Social Computing 1
- Beyond being there, Hollan, J. and Stornetta, S. Proceedings of CHI 1992, pp. 119-125.
- Groupware and Social Dynamics: Eight Challenges for Developers, Jonathan Grudin, Communications of the ACM (CACM), 37(1), 1994, pp. 92-105.
Eric Gratta 10:55:23 11/9/2014
Beyond Being There (1992) Jim Hollan and Scott Stornetta This paper calls into question the assumption that computer imitation of face-to-face communication is capable of being effective. The researchers were able to cite an example of this assumption from as early as 1898, predicting that video interaction would produce an authentic effect of being somewhere else. They try to explore how effective telecommunications work has been at producing this effect of “being there,” but essentially conclude that there is no solution to the problem of imitating face-to-face interactions. The problem they identify is the goal of telecommunications research at the time. Since the goal is imitation, and people will always prefer real face-to-face interaction over an imitation, no solution will ever be as good as being there. But, if the goal is adjusted to enhancing face-to-face communication (making it better than just “being there”), then the focus becomes how technology can make some aspect of communication possible that isn’t possible in natural face-to-face interactions, and for that reason have some appeal over the real thing. To elaborate further, they define human communication as comprising needs, media, and mechanisms, and that new work should focus on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of new and old media, and then identifying mechanisms to take advantage of the strengths of each. They use the technique of describing ongoing projects to demonstrate the approach to communications research that they are proposing. The examples that they drew upon to explain their approach made its value very clear. They identified really interesting, alternative ways of applying familiar concepts. For example, the idea of communicating semi-synchronously to effectively gather opinions from all interested participants is a really novel way of addressing a common communicative issue with technology. I appreciated that the authors made an effort to identify the potential criticisms that their new approach might receive. However, when I read that section I got the impression that they did not concede to any flaws in the approach, and addressed very few criticisms. That said, I found the counter-argument about intersubjectivity fairly convincing. ------------------------------------------------------ Groupware and Social Dynamics: Eight Challenges for Developers (1994) Jonathan Grudin This paper is trying to highlight the issue of poor quality software designed for group usage. It acts as a survey paper of issues within the CSCW research direction. Using a concentric diagram that resembles a design space, it distinguishes between software developed for individuals, groups, and organizations, explaining that much of groupware is written for users or developers of commercial, single-user products. Then, it goes on to describe unique properties of groupware, summarized in a table. A couple problems identified before the listing of eight: (1) the adoption of groupware by an organization will not prompt massive restructuring of the organization, but rather the application has to adapt to the organization, and (2) groupware has to face all of the challenges of a single-user application as well as the difficulties involved in group coordination. An interesting technique that the authors used in exploring the eight challenges facing groupware developers was to include, for each challenge, a comparison to the other two research areas (single-user applications and organizational information systems) that the author distinguished in the earlier “research space.” These helped to prove that each challenge the paper addressed regarding groupware was posed in a unique way to groupware developers as opposed to developers of other software systems. However, having the comparison with other research directions also made the general applicability of these challenges apparent. One interesting issue they revealed was that groupware development tends not to adequately take into account the needs of all users, often prioritizing the management figure involved or expecting too much consistency from users’ work habits. What seemed to be one of their more promising suggestions occurred in their conclusion, which was to extend single-user applications to include groupware features, reducing development barriers and granting familiarity with the system to existing users.
Yanbing Xue 22:59:04 11/9/2014
The first paper mainly talks about face-to-face communication. The authors argue that this is not enough. They say we could do better given the current technologies (of the time). The authors wanted the idea of “beyond being there”, where we use the technology to make the experience better than being there. Through the use of archival and other easily implementable objects, we can make the interaction better than a face to face conversation, and even make it preferred. This is a major idea since we are now expecting technology to make what we do easier and better. It is supposed to be one of the most efficacious forms of communication, and much research tries to reproduce it digitally. In this paper, projects are presented that are difficult to solve with face-to-face communication. Traditionally, telecommunications systems try to bring the sense being there to its users. Social presence and information richness are two metrics that can measure how well a system brings the sense of being there. If given a choice, users would prefer face-to-face over most communication systems that attempt to reproduce this. Interestingly, email, which is not face-to-face, is commonly sent among people in the same room. Ephemeral interest groups create a short-lived discussion to be attached to any object in a community's electronic space. They are useful for getting to know people without worrying about whether or not schedules match up. Meeting others is another method. They create computing personals. It is a more efficient way of providing information about a user then face-to-face. Anonymity is one characteristic that is difficult to achieve with face-to-face. I find the idea discussed in the paper is what we think about social network today. The popularity of social network measured by large number of social networks, provide different mechanisms for telecommunication both syn and async for huge amount of people online, has shown the “beyond being there” spirit in this paper. ========== The second paper mainly talks about the understanding of groupware and eight problems that we meet when developing. The concept of groupware provides the platform where developers begin to develop software to support group rather than individuals. There is a payoff between systems for groups and systems for individual, which is called the groupware. The paper also introduces the CSCW, the computer supported coordinate work. So the design challenge of the groupware is that besides individuals who are using the system, it also involves group problems. The authors discuss that the following issues present problems for developers: disparity in work and benefit, critical mass and Prisoner's dilemma problems, disruption of social processes, exception handling, unobtrusive accessibility, difficulty of evaluation, failure of intuition, and the adoption process. Among these, the most difficult to solve in my opinion and disparity in work and benefit and difficulty of evaluation. Disparity of work and benefit relates to the fact that different users receive different benefits from the same application. Because these applications are developed for such widely different individuals, it is a necessary result that some users will be better served than others. