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GROUP Tables of Contents: 97990103050709101214

GROUP'03: International Conference on Supporting Group Work

Fullname:Proceedings of the International ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work
Editors:Marilyn Tremaine; Carla Simone
Location:Sanibel Island, Florida, USA
Dates:2003-Nov-09 to 2003-Nov-12
Standard No:ISBN 1-58113-693-5; ACM Order Number: 612030; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: GROUP03
Links:Conference Home Page
  1. Communities I
  2. Chat I
  3. Groupware for special groups I
  4. Mobility
  5. Groupware for special groups II
  6. System technology
  7. Making sense
  8. Chat II
  9. Communities II
  10. Models
  11. Knowledge Management I
  12. Tools and technology I
  13. Field studies I
  14. Tools and technology II
  15. Field studies II
  16. Social browsing
  17. Knowledge management II
  18. Design input studies

Communities I

The active lurker: influence of an in-house online community on its outside environment BIBAFull-Text 10
  Masamichi Takahashi; Masakazu Fujimoto; Nobuhiro Yamasaki
In this study, we focus on participants called lurkers, who do not post any messages in an online community such as interactive mailing lists and bulletin board systems. We propose a method of classifying participants including lurkers based on two criteria: what types of actions they take outside the online community, and whether or not the online community affects their thoughts. In addition, based on the results of interviews, we propose hypotheses regarding factors that characterize the categories of lurkers. We conduct a questionnaire survey of all participants in two in-house online communities to verify our method and test the hypotheses. There are a considerable number of lurkers who have a strong and wide influence outside the online community. We conclude that such lurkers cannot be neglected in an evaluation of online communities within a company. We also discuss the possibility of online community management by focusing on not only posters but also lurkers who are indirect contributors to increasing the influence of an online community on its outside environment.
E-community-building in wiInf-central BIBAFull-Text 11-20
  Bernd Pape; Leonard Reinecke; Markus Rohde; Monique Strauss
Our study examined WiInf-Central, the "virtual homeplace" of a student community at the University of Hamburg, focusing on the processes of social identity and community building. After a detailed description of WiInf-Central we review our theoretical approaches, based on Social Identity Theory and Communities of Practice, and then set out our research questions and design. Finally, we present and discuss our results, followed by some comments on the theoretical and practical implications of our findings.
Free software developers as an occupational community: resolving conflicts and fostering collaboration BIBAFull-Text 21-30
  Margaret S. Elliott; Walt Scacchi
In this paper, we present results from the study of a free software development virtual organization, the GNU Enterprise (GNUe) project, and how they develop software in a globally distributed free software development project. In particular, examples of how they mitigate and resolve conflict are presented. Conflict arises over the use of a non-free tool to create GNUe graphic, and over the use of a non-free tool for GNUe documentation. The GNUe developers resolve the conflict using internet relay chat (IRC), threaded email discussions, and community digests. We characterize the GNUe developers as an occupational subculture within the occupational community of free/open source software (F/OSS) developers and show how the beliefs in free software and freedom of choice, and values in cooperative work and community assist GNUe contributors in mitigating and resolving conflict. In addition, we show how, despite fluctuating boundaries of membership in a virtual organization, daily discussions on the GNUe IRC serve to build and perpetuate the global community of GNUe contributors as well as F/OSS developers in general.

