Monday, 15 August 2011
Thing 13 - Google Docs, Wikis and Dropbox
I know I keep saying it, but I am quite dumbfounded that something like this exists! It is so easy to use, you can even import documents already created or create them online. It is undoubtedly a great way of collaborating on a document. There is no way we would be able to use it here at work, simply because we have a very rigid filing system, and so most documents are saved to a server, and other people can edit them if you, the creator, give them rights to do so. So we already are able to collaborate in that way - but I have to say, Google Docs is a really nice application, and while I can't find a use for it at work, I am thinking of all the other ways I could use it out of work. You can also upload photos and videos - it really is fantastic. My fiance and I have a wedding planning spreadsheet that is currently on my laptop - this could be a great way of sharing access to it and thereby making life a lot easier! I'll definitely be looking for ways of integrating this into my general life.
I was impressed by this as well, although my initial reaction was it's a bit 'samey' in terms of functionality - to me it does pretty much the same as Google Docs, ie allows easier collaboration. If I had to choose, I would stick with Google Docs because it's all under the Google Account umbrella, and this way I don't need another login to remember! Having said that, another blogger just mentioned that she was using Dropbox to clear out some old documents to free up room on her laptop - I thought this was quite a good idea as well, although less about collaboration, admittedly!
This is the point where I have to hold my hands up and say I really have a strong dislike for anything to do with Wikis. I don't know exactly why, but I have never found them useful - with the only exception being Wikipedia!! Although in principle I can see it's a good way of sharing info and encouraging everyone to keep it up to date and so on, I just try and steer clear of them. I think this could be because in one of my previous jobs, a Wiki was set up in which our team was meant to share info on our job roles, so we all knew what everyone did...we all became somewhat disillusioned when everything - literally, everything, was modified in some way by the manager after hours! Kind of defeated the purpose of group collaboration in my eyes and I think that may explain my aversion to all things Wiki-related! That having been said, in the right environment, and as the cpd23 blogger points out, it's a great way to keep track of particular duties, for example, among a small group of people. The Library Routes project is a great concept also. I am happy to hold my hands up and say that it's probably me who needs to get over this dislike of Wikis - something to work on, I guess!
Thing 13 has given me loads of food for though - aims are to utilise Google Docs and explore the world of Wikis a little further than just Wikipedia!
Image courtesy of: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1962