ActionItem: Collaboration through Commitment and Social Tasking
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The relentless growth of global organizations and businesses require collaboration among virtual teams that can be formed on-demand and cross institutional, geographical and cultural boundaries. In this paper, we propose ActionItem - a Web 2.0 collaboration tool that fosters cooperation by leveraging the idea of commitment, social tasking and parallel blogging. We describe the prototype implementation of ActionItem and give a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of this collaboration management tool in terms of collaboration provenance, efficiency and quality through case studies. The concept of social tasking for collaboration has been used successfully in many social networking sites. However, social networking tools do not manage the collaboration in a team and nor do they provide a collaborative model for objective measurement of how people work together. The workflow-based collaboration management tools have extensive management capability, but typically are only built for collaboration among a static group of participants with clearly designated roles within a fixed organizational structure oblivious to any form of social networks. Our results show that ActionItem is a nimble, inexpensive, and effective tool to support the collaboration required for loosely coupled virtual teams who do not share the same time and space.