Chat I

Exms: an animated and avatar-based messaging system for expressive peer communication BIBAFull-Text 31-39
  Per Persson
While many synchronous computer-mediated communication systems have failed to encourage users to make use of the expressive capabilities of their avatars, asynchronous systems may hold better chance. This paper reports on the design and user study of a message system that allows users to concatenate and annotate avatar animations and send them to peers. During three weeks, a group of 11 17-year-olds exchanged 222 animated messages in their everyday life environment. The interplay between text and animation allowed users to create significantly expressive messages. Many messages told micro-stories about fictitious and real events. Users identified with their avatars and were proud of their embodied representation. The content of messages deepened during the course of the study.
Text chat in action BIBAFull-Text 40-49
  Jacki O'Neill; David Martin
Synchronous text communication is becoming recognized as a valuable workplace communication medium yet some studies of group text chat indicate that its properties can lead to interactional incoherence. We consider this issue through a detailed analytic examination of text chat transcripts by showing how participants manage their interactions through considering multiple threads, turn taking and topic change. We reveal the routine practices that participants employ to create and manage coherent interaction. These practices arise from the turn taking system in operation, which facilitates straightforward repair of misunderstandings. We conclude by considering the implications of this for design and for the organisation and management of interactions of various forms.
Introducing chat into business organizations: toward an instant messaging maturity model BIBAFull-Text 50-57
  Michael J. Muller; Mary Elizabeth Raven; Sandra Kogan; David R. Millen; Kenneth Carey
We provide the first study of instant messaging (IM) based on large samples of users' self reports. Previous studies have relied on ethnographic methods or analysis of server logs. Our self-report approach has its own strengths (large-sample; focus on attitudes, beliefs, and value attributions), as well as weaknesses (self-selection by respondents). We describe the introduction of Lotus Sametime, an IM product, into three business organizations. Across the three organizations, we found substantially similar patterns in savings (reduced use of other communications channels), attitudes, and social networks. In one organization, we made a detailed study of the maturation of IM over a 24-month period, showing early and stable savings accompanied by much more gradual developments in chat behaviors, control of visibility and awareness, social networks, and attitudes. We conclude with a methodological self-critique, and an outline of an Instant Messaging Maturity Model.

Groupware for special groups I

Collaborative virtual environments for supporting learning communities: an experience of use BIBAFull-Text 58-67
  Ekaterina Prasolova-Forland; Monica Divitini
In this paper we present the experiences of usage of Viras, a collaborative virtual environment for social awareness support in educational settings. Collaborative Virtual environments (CVE) have lately been used for learning in different contexts, and offer promising possibilities for supporting social awareness. In our study, we look at how students evaluate CVE in educational settings and investigate the importance of different factors on social awareness.
Expectations for a scientific collaboratory: a case study BIBAFull-Text 68-74
  Diane H. Sonnenwald
In the past decade, a number of scientific collaboratories have emerged, yet adoption of scientific collaboratories remains limited. Meeting expectations is one factor that influences adoption of innovations, including scientific collaboratories. This paper investigates expectations scientists have with respect to scientific collaboratories. Interviews were conducted with 17 scientists who work in a variety of settings and have a range of experience conducting and managing scientific research. Results indicate that scientists expect a collaboratory to: support their strategic plans; facilitate management of the scientific process; have a positive or neutral impact on scientific outcomes; provide advantages and disadvantages for scientific task execution; and provide personal conveniences when collaborating across distances. These results both confirm existing knowledge and raise new issues for the design and evaluation of collaboratories.


Designing for loose coupling in mobile groups BIBAFull-Text 75-84
  David Pinelle; Carl Gutwin
Loose coupling is a common way of organizing collaboration in work groups, but it has not been studied extensively in CSCW. In this paper, we consider the patterns of work that are seen in mobile groups that adopt a loosely coupled collaboration style. We report findings from interviews and fieldwork with teams of workers who deliver home healthcare services. In these teams, workers are mobile, widely dispersed, and autonomous, and team members communicate with each other only intermittently. Based on these findings, we identify and discuss four work patterns that occur in loosely coupled mobility: discretionary collaboration and effort thresholds, implicitly shared information, asynchronous communication and coordination, and barriers to synchrony. We consider the implications of these findings for the design of CSCW technologies.
Motorcycling and social interaction: design for the enjoyment of brief traffic encounters BIBAFull-Text 85-94
  Mattias Esbjornsson; Oskar Juhlin; Mattias Ostergen
We report an ethnographic fieldwork that reveals the importance of social interaction, and especially traffic encounters, for the enjoyment of motorcycling. Motorcyclists spend an appreciable amount of time on the roads to meet other bikers. During the brief traffic encounters, they interact visually by means of their driving, their choice of bike and personal equipment. We uncover problematic issues in this practice and how these are currently addressed. The activities on the roads are partly arranged, and partly complemented by the use of a public message-board on the web. The findings are summarized as a set of implications informing the development of the Hocman prototype. Hocman is a mobile HTTP peer-to-peer application, which supports social interaction between motorcyclists.

