Posts By: Dan Randow

Use a Simple Tool like Email Groups to start Successful Online Collaboration

Whatever technology you use, your main challenge in getting collaboration started is going to be social. So you may as well start using simple technology and work on the social factors. Building Collaboration is a Social Problem not a Technical One Collaboration one of the holy grails of organisations. Everything will go so much better… Read more »

You are the Customer, not the Product

You may have heard the line “If you are not paying for it, you are the product.” Evidently, it originated in Metafilter. It has been discussed on Lifehacker, Computerworld and Forbes. The statement is a reference to the older idea of “user generated content” or UGC. UGC has long been a holy grail of websites…. Read more »

Directly Adding Group Members — Does It Actually Help?

Recently Google removed the feature that enabled a group administrator add members directly to a GoogleGroup, without the need for the new member to take any action. Instead, the group administrator must invite new members, who must accept the invitation before joining the group. At OnlineGroups.Net, we made a similar decision a couple of years… Read more »

Community of Practice-Wrangling

Between 2007 and 2010, I started a community of practice for people who work with biodiversity information systems. At the outset of the project, I was not a member of the community. I did the project as a community of practice wrangler contracting to the Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information System programme aka TFBIS. Now… Read more »

Is Email Killing Collaboration?

There’s a lot of talk about alternatives to email. But if you look at people on their computers, most of the time they’re not using Web 2 or Enterprise 2. They’re using email. We use email because everyone uses email. It’s the only online communication tool that everyone uses. So we’re stuck with it. And… Read more »

The Christchurch Earthquake — Community, Local and Online

As you may know, OnlineGroups.Net has an office in Christchurch, as well as in Wellington and Canberra. The Christchurch office of OnlineGroups.Net was based in a CDB building called Kenton Chambers from 2004 until December 2010. Kenton Chambers suffered only very minor damage in the 4 September 2011 Christchurch 7.1 earthquake, so we, and a… Read more »

Shared Pages and Files in Email Groups

Today, Google announced that they plan to turn off the pages and files features in Google Groups “to focus on improving the core functionality of Google Groups — mailing lists and forum discussions”. Google Group members have until November to find a new home for their files and pages, and until February 2011 to retrieve… Read more »

An Email Address and an Inbox for a Group

The main weakness with email is its main strength. The wonderful thing about email is that every individual can have an email address and an inbox. The terrible thing about email is that a group can not have an email address or an inbox. Email is an individual-centric medium. That makes it a great medium… Read more »

The Three Requirements for Collaboration

There is no doubt that online collaboration technology has got better in the last twenty years. But has that resulted in more collaboration? Certainly, it looks like people spend more time hanging out online, but is the technology itself what makes the difference? I have seen enough instances of “build it, and they do not… Read more »

GroupServer 1.0 Beta is Released

GroupServer is a web-based open source web-based mailing list manager developed by OnlineGroups.Net. If you know OnlineGroups.Net, you’ll know that GroupServer is its engine. For that reason, we’re pretty excited to be able to call GroupServer “1.0?”, and to make it available for free download. We have released GroupServer before, but we try not to… Read more »