I receive many collaboration products to test. Most of them are videoconferencing systems that allow people to attend meetings remotely. It often seems that the people who create such products collaborate and yet still don’t realize that most collaboration doesn’t occur during formal meetings. Instead, it occurs when people get together in different-sized groups around the project on which they are collaborating. To collaborate on a project, you need some way to bring the project into the gathering.
Meetings are often a sequence of people presenting slides to the rest of the room. Most of my collaborations have been relatively small and often occurred in my or someone else’s office, and more recently, in my or someone else’s home. I’ve found that the larger the group, the more likely it will be a sequential sharing of knowledge and not true collaboration.