Groupware for special groups II

Increasing workplace independence for people with cognitive disabilities by leveraging distributed cognition among caregivers and clients BIBAFull-Text 95-104
  Stefan Carmien; Rogerio DePaula; Andrew Gorman; Anja Kintsch
In this paper we describe a current group configuration that is used to support people with cognitive disabilities (hereinafter referred to as "clients") in the workplace. A client receiving face-to-face, often one-to-one assistance from a dedicated human job coach is characteristic of this "traditional" model. We compare this traditional model with other group configurations that are used in cooperative and distributed work practices. In so doing, we highlight requirements that are unique to task support for people with cognitive disabilities. A survey of technologies that have been developed to provide clients with greater levels of independence is then presented. These endeavors often attempt to replace human job coaches with computational cognitive aids. We discuss some limitations of such approaches and then present a model and prototype that extends the computational job coach by incorporating human caregivers in a distributed one-to-many support system.
"Breaking the code", moving between private and public work in collaborative software development BIBAFull-Text 105-114
  Cleidson R. B. de Souza; David Redmiles; Paul Dourish
Software development is typically cooperative endeavor where a group of engineers need to work together to achieve a common, coordinated result. As a cooperative effort, it is especially difficult because of the many interdependencies amongst the artifacts created during the process. This has lead software engineers to create tools, such as configuration management tools, that isolate developers from the effects of each other's work. In so doing, these tools create a distinction between private and public aspects of work of the developer. Technical support is provided to these aspects as well as for transitions between them. However, we present empirical material collected from a software development team that suggests that the transition from private to public work needs to be more carefully handled. Indeed, the analysis of our material suggests that different formal and informal work practices are adopted by the developers to allow a delicate transition, where software developers are not largely affected by the emergent public work. Finally, we discuss how groupware tools might support this transition.

System technology

Supporting activity-centric collaboration through peer-to-peer shared objects BIBAFull-Text 115-124
  Werner Geyer; Jurgen Vogel; Li-Te Cheng; Michael Muller
We describe a new collaborative technology that is mid-way between the informality of email and the formality of shared workspaces. Email and other ad hoc collaboration systems are typically lightweight and flexible, but build up an unmanageable clutter of copied objects. At the other extreme, shared workspaces provide formal, structured collaboration, but are too heavyweight for users to set up. To bridge this gap between the ad hoc and formal, this paper introduces the notion of "object-centric sharing", where users collaborate in a lightweight manner but aggregate and organize different types of shared artifacts into semi-structured activities with dynamic membership, hierarchical object relationships, as well as real-time and asynchronous collaboration. We present a working prototype implemented with a replicated peer-to-peer architecture, which we describe in detail, and demonstrate its performance in synchronous and asynchronous modes.
Software framework for managing heterogeneity in mobile collaborative systems BIBAFull-Text 125-134
  Carlos D. Correa; Ivan Marsic
Heterogeneity aspects in mobile collaborative systems, such as differences in user's interest, semantic conflicts across different domains and representations, and disparate device capabilities, cause difficulties in developing software applications. One of the key problems for collaborative applications is maintaining a consistent shared state.
   In this paper, we describe a framework that manages several aspects of heterogeneity to maintain consistency across the collaborating sites. We assume graph data structure for application state representation. Our framework is based on structural and semantic mappings between graph structures. The mapping can be customized to meet different requirements through user-defined policies and rules. An important constraint is efficient use of scarce system resources.
   We describe several applications built using the framework to collaboratively share XML documents. The XML documents in our case are 2D/3D representations of virtual worlds. We also show the performance results of our framework which demonstrate its feasibility for mobile scenarios.

