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Homework 3 by Jun Chen and Sarah Kim-Warren

1) Visit one of the following websites and explore it

We chose

2) Briefly discuss for your chosen website:

DynaSites is where people can communicate their thoughts and opinions (i.e.> terminologies or questions). This website supports user groups such as webmasters and users with limited web technological backgrounds. Any user can create an "information space seed" (similar to a threaded discussion but more sophisticated in collaboration) with other users without a webmaster's help or web technology training.

  • what did you find interesting about it?

The developers of this website had to consider risks such as modification of the source file, access to the source file, and security of information. Normally only the webmaster can create, view, edit, and delete source files, but the developers of the website used different ideas like storing user input contents and hypertext links in a database. Therefore, a user is not required to have access to a file or to know html. This website automatically logs the first time user in as a guest, so the user is not obligated to sign up on their first visit. In the DynaGloss page, anyone can add a term in the web-space without getting a logon prompt.

  • in which way is it related to "collaboration"?

For example, a few users built the DynaGloss list in collaboration. Any user can annotate, add related terms, and even change the definition of the current definitions.

  • how does it compare with the Swiki used for our class?

This website is somewhat similar to the swiki website. Any visitor can view documents that are posted by others, and the visitor can respond to the document he or she read or can create a new document. However, navigation between links was difficult because each new open page contained different menus at the top of the page. The swiki website main links are static and do not open a new window. This makes the swiki website easier to navigate.

3) have you ever read a book(s) / article(s) (or books) about collaboration? if yes:

The Evolution of Cooperation, Robert Axelrod, 1984

This book explores a very important issue about human collaboration: cooperation. When should a person cooperate or be selfish in an ongoing interaction with another person? How does one promote cooperation? The major conclusions of the cooperation theory include:

  • Cooperation can get started by even a small cluster of individuals who are prepared to reciprocate cooperation, even in a world where no one else will cooperate.
  • The two key requisites for cooperation to thrive are that the cooperation be based on reciprocity, and that the shadow of the future is important enough to make this reciprocity stable.
  • Once cooperation based on reciprocity is established in a population, it can protect itself from invasion by uncooperative strategies.

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