In an age of increasing networking and collaborative working and thinking, it is hardly surprising that the collaborative writing is gaining popularity in all possible areas. Be it in education or research. Be it to create an encyclopedia or to write books. It already has become clear that several heads are smarter than one alone.
And for a good reason. Because where knowledge is merged, revised, reflected and learned there may occur something new, something great and in a very short time. Because in comparison to the classic writing phases, from the draft to obtaining feedback to the subsequent revision, new feedback and ultimately to publication passes usually a lot of time , sometimes several years.
In collaborative writing these processes take place simultaneously, shortening the time until the release enormous.
State-of-the-art in writing?
To ensure these dynamic processes, it requires a rapid flow of information and a direct exchange of text, images and information.
But to create a living document, it needs not only many different writers working at the same time or at different times in a particular topic, it is equally necessary to have the appropriate software for these processes.
Agile process models not only for software development!
But what can such software or rather, what should it be able to?
There are now many free or fee-based providers of which are hereinafter referred to some, but here certainly can not claim to be complete.
The best known are Google Docs and Wikipedia. While Google Docs is usually chosen for a fixed team of authors, who are exchanging ideas about the content and a certain coordination follows a wiki is much more open, because here every person can contribute his knowledge to without consulting with the other authors. Another difference is that the processing is carried out in a Wiki principle sequentially.
Google Docs and many other suppliers of Etherpads allow editing and reproduce the edited content in real time, as well as the synchronization of the document is by the second. Other advantages of this software are the automatic saving of the processing steps, the complete reconstruction of the previous steps, and thus the ability to restore an earlier version.
The perhaps most important and significant aspect of collaborative writing is that the boundary between reader and author blurs. Authors are simultaneously readers and readers are authors. This involves a much more intense apart set with the subject and draws a huge and rapid learning curve for all parties.
Thus, the collaborative writing highly contributes to the sustainability of the dissemination of knowledge.