Making sense

Technology-use mediation: making sense of electronic communication in an organizational context BIBAFull-Text 135-143
  Jorgen P. Bansler; Erling Havn
This study analyzes how a group of 'mediators' in a large, multinational company adapted a computer-mediated communication technology (a 'virtual workspace') to the local organizational context (and vice versa) by modifying features of the technology, providing ongoing support for users, and promoting appropriate conventions of use. Our findings corroborate earlier research on technology-use mediation, which suggests that such mediators can exert considerable influence on how a particular technology will be established and used in an organization. However, this study also indicates that the process of technology-use mediation is more complex and indeterminate than earlier literature suggests. In particular, we want to draw attention to the fact that advanced computer-mediated communication technologies are equivocal and that technology-use mediation consequently requires ongoing sensemaking.
The evolution of artifacts in cooperative work: constructing meaning through activity BIBAFull-Text 144-152
  Marlin M. Cluts
A two year case study of cooperative work was inspired by the installation of CSCW software in a community bank. The framework for the research was developed by combining activity theory and the principles of communities of practice. This framework provided a useful model and insight into the evolution of artifact meaning, sharing, and credibility. In essence, users needed to experience results within the activity system and social structure of the community to establish meaning and credibility. The study applied the theory and language of activity theory and communities of practice to make sense of case phenomena and provide a richer context for understanding traditional principles.
Making sense of collaboration: the challenge of thinking together in global design teams BIBAFull-Text 153-160
  Andreas Larsson
Industry globalization brings with it inevitable changes to traditional organizational structures. The notion of global virtual teams, working together across geographical, cultural and functional borders, is becoming increasingly appealing. This paper presents observations of how a team of designers negotiate shared understanding in the collaborative design of Virtual Pedals for Volvo Car Corporation. Although the team was globally distributed during most of the development process, examples are drawn from collocated design sessions, since this enables careful examination of the multifaceted ways in which collocated designers use a wide variety of artifacts and techniques to create common ground. The findings highlight the situational and interactional characteristics of design collaboration and suggest that the addition of shared 'objects to think with' in distributed design environments could greatly facilitate global design teams in their collaborative process of 'thinking together apart'.

Chat II

Why do we ReachOut?: functions of a semi-persistent peer support tool BIBAFull-Text 161-169
  Michal Jacovi; Vladimir Soroka; Sigalit Ur
Collaboration plays a vital role in today's new business environment. Knowledge that resides within people's heads has become an invaluable resource. Many formal tools, such as e-mail or teamrooms, have been introduced to support formal collaboration and have been studied extensively. However, support for informal communication is still in its infancy. Much work has been done to analyze the functions that informal communication plays in the workplace. Recently, several studies have evaluated the roles that instant messaging (IM) plays in similar settings. Research shows that in the workplace, IM is used primarily for work-related purposes and accelerates the completion of important business tasks. Clearly, new tools that combine both formal and informal interaction can bring organizations tremendous rewards. ReachOut is a tool for semi-persistent collaboration and peer support developed by the Collaboration Technologies Group at the IBM Haifa Research Lab. This paper studies the role ReachOut plays in the workplace. We analyzed the collaboration activity of the community of IBM Haifa Labs employees who used ReachOut for a period of two months. As a result, we summarize the important functions played by tools that bridge between formal and informal communication in a workplace-based community.
How push-to-talk makes talk less pushy BIBAFull-Text 170-179
  Allison Woodruff; Paul M. Aoki
This paper presents an exploratory study of college-age students using two-way, push-to-talk cellular radios. We describe the observed and reported use of cellular radio by the participants. We discuss how the half-duplex, lightweight cellular radio communication was associated with reduced interactional commitment, which meant the cellular radios could be used for a wide range of conversation styles. One such style, intermittent conversation, is characterized by response delays. Intermittent conversation is surprising in an audio medium, since it is typically associated with textual media such as instant messaging. We present design implications of our findings.
What counts as success? punctuated patterns of use in a persistent chat environment BIBAFull-Text 180-189
  Christine A. Halverson; Thomas Erickson; Jeremy Sussman
This paper presents a case study of a globally distributed work group's use of an online environment called "Loops." Loops is a web-based persistent chat system whose aim is to support collaboration amongst corporate work groups. We describe the ways in which the group turned the system's features to its own ends, and the unusual usage rhythm that corresponded with the team's varying needs for communication as it moved through its work cycle. We conclude with a discussion of design implications, and a suggestion that "community" may not always be the best way to think about groups' use of online systems.

