Real-time collaboration tools

Karen Huffman, IS&T Applications Support, National Geographic Society.  Dan Alford – co-speaker.

Frameworks: building your knowledge.  Growing your competencies.

Managing change: vision of where we want to be; barriers of what might prevent us from getting there; influencing factors, or those factors we can do something about; critical success factors, what must be in place for the vision to be realized; stratgies and tactics, based on what we can and must do.

Have moved National Geographic to Google Apps. Management: dashboard, features, settings. Messaging: mail, calendars, chat. Collaboration: documents, groups, sites.  Cloud computing allows for storage of information off-site, which became particularly important after 9-11, as NatGeo is only a few blocks from the White House.

Has been tasked with training the organization on these tools.  Messaging, Docs & Sites.

Favorite aspects of Google Apps…anywhere access and real-time collaboration; mashups – integration of internal and external resources; automatically builds in our disaster recovery/business resumption plan; risk takers – continual growth/new opportunities.

(Mentions a site called DimDim…)

Dan: new student to the library science program – has a 27-year background in academics.

Used a Google site as the class web site. Has used the email, calendar, and documents programs.   Learned that he didn’t know much about the tools – praises Karen for her expertise and knowledge.

Karen: virtual discussions for SLA, especially with Australian. Looked for ways to have conversations virtually.  Using a combination of Skype, FreeConference, and Pamela to facilitate world-wide conversation.




Virtual classrooms at NatGeo. Webex (can be expensive.)  dimdim.  Mikogo. Articulate. Saba. (Both articulate and saba can be expensive, but are more sophisticated.)

Audience member suggests elluminate as another option.

Dan: these are all Digital Collaboration Tools.  Working with charter schools to assist them with collaboration – the teachers don’t tend to have the time to collaborate like they’d like to. Arranged for online digital collaboration tools to assist in the collaboration.

Adobe Connect being used in another project. Interested in working in electronic medical records – feels there’s a place for librarians in this area.

Karen: you have to plan what you want to do. Need a vision in order to keep your perspective.  Plan it with enough flexibility to shift if something else comes along. Understand costs – not just dollars, but people time.

Plan, do, teach.  You learn more by teaching others.  Change is uncomfortable. Don’t underestimate the need for training. Offer flexible formats.

Uses delicious:



Filed under Libraries and Librarianship, Techie stuff

3 responses to “Real-time collaboration tools

  1. looking for a real time collaboration tool plugin for wordpress!

  2. I think a real time collaboration focusing on messaging is much more valuable for other type of collaboration since messaging is what team do most often daily at workspace.

  3. one more thing. there is a lightweight collaboration tool that focusing on real time messaging, is called worth checking it out.

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