Rheingold writes, "People collaborate because their coordination, sharing, and attention to common goals creates something that none of the collaborating parties could have benefited from without collaboration. Collaborators develop and agree on common goals, share responsibility and work together to achieve these goals, and contribute resources to the effort."
Without being consciously aware of it, I have been involved in various online collaborations for some time. Over the years, I have become more of a participant rather than just someone looking for answers and information or being a "lurker" on a website. I have gotten valuable tips regarding travel, researched a needed medical procedure to arm myself with information to ward off nerves, and traded information with friends, both ones I see often and ones I never see. As I've become more comfortable with having an online presence, I have sent songs to people, commented on their various posts, and so on. I have also come to realize that although I don't get on Facebook very much - it can present a problem. So many people assume that their friends and loved ones are on Facebook as much as they are, so they neglect to use more traditional methods of delivering important news. I have gone for weeks without knowing that a beloved friend was devastated over the loss of not just one, but two of her pets. I didn't have any idea because we hadn't chatted for a while on the phone and I hadn't been on Facebook. Likewise, I found out that a cousin got married and I was completely in the dark until my brother told me to check Facebook for some surprising news. The reason I started up the topic of Facebook is because I see the website as a venue for social collaboration. People send invites to parties through Facebook. Yes, I missed the parties and had no idea they were happening. There are many aspects of collaboration - I realize that if I want to stay connected to my friends and family, I must be willing to collaborate through their chosen method.