Communities II

Communities of action: a cognitive and social approach to the design of CSCW systems BIBAFull-Text 190-197
  Manuel Zacklad
Most current theories about collective cognitive activities in limited groups apply to structurally closed co-operative situations Here we propose to work in the framework of intellectual transactions and communities of action theory with a view to describing and designing CSCW systems which can be used in more structurally open situations. First we compare this approach with other theories of collective cognition (such as those focusing on situated cognition and communities of practice, distributed cognition and coordination mechanisms). We then present the core concepts involved in defining communities of action, the duality of goals and forms of knowledge and the operational, strategic, integrative and relational categories of collective activity on which the OSIR model is based. We conclude by presenting as an example the application of the model to a research project designed to assist the setting up of a health network.
Managing virtual knowledge networks: topology and performance BIBAFull-Text 198-204
  Gregor Schrott; Daniel Beimborn
Virtual informal communication networks are widely recognized as an important part of corporate knowledge management (KM). Unfortunately, most practices of community-engineering are characterized by intuitive actions from KM managers rather than systematic network development based on detailed analysis. Therefore, as part of a larger research framework, this paper addresses topological structures as action variable of community-engineering. A dynamic computer-based simulation model is introduced and applied to real-life data from over 800 students and staff of the Economics and Business Administration Department at Frankfurt University, Germany. Several metrics of networks performance are developed and illustrated using different exemplary actions of community-engineering.
Improving individual and organizational performance through communities of practice BIBAFull-Text 205-211
  David R. Millen; Michael A. Fontaine
Organizations have been increasingly providing communities of workers with resources, time, physical space and collaborative technologies to enhance the exchange and flow of knowledge and information. In this paper the results of a multi-organizational survey of four work-based communities is presented. These results offer insights into the resource usage, time use for various work activities, and reported individual, community and organizational benefits. A descriptive model is developed and discussed to show the relationships between community participation, time use, and individual and organizational outcomes.


Using the transformational approach to build a safe and generic data synchronizer BIBAFull-Text 212-220
  Pascal Molli; Gerald Oster; Hala Skaf-Molli; Abdessamad Imine
Reconciliating divergent data is an important issue in concurrent engineering, mobile computing and software configuration management. Currently, a lot of synchronizers or merge tools perform reconciliations. However, they do not define what is the correctness of their synchronisation. In this paper, we propose to use a transformational approach as the basic model for reasoning about synchronisation. We propose an algorithm and specific transformation functions that realize a file system synchronisation. Unlike classic synchronizers, our synchronizer ensures properties of convergence, causality and intention preservation and is extensible to new data types.
Owner/user role in computational grid extension by non-dedicated resources BIBAFull-Text 221-228
  Goran Martinovic
Engagement of non-dedicated machines in the computational grid requires special attention by mapping. In addition to application, platform and mapping parameters, a human as a resource owner plays an extremely important role. The problem is easier for the owner/user who also requires grid services at the same time. The grid can provide a powerful support to CSCW. Resource concession can also be treated as cooperation in the grid extension. The proposed resource extension model is based on meeting scheduling. This model puts a group member into a competitive position, since he becomes responsible for his organizational and infrastructure capabilities. He tends to concede the idle capacity to the grid in order to be able to use services provided by that powerful virtual machine.
Process inheritance and instance modification BIBAFull-Text 229-238
  Guangxin Yang
Process technologies play an increasingly important role as the world is being digitalized in nearly every corner. The major obstacles to their massive deployment include reusability and adaptivity. This paper addresses the two crucial problems with one single solution: process inheritance. We discuss what process inheritance is, what mechanisms are needed to support it, and how it can be used to handle exceptions effectively. The ideas and mechanisms are implemented in the runtime system of a process language named P.

