We have argued that collaboration in a virtual data world is a distinctive, a unique benefit that could integrate hundreds of data analyses to be shared by hundreds of persons. However, how does this happen? My area of business intelligence (BI) has seen collaboration flourish recently with storytelling, liking, commenting, and various sharing mechanisms. Do we repeat the same with IA? Are there new approaches with virtual collaboration?

This blog is intended to initiate an ongoing discussion on this issue. Here is an initial list of collaboration modes within data worlds:

  • Shared experience
  • Task specialization
  • Task flow and synchronization
  • Brainstorming and crowdsourcing
  • Consensus building and decision-making
  • Monitoring and evaluation

As we build data worlds, we should be experimenting with various approaches to collaboration, the most basic of which is how multiple persons are bought simultaneously into the same scene. A study of collaboration within metaverses (like Second Life and OpenSimulator) would be a start. A colleague, Jon Brouchoud of ArchVirtual with Ryan Schultz, created a Wikitecture Tree demo in Second Life circa 2007, as shown in this video.

In addition, massively multi-player online games, like World of Warcraft (WoW), have team mechanisms, such as WoW raids to coordinate 20-40 players for an attack. Several scholarly articles have detailed the sophisticated dynamics of these raids, such as Williams & Kirschner, 2012 and Laughlin & Hackathorn, 2011.

Please comment below. Eventually we will establish issues of coordination as a permanent topic in our forums.


  • Williams, J. P. and Kirschner, D. (2012), Coordinated Action in the Massively Multiplayer Online Game World of Warcraft. Symbolic Interaction, 35: 340–367. doi: 10.1002/symb.22
  • Laughlin, Daniel and Hackathorn, Eric, Lessons Learned from World Of Warcraft. Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds, May 11, 2011. http://www.slideshare.net/hackshaven/lessons-learned-from-world-of-warcraft