Collaborate is different than communicate.
Communication is a one-way relationship to distribute information that are supposed to be useful to the recipient. Important results of a work done can be deployed through classical or new media ( journals. newsletters, e-mails, blogs) but the feedback, if any, cames usually off line.
Collaboration implies a common substrate to grow up, a mutually recognized set of working rules ( a contract) and ability to listen each other . All of us say that we are willing to collaborate, once requested , but to be really collaborative, a change of culture is needed.
New tools, new methods, can help in finding the way to enhance collaboration, but what is really needed it is a change of thinking the way we work. For example:
- Instead of keep your notes on a piece of paper, put it on a shareable file: sooner or later contribute from colleagues or friends will help you in improving you ideas;
- usually you keep history of a project on an e-mail folder, but sometimes it is difficult to retrieve a specific topics others discussed: why do not put it on a discussion forum?