Knowledge Management I

Information seeking and sharing in design teams BIBAFull-Text 239-247
  Steven Poltrock; Jonathan Grudin; Susan Dumais; Raya Fidel; Harry Bruce; Annelise Mark Pejtersen
Information retrieval is generally considered an individual activity, and information retrieval research and tools reflect this view. As digitally mediated communication and information sharing increase, collaborative information retrieval merits greater attention and support. We describe field studies of information gathering in two design teams that had very different products, disciplinary backgrounds, and tools. We found striking similarities in the kinds of information they sought and the methods used to get it. For example, each team sought information about design constraints from external sources. A common strategy was to propose ideas and request feedback, rather than to ask directly for recommendations. Some differences in information seeking and sharing reflected differences in work contexts. Our findings suggest some ways that existing team collaboration tools could support collaborative information retrieval more effectively.
Stimulating knowledge discovery and sharing BIBAFull-Text 248-257
  A. Agostini; S. Albolino; G. De Michelis; F. De Paoli; R. Dondi
Most of the available knowledge management systems pay little attention to two important aspects: the need of supporting emerging communities of interest together with the official organizational structure; and the need of cluing together knowledge associated with any kind of involved entity including people, communities, and informal knowledge. The MILK system enhances knowledge discovery and sharing by providing services addressing these aspects and supplying innovative interfaces and interaction styles. The goal of MILK is to become a familiar environment integrated in the every-day activities of dynamic modern workers. To meet the users' needs, the solution proposed by MILK roots in ethnographic analysis capturing the common practices within an organization.

Tools and technology I

Awareness support in a groupware widget toolkit BIBAFull-Text 258-267
  Jason Hill; Carl Gutwin
Group awareness is an important part of synchronous collaboration, and support for group awareness can greatly improve groupware usability. However, it is still difficult to build groupware that supports group awareness. To address this problem, we have developed the MAUI toolkit, a Java toolkit with a broad suite of awareness-enhanced UI components. The toolkit contains both extensions of standard Swing widgets, and groupware-specific components such as telepointers. All components have added functionality for collecting, distributing, and visualizing group awareness information. The toolkit packages components as JavaBeans, allowing wide code reuse, easy integration with IDEs, and drag-and-drop creation of working group-aware interfaces. The toolkit provides the first ever set of UI widgets that are truly collaboration-aware, and provides them in a way that greatly simplifies the construction and testing of rich groupware interfaces.
Instant group communication with QuickML BIBAFull-Text 268-273
  Toshiyuki Masui; Satoru Takabayashi
A number of people are exchanging e-mail messages everyday using mobile phones and PDAs. as well as PCs. E-mail is useful not only for one to-one communication but group communication through mailing lists. However, conventional mailing lists are not as widely used as they should be, because creating and maintaining a mailing list is not an easy task. We propose a simple and powerful mailing list service system called QuickML, with which people can easily create a mailing list and control the member account only by sending e-mail messages. QuickML allows people to enjoy group communication at any place, at any time, and by anyone.

Field studies I

Ordering systems: coordinative practices in architectural design and planning BIBAFull-Text 274-283
  Kjeld Schmidt
In their cooperative effort, architects depend critically on elaborate coordinative practices and artifacts. The paper presents, on the basis of an in-depth study of architectural work, an analysis of these practices and artifacts and shows that they are multilaterally interrelated and form complexes of interrelated practices and artifacts which we have dubbed 'ordering systems'. In doing so, the paper outlines a conceptual framework for investigating and conceiving of such practices.
Shaping technology across social worlds: groupware adoption in a distributed organization BIBAFull-Text 284-293
  Gloria Mark; Steven Poltrock
In this paper, we draw on theory about social worlds to analyze how different organizational contexts affect groupware adoption. We report on a study of the adoption of data conferencing in a large distributed organization. Our data show that the diffusion process, which was driven by the users, was a result of communication and transformation of the technology across different social worlds. We also discovered that membership in multiple social worlds in an organization creates a tension for the potential adopter who is in a distributed team. To function effectively, team members must uniformly adopt the technology, yet some may face resistance at their organizational homes. Our case study showed that adoption was affected by organizational sites having conflicting views of the value of collaboration, different amounts and needs for resources, and different acceptance of technology standards. Potential technology adopters on distributed teams are faced with conflicting loyalties, constraints, and requirements between their distributed collaborations and organizational homes.

