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Chapter 5. Collaborative Writing and the... > Technology for Collaboration

Technology for Collaboration

Collaborative writing can be greatly facilitated by effectively using technology. Modern e-mail systems and project management software allow a group to work together without having to meet face-to-face. Telecommuting, flexible work schedules, and geographically dispersed corporations mean that people have to work together without actually being together.

Groups may work in any of several different ways, defined by their proximity in time and space. When working together at the same time, groups are said to be working synchronously. This is most often done through the standard face-to-face meeting. When collaborating by working independently and passing information to each other for use at different times, groups are said to be working asynchronously. This is often done by using e-mail or faxes to transmit information to one another. In addition to the time dimension, groups may be separated geographically. When this is the case, the inability to meet face-to-face may require that technology be used to facilitate collaboration. The following diagram shows how various technologies can be used to allow a group to work across time and place.


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