From Horizon Project
Time-to-Adoption: One Year or Less
 Online Collaborative Workspaces
An online collaborative workspace serves as a hub where a group of people can work or socialize. Unlike productivity applications, which enable a user to perform a specific task or create a particular product, collaborative workspaces are “places” where groups of people gather resources or information related to their personal or professional lives. These workspaces include do-it-yourself social networks like Ning (http://www.ning.com); sharable personalized start pages that are “pagecast” from services like Netvibes (http://www.netvibes.com) or Pageflakes (http://www.pageflakes.com); and third-party social networks like Facebook (http://www.facebook.com). These spaces make it easy for people to collect a set of tools to keep in touch, share interests and ideas, and keep tabs on each other.
The tools, or widgets, can pull information from a variety of sources, including Flickr, Twitter, MySpace or Facebook, news and weather feeds, del.icio.us, blog feeds and more. The API (application programming interface) for such spaces enables the development of third-party widgets—often designed by people in the user community—that allow almost infinite extensibility and customization based on a group’s needs or interests. For example, a page could include a calendar widget populated with data from the group’s online calendaring system, or a whiteboard widget where visitors can type messages for one another.
 Relevance for Teaching, Learning & Creative Expression
- Groups can set up a single location to get information related to their topic or course.
- Online workspaces facilitate serendipitous connections between people with like interests.
- Students can create a “portfolio” page that automatically updates as new work is blogged, podcast, or posted to photo or video sharing sites.
- Collected psychology resources on Pageflakes: http://www.pageflakes.com/sheryl.adam/14404094
- ScoPE is a community of practicing educators hosted by Simon Fraser University: http://www.pageflakes.com/sylvia/5736552/
- The National Forum on Canadian History is a one-day event with its own pagecast, including documents, photos and videos: http://www.pageflakes.com/cnhs/14568889
 For Further Reading
Nine Ways to Build Your Own Social Network (Mark Hendrickson, TechCrunch, July 24, 2007) This blog post describes nine tools that can be used to build collaborative workspaces. http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/07/24/9-ways-to-build-your-own-social-network
Pageflakes, Netvibes Take on Social Networks: What Chance Do They Have? (Richard MacManus, Read/Write Web, July 22, 2007) This blog post discusses the emergence of services like Pageflakes and Netvibes and compares them to large social networking sites like Facebook. http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/pageflakes_netvibes_take_on_social_networks.php
Using Pageflakes as a Student Portal (Will Richardson, weblogg-ed, November 21, 2007) This blog post describes how to set up a Pageflakes portal for educational purposes. http://weblogg-ed.com/2006/using-pageflakes-as-student-portal/
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