Best Online Collaboration Tools 2009 – Robin Good’s Collaborative Map

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 by kjarrett 2 Comments

After the Harvest
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lincolnian (Brian)

Good morning everyone,

Are you having trouble separating the Web 2.0 wheat from the chaff? Do you find yourself scrambling for alternatives when a favorite free Web 2.0 tool goes subscription-only (or worse, closes its doors permanently?) You can always consult Mother Google in the hopes of finding The Next Big Thing, or you can ask your PLN.

Or, you can let hundreds of other people do the work for you, collaboratively, and publish it online in one place for everyone to see and use.

Which sounds like the better plan?

I came across Best Online Collaboration Tools 2009 – Robin Good’s Collaborative Map in one of those Mother Google moments. I’d just read that Google acquired AppJet, the company behind, closing (as of that moment) the application so it could be subsumed by Google Wave. Fortunately, eternity didn’t last forever, and Google/AppJet reversed their decision, allowing the app to remain live until the Etherpad code was outsourced.  WIN! But I still wanted to find other collaborative applications, particularly for writing. My supervisor, Dr. Carol Ferguson, suggested, which I’d tagged 6 months ago but never blogged about (wanna see my “blog this” list? Click here.) So off to Mother Google I went, and in a few mouse clicks, ended here (see below):

Best Online Collaboration Tools 2009 - Robin Good's Collaborative Map

This truly massive work represents the collective efforts of at least 150 people and more than a year of time. The explanatory note that comes with it reads:

Collaborative map idea by Robin Good of realized during the LearningTrends 2008 event with the cooperative contributions of over 150 people on November 16th 2008 and during the following weeks.

If you want to add to the map new tools please request access to it via email to

The map is not perfect – some of the included links are broken, redirect improperly, or are to companies/products that no longer exist. Those quibbles aside, Robin’s Collaborative Map is the most useful collection of it’s kind that I’ve seen (easily besting‘s section on collaboration). Spend just a few minutes navigating the dendrites above and you’ll find apps you never knew existed, all grouped logically and visually. It’s only flaw, in my view, at least, is being bound to two dimensions. Maybe MindMeister is working on a 3D visualization plugin? How cool would THAT be…

Anyway, submitted for your approval … please consider Best Online Collaboration Tools 2009 – Robin Good’s Collaborative Map as part of your Web 2.0 arsenal!

Hope this helps,