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Some common misconceptions about collaboration and conferencing

There are some common misconceptions about what makes an application a group collaboration, or conferencing tool.  Common misconceptions about these tools are listed below.  As can bee seen by some of the misconceptions, it may not be clear to people just what a group collaboration tool is, and what a conferencing tool is, and they do have some overlap, which can add to the confusion.  The reason for mentioning conferencing is because some people are not sure if there are any differences between conferencing, and collaboration.  Collaboration can include conferencing as part of the collaboration process, just as co-operative authoring can be part of the collaboration process, but conferencing and co-operative authoring are different.  Conferencing is more for getting a group of people together at the same time to discuss, whether it is a conference in person, teleconferenced, video-conferenced, or network-conferenced (with text only, sound only, or with video and sound, and possibly shared screens and the like).  Co-operative authoring on the other hand is creating documents by a group of people that are not constrained by time or place, and can work on the documents with little change to their normal methods of writing.

Some common misconceptions about web collaboration and conferencing are:

*        that they only refer to threaded discussions on web pages, or real time white-boards

*        that they only entail group discussions

*        that they are not real time

*        that they are real time

*        that they must use a web browser (even if it is not the natural way of communicating that information)

*        that they must be text messages

*        that they must be full multi-media

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