The Purpose of This Blog

This blog performs the purpose of a resource tool for helping someone assess collaborative tools for use in a state-wide committee and associated meetings. Its aim is to provide a clarified overview of four online collaboration tools based on five criteria with the objective of helping one choose an appropriate product.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Assessing the Four Online Collaboration Tools

This post aims to assess the four online collaboration tools based on a set of five criteria.

Five criteria:
  1. user-friendliness
  2. productivity-enhancing abilities
  3. start-up barriers
  4. storage and archive abilities
  5. Stability

The analysis of the above described tools and parameters will be organized by criteria, and are concisely listed in bullet form for simple retrieval of information. A more in-depth analysis of the criteria can be found in each tool's overview page on the right.

I. User-Friendliness

  • Very intuitive
  • Easy sign-in / registration
  • Well designed interface
  • Very informative / instructional for first time user
  • Familiar interface similar to other base graphics software
  • Very simplistic, yet sophisticated
  • Simple start-up procedures
  • Simple to learn
  • Non-cluttered interface
  • Fun tool allowing user creativeness
  • Quick and easy signup
  • Multiple modes of communication for groups
II. Productivity-Enhancing Abilities

  • Maximizes communication for increased productivity
  • Offers multiple modes of communication
  • Has in-house office suite powered by Zoho
  • Diagramming is faster and easier than Google Doc's draw tool
  • Orgo. and flow charts aid in pre-planning for increased productivity
  • Beautiful graphics best represent the conceptual and brainstorming process
  • Compare function for version similarities
  • Comment function for easy to track conversations
  • Multiple subject choices to collaborate over
  • Real-time system
  • Numerous methods to communicate with group members
III. Start-Up Barriers

  • 100% free for life
  • Fully compatible with all web-browsers
  • Simple registration
  • No compatibility issues
  • Option to "test-drive" before registration
  • Requires paid subscription for substantial group projects
  • No fees associated with this tool
  • No limit on number of uses
  • Simple start-up procedures
  • Free guest service
  • Technical support requires a subscription
IV. Storage and Archive Abilities

  • Group newsfeed archives all history
  • 100% cloud technology
  • Free account limited to 25 MB and 60 shape limit use to library
  • Team subscription starts at 5 GB
  • Supports VDX, PNG, JPEG, and PDF files
  • All edits to text are tracked and available for comparison
  • No system limitation on number of edits
  • Snapshots of collaboration available
  • Acts as a whiteboard, so snapshot doesn't save actual documentation
  • Able to track history
V. Stability

  • Files hosted by Amazon's Cloud servers
  • 100% cloud technology
  • Only guaranteed to be supported by a few specific browser types
  • Cloud technology enables access to data from anywhere with internet connection

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