I think that this article misses the fact that there can be common paths to different goals. And those common paths are where the true collaboration happens. For what it’s worth, mass collaboration can happen even with anonymity, as evidently showed by 4chan, for example. I think the main mistake the author makes is wording it as “collaborating towards”, rather than “collaborating upon”. Because that is the main way that (at least I) see mass collaboration being done.
Yeah I had a similar thought; it may not seem like collaboration in some cases but “modern communication methods” are definitely updating our behaviour in some ways and likely we will keep evolving those methods to improve our collaboration (since that will be necessary to deal with climate change).
What he points out is mostly that explicit collaboration rarely seems to succeed as intended.. while most of the actual collaboration has been incidental, which he fails to mention but you point out.
Similar sentiment but think his point at the end makes sense that “While the internet has allowed more collaboration to take place, the internet has not caused collaboration. It takes teamwork, shared goals, and relationships that work.” ,
To ramble a bit, I find myself reflecting on these elements when reading such articles:
environment - in this case the author is oriented more around remote internet-based activities done on a personal computer.
values - could be a simple maximization (win a game, make money) derived from an environment (video game), or something with more complexity/nuance.
goals - likely derived from the environment/value leading with varying temporal natures - could be something short-term like win a game, of repeated nature (win game again), or something more complex/adaptive.
‘Mass Social Change’ is also a field of research that has been discussed in academic spaces, but can get muddied or lose meaning in practice. (see https://spanda.org/assets/docs/spanda-journal-VI,1-2015.pdf , and https://www.slideshare.net/joebrewer31/why-i-am-no-longer-attempting-to-build-a-rigorous-science-of-social-change as a critique )
I find myself thinking more about the articulation between something being collaborative vs. collective after hearing a software developer say their tool ( https://www.athensresearch.org/ ) is designed to be collaborative but not necessarily collective. I’m active on another internet-based group that’s become a collective organism of sorts but it’s been trying to be rooted with the teachings of https://www.prosocial.world/ to become that way. It’s worth noting that there can also be transitions where a system starts out with a pareto of a single person doing a bulk of the work (collaborative, not quite collective) then later evolves into a core group doing that work (collaborative & collective)