Collaboration Ninja 忍者

Work-in-progress: please join in and share your insights

Top Tips for Collaboration Ninjas

Be nice!

“it’s all about being nice, don’t say things online you wouldn’t say to someone elses face.”(Dominic Campbell)
“People can be taught technological skills fairly quickly but if you’re unfriendly or hostile towards them at the start then they’re never going to get in to it.” (Chris Applegate)

Communicate clearly!

Being over-verbose or not keeping it simple or being unfriendly…are barriers. “Language and syntax maybe a barrier.” Chris Applegate
All web-based communities have their own language, their own jokes, their own syntax styles. it’s important that you are… “making sure that when you do have new comers that don’t get the references and jokes, that they are catered to and are not meant to feel unwelcome just because they don’t know them.” –Chris Applegate
Use emoticons for written ‘chat’: “Using emoticons or those little smileys to give feedback is very valuable, there is a little bit of research that is you use those things its very good for productivity and makes things feel more cohesive.” (Peter Gloor)

Be Open and Transparent!

“Transparency builds trust…that means that you give as much information about yourself as possible, and can just mean enter a link to your facebook page. If you tell people why you are doing a certain thing whether its to get rich whether its because you want to change the wolrd, whether its because you want a new car or a  dress or whatever. If you tell that, then the other person will trust you much than if you leave him/her in the dark. ” (Peter Gloor)
if your open and put things out there it pays off big time: “The experience I’m having with the Internet: you put x amount in and you get x + y back.” (Geoff Brown)
“You can’t really hide. If you’re going to participate in this, people are going to be able to connect with you and understand you. You not going to be able to pretend your something you’re not.(Dominic Campbell)
” There’s a blurring of all our lives. Personal, private, political public faces of you…. Now really, people are more and more just one person, which is quite nice. You’re living more transparent life styles through things like the web.” (Dominic Campbell)

Don’t be possessive!

Nothing has a better chance of killing a collaboration than possessiveness.

“People can treat a Wikipedia page like a file on a harddrive- Often people will continually revert changes on a wiki page for no other reason than they created it and they think it should stay the way it is. The notion of ownership. However if your on a shared collaboration then nothing truly is your file. Then again that’s another cultural barrier isn’t it. Sense of ownership winds up being a barrier. But definitely a sense of treating the web as your hard drive, treating things as never changing or unevolving…. That’s another barrier. (Chris Applegate)

Take Risks and support risks!

Let go of control!

“do what you can to create the environment for positive change… but chill out and realize you can’t be in control of everything”(Dominic Campbell)


Integrity is the key to building trust, being transparent, having effective communication and successful collaborations. (FAR)


“Sharing is a two way equation: it’s both you giving something and the anticipation of something in return…approval or recognition. Lots of people talk about when you’re in social networks and you want to share some content then, you have to think of it a gift rather than just a piece of  content. Normally with gifts you get some sort of thankyou if you give them… for collaboration networks it would be nice if there’s some recognition that somebody’s contributed something at the least…. That forms a virtuous circle with regards to social proof. Both thanking me for my idea and also promoting me to my peers. You can very simply give people a reason to share again effectively by attributing ideas to them”. (Chris Thorpe)

Have a back-up plan

If the dog ate my homework was the excuse of the 70’s, my harddrive crashed was the excuse of the 90’s, then ‘the internet was down’ or ‘the cloud lost my bookmarks’ will be the excuse of the 21st century. As with all these previous problems- have a back-up plan. be prepared. Remember Murphy’s law: if something can go wrong- it will.

Beware of the virtual overload

“It’s difficult to switch between the on-line and off-line world sometimes. Like you know you have all these off-line relationships with people who you live near. Than you have the on-line world. It’s quite an art to be able to switch your headspace from one to the other and be really present- particularly in the off-line world… you get sucked into the on-line world and all your social relationships and what’s going on and that can provide some real challenges I think. I think we need to be conscious of that.” (Geoff  Brown)
THINK OF THE INFORMATION AS AN OFFER, NOT OVERLOAD. CHOSE WHAT TO ACCEPT- WE NEED TO LEARN THIS SKILL “I think that’s the other big barrier, but maybe it’s not a barrier. If you apply improv to this…. If you accept all that information coming your way as an offer rather than as ‘woa this is too big overload’ I think you can reframe it. It’s a matter of chosing which offers to accept. I think that’s a skill that we’ll develop as we get more used to this stuff. Because the amount coming at us is only going to get bigger and bigger. It’s what filters do we use and what do we chose to accept.” (Geoff Brown)

One Response

  1. matt says:

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

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