The Ink and Switch team on their Upwelling concept:
We use the term “fishbowl effect” to refer to this downside of real-time collaboration: a writer’s feeling of being watched or interrupted in their workflow by collaborators. Real-time collaboration can be beneficial for lightweight writing tasks (like meeting notes) or when collaborators are working together live (e.g., during a video call). However, our interviews highlighted that many writers prefer working in a private space during phases of individual, creative work.
It’s early days, but Upwelling seems like a super thoughtful, Git-inspired approach to solving some of the biggest pain points in collaborative writing with tools like Google Docs or Microsoft Word. It’s easy to write an initial draft privately, but once you start sharing it becomes very difficult to get back to that space where you can make significant changes without feeling like someone’s watching over your shoulder. Sure, you can fork your doc and try to manually merge content later, but all of that manual reconciliation is tedious and error-prone. I’m very much looking forward to seeing this idea find its way into typical tools.