Tools and technology II

Using cursor prediction to smooth telepointer jitter BIBAFull-Text 294-301
  Carl Gutwin; Jeff Dyck; Jennifer Burkitt
Telepointers are an important type of embodiment in real-time distributed groupware. Telepointers can increase the presence of remote participants and can provide considerable awareness information about people's locations and activities. However, the motion of a telepointer is often disrupted by network jitter. Although some strategies exist for dealing with jitter, none of these techniques are able to restore the immediacy and smoothness of a real cursor. In this paper we investigate the use of prediction -- commonly used in networked simulations and games -- to reduce the effects of jitter on telepointer motion. To determine whether prediction can be effective for improving telepointers, we carried out two experiments that tested the effects of different prediction schemes (some real and some artificial) on people's ability to interpret telepointer gestures. These studies show that although cursor prediction is still a difficult problem, there are both potential performance improvements, and definite preference advantages. Our studies suggest that telepointer prediction should be routinely used to increase the immediacy and naturalness of remote interaction, and suggest that prediction can also improve interpretation in certain situations.

Field studies II

From genre analysis to the design of meetingware BIBAFull-Text 302-310
  Pedro Antunes; Carlos J. Costa
Genre analysis is an approach to study organizational structures, focusing on communication patterns, which can be applied to the specific context of meetings. This research investigates the impact of genre analysis on the design of meetingware. The paper describes how genre analysis was used to develop meetingware for several organizations and meeting genres. The paper covers the whole design process, from genre elicitation to validation. The obtained results indicate that genre analysis impacts meetingware design in five major dimensions: organizational integration, situated nature, meeting lifecycle view, focus on communication patterns, and preservation of the meeting context.
Technology for boundaries BIBAFull-Text 311-320
  Susanne Bødker; Jannie F. Kristensen; Christina Nielsen; Werner Sperschneider
This paper presents a study of an organisation, which is undergoing a process transforming organisational and technological boundaries. In particular, we shall look at three kinds of boundaries: the work to maintain and change the boundary between the organisation and its customers; boundaries between competencies within the organisation; and boundaries between various physical locations of work, in particular between what is done in the office and what is done on site. Maintaining and changing boundaries are the processes through which a particular community sustains its identity and practice on the one hand, and where it is confronted with the identity and practices on the other.
   The organisation being studied employs a multitude of IT systems that support and maintain these boundaries in a particular manner that are in many ways inappropriate to the current needs of the organisation.
   After analysing the history and the current boundary work, the paper will propose new technological support for boundary work. In particular the paper will suggest means of supporting boundaries when these are productive and for changing boundaries when this seems more appropriate. In total, flexible technologies seem a core issue when dealing with technology for boundaries.

Social browsing

Studying the effect of similarity in online task-focused interactions BIBAFull-Text 321-329
  Dan Cosley; Pamela Ludford; Loren Terveen
Although the Internet provides powerful tools for social interactions, many tasks-for example, information-seeking-are undertaken as solitary activities. Information seekers are unaware of the invisible crowd traveling in parallel to their course through the information landscape. Social navigation systems attempt to make the invisible crowd visible, while social recommender systems try to introduce people directly. However, it is not clear whether users desire or will respond to social cues indicating the presence of other people when they are focused on a task. To investigate this issue, we created an online game-playing task and paired subjects to perform the task based on their responses to a short survey about demographics and interests. We studied how these factors influence task outcomes, the interaction process, and attitudes towards one's partner. We found that demographic similarity affected how people interact with each other, even though this information was not explicit, while similarities or differences in task-relevant interests did not. Our findings suggest guidelines for developing social recommender systems and show the need for further research into conditions that will help such systems succeed.
Group unified histories an instrument for productive unconstrained co-browsing BIBAFull-Text 330-338
  Maria Aneiros; Vladimir Estivill-Castro; Chengzheng Sun
The most common task being performed on the World Wide Web, namely exploring its contents remains an individual rather than a cooperative, shared or partnered activity. We propose that the existing model of collaborative browsing, namely master/slave, is too restrictive. Instead, we introduce group unified histories to provide unconstrained cooperative browsing. Our approach is founded on a persistent shared history object which is replicated for each user and totally configurable. In order for cooperation to succeed users are updated of changes taking place and shown the history of documents within the context of the group. Replication means that consistency needs to be maintained. We show that unconstrained cooperative browsing is a subset of collaborative editing, and using the consistency model of real-time collaborative editors achieves consistency and provides awareness in group unified histories.

