The emergence of the Internet over the past 40 years has created a rich new arena for group activity. Specifically, where physical collocation was once a requirement for both group membership and communication, computer networks now create the opportunity to form and maintain groups independent of time and space. These are often called distributed groups. Tools for supporting distributed group work and play are collectively referred to as collaboration technology.

Early forms of collaboration technology emerged in the 1960s and 1970s as by-products of the first computer networks, such as the ARPAnet. Over time, many applications (e.g., electronic mail, or e-mail) designed to support remote computer operations came to be valuable on their own and have become nearly ubiquitous as communication tools. The emergence of ...

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