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 with readability. 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 example. 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 communications theory.
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