The four components of Himmelman’s taxonomy are networking, coordination, cooperation, and collaboration. Networking is simply meeting and touching base with new people. While coordination involves sharing information and modifying each other’s actions for a mutual goal. Cooperation is working towards a common purpose. Lastly, collaboration involves the integration of the first three components in sharing the responsibility, resources, and rewards to achieve that common purpose (Rheingold, 153-154).
Everyone in the class had the opportunity to work with three different groups for our assignments, and I actually had the chance to work with a different number of people in my groups with two of us in the first assignment, four in the second, and three in the last one. This made my experience different every time as not only did I have new group members, but the number of people also changed the approach taken in communicating with everyone. Networking with other group members was never an issue as we were always assigned to specific teams without knowing who we would be grouped with. I felt the coordination was a fairly easy task to accomplish as everyone understood the assignment and what we needed to do in order to complete it, thus establishing our mutual goal. Even working with a different number of people in each of the three assignments I still felt the cooperation level was really good. We all agreed to take certain portions of assignment and then bring them together for the final product. I could see that collaboration would be the most difficult component to achieve but I felt that each time all the group members had enough trust in one another to complete their part of the project and were open to edits or changes suggested by others.
The dynamics of the group naturally always changed, so it took some adjustment based on people’s varying experiences with social media, communication preferences, and interests to develop our assignment idea and the final product. The initial contact was usually through Collaborate after class, then continuous communication/collaboration via email or uploading our portions of the project using Google doc or another social media platform to achieve our “common goal.”
It would have been nice to continue onto each assignment with the same group members as you end up feeling comfortable and understand each person’s abilities, interests, and personality. However, having to change groups every time gave us the chance to work with different group dynamics and put Himmelman’s taxonomy into effect. The change up also enabled me to learn various social media tools as we used a different one each time to communicate and for the final web 2.0 presentation.