Three years of editorial experience in college taught me
many things about document sharing. My editing experience was far
from limited due either to my interest in a variety of subjects
or to my indecisiveness during those college years-Iím not sure
which. Not only did I edit for three different undergraduate journals,
but also I had the gall to become the editor-in-chief of the pre-law
and honors journals and to start an undergraduate health journal.
No matter how different the subjects may have been, the same technical
and document sharing challenges inevitably surfaced at similar stages
in the editorial process.
Since college, I have noticed that the editorial process and document
sharing have filled large roles in my professional pursuits as well.
I have therefore concluded two things: document sharing will always
be a part of education, business, and virtually any other organization;
and the lessons I have learned during and since my college editorial
experience may be helpful to other professionals.
Document Sharing Cookie Jar
Picture in your mind a cookie jar. Do you remember how
many hands reach into a cookie jar? With each hand that enters the
cookie jar, the contents change. When one hand removes cookies,
there are fewer cookies. When another hand refills the cookie jar,
there are more cookies. When yet another hand digs around in the
cookie jar to find the perfect cookie, there are generally a lot
of broken and crumbled cookies left behind.
Document sharing is all too similar to the cookie jar. A group or
committee may work on a budget, a report, a survey, a research paper,
a proposal, and maybe even a memo. The document is the cookie jar,
and its elements are the cookies.
In any committee, staff, or board, there are always the "removers",
the "replacers", and the "diggers", and the contents of the final
document often look very different from the document with which
When I was a child my mother used to play a game with me that included
a song that would ask "Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?"
Because of the many changes that take place in document sharing
and the all too familiar ad hoc process with which document sharing
takes place, this question frequently runs through my mind as I
try to track down the changes that have been made.
Document Sharing Software Solutions
I have found that the best way to answer the questions
of ad hoc document sharing is to use a document
management service or a content management
tool that tracks ad hoc document sharing.