THE STAGES OF A  COLLABORATIVE GOOGLE DOC





Originally published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.



Stage I: Thank you.


First off, WOW. Thank you guys so much. I opened up the doc, and HOLY SHIT – you both added so many ideas and research! #OneTeamOneDream, am I right? Seriously, we must have at least ten pages of ideas in here. I even see you typing in the doc live at this very moment, Mike! Oh wait, or is that Maria? I can only see an ‘M’ – either way, I fucking love you for writing so much shit in here!

Stage II: Wait, really?


Actually, now that I read through of all of this, there are only a few good nuggets here and there. I like one of the ideas you had, Maria or Mike (I still can’t tell because I can only see an ‘M’), but it’s not completely thought out. You just wrote a bunch of ramblings and linked off to Wikipedia articles. Seriously? Wikipedia articles? That’s kind of fucked up, don’t you think? I mean, especially since everything I added to the doc was extremely insightful and delved into some really incredible thinking. But hey, at least you tried! I still appreciate the work you did, don’t get me wrong. It’s okay, I’m fine with being the team leader on this one!

Stage III: Did you see my comment?


Hey, because I didn’t want to be that asshole who gives negative feedback without offering a solution, I added some constructive feedback in my comments and tagged you both. Did you see them? They’re a little nit-picky, I’ll admit, but I really believe that the work will get better if we do it the way I outlined here. What do you guys think? You can take or leave my comments, but reply or at least hit ‘Resolve’ so I know you looked at them. That being said, what I wrote will totally elevate the shit out of this thing, don’t you agree? Trying to be a team player here! Still, love you guys. #OneTeamOneDream, right?!

Stage IV: Are you still there?


Psst… are you guys there? I noticed the timestamps on my comments. It’s been five minutes and still no reply. Also, it looks like neither of you has typed or added anything in a while. Layer that on top of the fact that the ‘M’ has now completely disappeared, and it’s as if you both are gone! Are you guys writing in a separate doc? I mean, that would make sense since I had a lot of feedback. In that case, take your time! After all, I want this work to be GREAT, so thanks for taking my comments seriously. In the meantime, I’ll just keep editing and add to what you two wrote so it can read as one unified voice. If you hate it, we can totally go back in the Revision History later and change it back, I promise!

Stage V: Can you grant me access?


Hmm… could one of you guys add me back to the Google Doc? Maybe Google’s technology couldn’t handle me editing your writing simultaneously as you were typing because it kicked me off. I wonder why Google would do that. Weird, huh?! If you’re not sure how to add me back, just hit me up on Google Hangouts. I’ll show you how to grant me access so we can get back to collaborating in no time!