Knowledge management II

Data at work: supporting sharing in science and engineering BIBAFull-Text 339-348
  Jeremy P. Birnholtz; Matthew J. Bietz
Data are a fundamental component of science and engineering work, and the ability to share data is critical to the validation and progress of science. Data sharing and reuse in some fields, however, has proven to be a difficult problem. This paper argues that the development of effective CSCW systems to support data sharing in work groups requires a better understanding of the use of data in practice. Drawing on our work with three scientific disciplines, we show that data play two general roles in scientific communities: 1) they serve as evidence to support scientific inquiry, and 2) they make a social contribution to the establishment and maintenance of communities of practice. A clearer consideration and understanding of these roles can contribute to the design of more effective data sharing systems. We suggest that this can be achieved through supporting social interaction around data abstractions, reaching beyond current metadata models, and supporting the social roles of data.
Concepts for usable patterns of groupware applications BIBAFull-Text 349-358
  Thomas Herrmann; Marcel Hoffmann; Isa Jahnke; Andrea Kienle; Gabriele Kunau; Kai-Uwe Loser; Natalja Menold
Patterns, which are based on in-depth practical experience, can be instructing for the design of groupware applications as socio-technical systems. On the basis of a summary of the concept of patterns -- as elaborated by the architect Christopher Alexander -- its adoptions within computer science are retraced and relationships to the area of groupware are described. General principles for patterns within this domain are formulated and supported by examples from a wide range of experience with knowledge management systems. The analysis reveals that every pattern of a groupware application has to combine the description of social as well as technical structures, and that a single pattern can only be understood in the context of a pattern language. It also shows that such a language has to integrate patterns of socio-technical solutions with measures and procedures for introducing them, and that the language not only has to express one type of directed relationship between the patterns but a variety of different types which have to be deliberately assigned to the patterns.

Design input studies

Designed for unanticipated use: common artefacts as design principle for CSCW applications BIBAFull-Text 359-368
  Samuli Pekkola
Common artefacts have been identified as fundamental characteristics for framing activities in workplaces. Mike Robinson's article 'Design for unanticipated use...' conceptualised and defined the dimensions of common artefacts as consisting of predictability, peripheral awareness, implicit communication, double level language and overview. These dimensions have often been used in explaining unexpected uses of different applications and systems. In this paper, experiences from common artefacts as CSCW application design principles, indicating that unanticipated uses are expected and further supported, are discussed. Two distinct cases, a physical room and a software application, are presented, and some examples of the realisation of different dimensions are elaborated. It is concluded that the support for common artefacts can be designed, to a certain extent, and that such support can make applications more suitable for unanticipated uses.
How people use orientation on tables: comprehension, coordination and communication BIBAFull-Text 369-378
  Russell Kruger; Sheelagh Carpendale; Stacey D. Scott; Saul Greenberg
In order to support co-located collaboration, many researchers are now investigating how to effectively augment tabletops with electronic displays. As far back as 1988, orientation was recognized as a significant human factor issue that must be addressed by electronic tabletop designers. As with traditional tables, when people stand at different positions around a horizontal display they will be viewing the contents from different angles. One common solution to this problem is to have the software reorient objects so that any given individual can view them 'right way up.' Yet is this the best approach? If not, how do people actually use orientation on tables? To answer these questions, we conducted an observational study of collaborative activity on a traditional table. Our results show that the strategy of reorienting objects to a person's view is overly simplistic: while important, it is an incomplete view of how people exploit their ability to reorient objects. Orientation proves critical in how individuals comprehend information, how collaborators coordinate their actions, and how they mediate communication. The coordinating role of orientation is evident in how people establish personal and group spaces, and how they signal ownership of objects. In terms of communication, orientation is useful in initiating communicative exchanges and in continuing to speak to individuals about particular objects and work patterns as collaboration progresses. The three roles of orientation have significant implications for the design of tabletop software and the assessment of existing tabletop systems.