Open Mosaic makes for an interesting study in the ways of collaboration. Earlier this evening, AxisPortals visited the site to add a tree. The tree was all branches and leaves. It wasn’t fruit bearing, and it had no background.
Less than five minutes later, the tree was dotted with apples, and surrounded by a jaunty teal sky with its very own square yellow sun. Grass and a hot pink and red flower in full bloom soon followed. Who knows what’s next? Before the evening is over, the tree could be part of an entire forest, or it could be entirely gone.
Watching the mosaic evolve reminds AxisPortals that digital collaboration with far flung colleagues often requires a certain je ne sais quoi. To participate fully in the process, and to enjoy it–and to allow others the freedom to do the same–one must be enthusiastic and willing to chase a vision, but must never be so unyieldingly focused on a single vision that it disrupts emergence of the always shifting whole. Yielding gracefully, after all (as gracefully as the digital branches in the mosaic yield to the pixel wielder of the moment) , plays a crucial role in collaboration. There’s plenty of room for individuality and originality, here, but there’s little room for the fixed or the permanent.
AxisPortals Aphorism: Online collaboration isn’t really about thinking outside of the box. It’s about sharing the sandbox willingly, with good humor, and with grace. (So, wish AxisPortals’ tree good luck, but don’t mourn its passing when it goes–something new is sure to grow there.)