Stephen Downes took me to task for my suggestion that collaboration was the optimum type of group work in networks:
collaboration means ‘working together’. That’s why you see it in market economies. markets are based on quantity and mass.
cooperation means ’sharing’. That’s why you see it in networks. In networks, the nature of the connection is important; it is not simply about quantity and mass …
You and I are in a network – but we do not collaborate (we do not align ourselves to the same goal, subscribe to the same vision statement, etc), we *cooperate*
I began to see that co-operation makes more sense as the term to describe working together in a networked and non-directed relationship. So is the distinction important? I think so. Jérôme Delacroix provides another confirmatory post on “co-operation” as the suitable term for what we do in networks [in French]. Jérôme explains why his site is called Cooperatique and not Collaboratique – collaboration happens around some kind of plan or structure, while co-operation presumes the freedom of individuals to join and participate. He also says that co-operation, not collaboration, is a driver of creativity. That’s quite an important distinction when looking at work analysis and design.
Here is my revised table, for the record: