(2003-09-15) Udell Email Special Power

Jon Udell on EMail's special powers for AdHoc Group Forming Networks in Overlapping Scopes Of Collaboration. An ad-hoc group convened by e-mail dissolves unless membership is reaffirmed by each message. This is a feature, not a bug. Many of the groups that perform work in a modern organization are transient. A hallway conversation is over in minutes; a spontaneous collaboration can last a day; a project may take a week. Software that requires people to explicitly declare the formation of these groups, and to acknowledge their dissolution, is too blunt an instrument for such ephemeral social interaction. Like an operating-system thread, an e-mail thread is a lightweight construct, cheap to set up and tear down. Need to think about the implications of Wiki For CollaborationWare, in situations where multiple teams have separate wikis - how deal with these transient groups which cross WikiSpace boundaries? See Email Discussion Beside Wiki, Nosy List, QuickTopic

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