Communication and collaboration via the Internet has risen to
great prominence in recent years, especially with the rise of
social networking, Web 2.0 and virtual worlds. Many interesting and
worthwhile studies have been conducted on the technology involved
and the way it is used and shaped by its user communities. From
some of the more popular coverage of these interactions, it might
be thought that these are new phenomena. However, they draw on a
rich heritage of technologies and interactions.
Online communication and collaboration presents a very timely
set of articles that cover a range of different perspectives upon
these themes, both classic and contemporary. It is unusually broad
in the range of technologies it considers - many books on these
topics cover only a few forms of collaboration technology - and in
considering well-established technologies as well as recent ones.
It blends academic and popular articles to combine scholarly rigour
The book is divided into eight sections, covering the
foundations of online communication and collaboration, together
with current collaboration technologies such as wikis, instant
messaging, virtual worlds and social network sites. These modern
communication tools are considered in terms of their interactions
but also looking back at lessons to be learnt from their
technological 'ancestors'. The book also contains an extended case
study of online collaboration, taking open-source software as its
Online communication and collaboration will be of relevance in a
wide range of higher education courses in fields related to soft
computing, information systems, cultural and media studies, and
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