||This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (October 2011)|
Social collaboration refers to processes that help multiple people interact, share information to achieve any common goal. Such processes find their 'natural' environment on the internet, where collaboration and social dissemination of information are made easier by current innovations.
Sharing concepts on a digital collaboration environment often facilitates a "brainstorming" process, where new concepts may emerge due to the contributions of individuals, professional or otherwise. A crucial concept behind social collaboration is that 'ideas are everywhere.' Individuals are able to share their ideas, as it is not limited to professionals, but rather the general public who wishes to become involved.
Social collaboration is related to social networking, with the distinction that social collaboration is more group-centric than individual-centric. Social networking services generally focus on individuals sharing messages in a more-or-less undirected way and receiving messages from many sources into a single personalized activity feed. Social collaboration services, on the other hand, focus on the identification of groups and collaboration spaces in which messages are explicitly directed at the group and the group activity feed is seen the same way by everyone.
Social collaboration may refer to time-bound collaborations with an explicit goal to be completed or perpetual collaborations in which the goal is knowledge sharing (e.g. community of practice, online community).
Social collaboration is similar to crowdsourcing as it involves individuals working together toward a common goal. Andrea Grover, curator of the 2006 crowdsourcing art show, Phantom Captain: Art and Crowdsourcing, explained in an interview that collaboration among individuals is an appealing experience, because participation is "a low investment, with the possibility of a high return." Social collaboration appeals to young entrepreneurs because of this notion.
See also 
- Collaborative software
- Community of Practice
- Collaborative filtering
- Collaborative tagging
- Collective intelligence
- Enterprise 2.0
- Knowledge Management
- Online Community
- Online participation
- Social Network
- Social networking service
- Social tagging
- Web 2.0
- DeVun, Leah. "Looking at how crowds produce and present art." Wired News. Web. 19 Nov. 2009. <http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2007/07/crowd_captain?currentPage=all>.