In the end, collaborative technology is used to streamline social protocols.
Robert's Rules, Facebook's chronological timeline of posts and the bulletin board at your local supermarket all share in common that they are protocols that regulate social interactions. Such regulations orchestrate how we interact with each other on a daily basis, and – in effect – determine how we understand the world and form a society.
We need to understand the effects such protocols have on decision-making and joint learning processes, so that we can implement and recommend the most beneficial protocols. This research area includes everything between fundamental research in human cognition up to personal experiences of particular protocols.