…can you tell I’m the non-acedemic here!? ; )
I worked on a *broadly* similar project about 6-7 years ago (if memory serves), for NGO’s, attempting to draw together approx. 40-50 odd, very small and dispersed workers in the health and human services areas.
The project attempted to apply all of the buzzwords, doc-management/sharing, bottom-up self-organisation, aggregation, customisation, syndication (all the ‘-ations’) etc., but ultimately didn’t strike enough of a chord across the user base, to sustain the level of interaction needed… it didn’t quite hit ‘critical mass’.
IMHO the technology was not a particularly limiting factor, I would put the eventual under use to insufficient ‘training’, or perhaps more appropriately ‘cultural change’, in getting users for whom the computer was not their primary tool, or interest, to appreciate the potential in moving their point-to-point collaboration to an open platform (within their sector.)
As a UI/interaction (whatever) designer, the other major factor would have been the ‘interface’ — the extent to which the UI facilitated, and *encouraged* this sort of work, and got out of people’s way, was sadly also an issue.]]>
I apologise. I actually knew it was Austria, but was writing that post whilst pausing to listen for salient points from another presenter.
It sounds like a fascinating project. Inter-organisational, intra-organisational, and professional cultures would of course also bring great bearing to this. I was merely suggesting that it would be interesting to test the same system with a macro culture pre-disposed to being more public than one which tends toward greater privacy.
Good luck with future iterations!]]>