It seems that the more familiar I become with the Internet, the more I am amazed at the opportunity that lies before us. As my father-in-law put it, “It’s 1920 right now on the Internet. We are all going to see things we can’t even now imagine.” One of the ways that I have been most impressed by innovation on the Internet is in recent improvements in collaboration software. Working over the internet used to be a lonely and solo job, almost like reading a book. Nowadays, however, a vast and powerful social network connects us and makes online collaboration as easy, if not easier than offline collaboration.
This is especially true in virtual web design groups.
At Skyhook Interactive, we take full advantage of every tool we can sink our teeth in to that promotes online collaboration. We use Google Calendar for planning out our timeline. We use Google Docs and Zoho for real-time, shared document editing. We have used E-groupware for project management and time reporting, and are currently giving Zoho projects and Zoho invoicing a try. It seems that with each release, these programs are making it just as easy for people to work together from across the country as it is for those who sit two cubicles apart!
Creating websites through virtual groups keeps costs down
Perhaps the biggest reason we take advantage of collaboration software to create websites is that it keeps costs down. Gas is expensive, but our team does the majority of our work from home and never has to commute! That also allows us to get an earlier start in the morning and often finish early or at least get more done because we spend our time and efforts working — not commuting! Because of this, we haven’t had to invest in an expensive office or any of the expenses that come with it. We wouldn’t use them! The same is true for office supplies, fees, etc.
Creating websites through virtual groups provides a better finished product for the customer
The real benefit of collaborating online through virtual groups is that it creates a better finished product for the customer. Because costs are down and communication is up, we are able to put a lot more effort in to our websites for the same price or cheaper than other firms. Not to mention the fact that being online all day exposes us to thousands of websites and we are often among the first to see new trends or hear about new ways to do business.
Virtual web design groups free up time to do what we want
Don’t get me wrong one of my favorite things to do is web design. But as you would probably agree, looking at a computer screen starts to hurt your brain after a while. Working in virtual groups lets us get our work done quickly so we can move on to spending time with the family, improving ourselves, exercising, thinking, organizing, etc. which, at least for me, is a huge benefit.
Virtual web design allows us to work when we feel like it
There are a lot if interests that vie for my time, and one of the things I appreciate most about online collaboration is that it allows me to work when I want. When I was in school, I was able to spend mornings in class and afternoons in study groups, letting all of my work pile up online during the day and then hammering it out at night.
Whatever evidence or reason there may be to avoid online collaboration is slowly fading away. As software applications become more powerful, there is every reason to switch to an online environment. It will give you the competitive edge over the other guys. It will help you live a better quality of life. It will help you produce better work which will in turn benefit society as a whole!