 at 7:34 am

    i think i should try this at home. it doesn’t work in the library’s computer. is there any limitations when it comes to software issues?

     
  5. venice chua

    April 6, 2011 at 7:45 am

    3/12/2011 – Typewith.me experienced a database crash. We are currently working on restoring old pads to a seperate site, and will post a link if and when that data becomes available! We apologize for the inconvenience!

    — This is what I get —

     
  6. Xavier Villagonzalo

    April 6, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Hi Venice!

    Yes. They did have that issue though, this means that few of the old pads stored in their database prior to 3/12/2011 are yet to be restored. But it does not mean that the site does not work. It’s really a good web app, so if you can possibly go back to the TypeWith.Me site. Just click, Click to Create a New Document. And voila, you can start your new document. Good luck Venice!

     
  7. lauradarvill

    April 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    i love typewith me 🙂 (as you can tell from the image i use it(haha)) i found it very handy to use in past years as a simple way of communicating with others when you are online. i like how it has the chat section and the editable section that allows everyone in the conversation to change. i think its great how only the people who know the end of the link can access the page so there is some sort of privacy to the conversation

     

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