Thanks to ever emerging new technologies, writers can collaborate in exciting new ways. Using tools such as Google Docs, writers can work on texts synchronously even when they are separated by continents and oceans. Using discussion forums, musicians can exchange and remix chords with other artists from around the world. Via Skype, writers can talk with one another as they collaborate in a shared white space. Not to mention Wikipedia. Clearly, good collaboration skills are more important now than ever before.
In our e-culture, being a successful collaborator is crucial to success. Today’s workers are symbol analysts: they use multiple media, especially Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Reddit, to share and construct meaning. Today’s symbol analysts are especially social in terms of how they communicate and learn. Use the resources below to maximize your collaboration skills.
When the first cave man started doodling on a stone canvas, he probably had critics looking over his shoulder, suggesting that he hold the brush a different way, mix the paint differently, perhaps make the buffalo appear fiercer, and so on. Many people find discussions with trusted colleagues to be an invaluable way to develop and polish ideas. Professionals in most disciplines, for example, attend conferences so that they can discuss ideas with colleagues and leading researchers. Writers in business and scientific contexts commonly work in teams with individuals responsible for their areas of expertise, such as marketing language, audience, finance, research, and editing. Some authors do not feel comfortable beginning a new project until they have discussed their ideas with others. Successful writers do not wait until they have completed a project before seeking constructive criticism. Instead, they share early drafts with critics. Teamwork and group management strategies include those linked below.
Try experimenting with different strategies to help ensure the success of group work.
Collaborators can inspire us, keep us on task, and help us overcome blind spots.
Confused about what to say to other writers when they ask for constructive criticism? Check out these resources.
Okay, so now you’ve received feedback from your colleagues, you’ve worked collaboratively in groups on documents and presentations, and you’ve even received suggestions from your instructor. So what do you do now? How can you sort through all of that critical commentary and determine what to accept and what to reject?