Easier collaboration with SME’s via Google Apps?

Google has demonstrated Google apps to the public as a way for groups to establish quick colloboration via the web.  Of course you have to pay for your own domain name. Is this right? it’s only $10 a year.  I’m assuming that where you’re really going to pay is for server space to put and maintain your e-info.

Of course, there are a few things I would make sure are in place before diving into this type of system. 

  1. Regular Data Back up (which I assume we will have to pay for as well)
  2. Web Administration. As the article notes…it’s important to have web trained administration types in place (depending on the size of my effort/company this would be a dedicated individual… god, I hate making people do things on top of their normal job because it insure one or more of three things:  a.) the person responsible burns out b.) the (web-)crap never gets done c.) the crap gets done but it’s crap.
  3. Security. Proper security protocols are set up.  If the material you’re sharing is sensitive then make sure that you can set up a secure, password protected environment.
  4. Intellectual property and Privacy conditions. Also make sure that there is no condition (and that you have this in the form of a legal contract) that because you are storing information on Google’s servers it will be accessed or touched even considered their property because they house it. You are paying for a service, that is storage and access to material, but just as there are privacy laws. If you agree to anything of this nature make sure you review it thoroughly first. 

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3 Responses to “Easier collaboration with SME’s via Google Apps?”


  1. 1 mozey March 27, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Would’nt it be fair to assume that google has all of those variables bitchioally concored?

    HOWEVER, google seems to be after our information all the time!. That cant be good!, I dont know how or when, but sometimes, LOTS of information that google knows about us WILL leak. Either a clever 13 year old hacker, or some pissed off google employee!.

    Eitherways, yeahh, i’m refraining from putting my docs on google!. But you will NEVER convince the average user!.

  2. 2 nkilkenny March 27, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    I agree, caution is good. But part of me is torn, the way people build better things, tools is through collaboration. Web 2.0 is a wonderful phenomenon, great for sharing and learning; however, every proposition for change has unforseen outcomes. We need to be able to weigh these and be able to choose change carefully and to our advantage. Faster cheaper can be far more sexy.

  3. 3 Christy Tucker March 29, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Hi there, soon-to-be coworker!

    Will Richardson and I actually used Google Docs (the regular free kind) for the course we just completed. Although it was nice to collaborate without sending zillions of attachments back and forth, I admit that I was frustrated sometimes with the barebones features. I’m used to having all my features in Word for documents, and working in essentially a WYSIWYG html editor isn’t my favorite way to compose text. Since we just exchanged the text that way and I had to reformat it for the final product, it was OK. ThinkFree actually has better features as a word processing program, so I might go with them in the future.

    As for the security issues, that is definitely a big deal. In some respects, I wonder if we’d be better off just putting all our content out there and not worrying about trying to protect it. If our goal is to provide an educational *experience* and not just dumping content into students’ brains, we should still retain something of value. MIT has all the raw content available through the OCW project, but that content is not the same as the experience of attending the school and interacting on campus.

    What do you think?


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