I went looking for one thing online, and found a bunch of other stuff. Don't you love doing that on a Friday morning? So of course I wanted to share...
There are just such a variety of interesting online applications for assisting collaboration now. If you can add some others to the list, please do. If you have used any of these tools and have comments about them, please add your thoughts as well.
This markup tool lets you invite comments from others on an image or a project. It feels a lot like Google Maps, where you can add an icon and comments, and stick it to a specific place on the document. Here's a screen shot that gives an idea...
I have actually tried out this tool on a demo basis at least a year ago, and it looks even better now. like Mapanno, it is currently free. But it has a broader range of functionality, and was designed more specifically with marketing folk in mind.
Here's a screen shot of what the markup environment looks like. There are bubbles that you can use to enter text and a variety of marking tools as well.
Review Basics also supports common video formats, as well as Word, PowerPoint, and PDF files.
I'm itching to try this out with a research project, but I think it could be really useful on a team internal basis as well. Right now, it's free, just like Mapanno.
Vyew is one I just learned about, thanks to GeekBlog. I haven't had time to demo it at all, but it positions itself as a competitor to WebEx and GoToMeeting. In addition to those services, however, there is the potential for asynchronous involvement by multiple reviewers who can mark up documents, and view each other's comments.
Here's a comparison chart that may help.
There are some interesting case studies on the site as well, that make it clearer how one might use such a multi-featured application for things other than web conferencing. Like the other tools mentioned, it is currently FREE, and does not require software installation. There's a review by Guy Kawasaki
This service is specifically targeted to graphic designers. I haven't tried it out, but it looks pretty appealing. There is a free-premium model in place which affects the number of projects you can use, and the amount of online storage you get. Huge amounts of storage are available, which is needed for graphic files.
I've been using Basecamp for a few months now. Although it's not perfect, it's a very useful and low cost collaboration tool. I haven't figured out a way to use it for research projects yet. But you can store files, there are whiteboards, a really good messaging function that beats running things on e-mail, and some project management tools.
This stuff all just continues the flattening process where little tiny organizations have access to tools and technology as good as the stuff the big organization's have. Sometimes it's even better.