I could tell you how many steps make up the streets rising like stairways, and of the degree of the arcades' curves, and what kind of zinc scales cover the roofs; but I already know this would be the same as telling you nothing. The city does not consist of this, but of relationships between the measurements of its space and the events of its past...A description of Zaira as it is today should contain all Zaira's past. -Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Monday, September 12, 2005

Collaboration and Trust

I have been doing some background research on distance collaboration for the EPIC paper I am writing with Dina. A great deal of what I have been reading talks about the importance of trust in collaborative relationships. I suppose in some ways that is maybe a no-brainer, but I hadn't really thought much about it before and now I am thinking about it a great deal.

I do trust the people who I work with face to face every day because I know them, I know their work, and I know I can count on them (or in some cases I know where the weaknesses are so I can plan for that). And yes, I have at times worked with people who I don't trust, in that I don't have faith in the quality of their work. So how does trust develop in virtual relationships? Does it take more time? Does it take the same amount of baseline experience? Or do we take bigger leaps of faith?

I haven't really worked this out yet, but it is fun to be mulling around on.

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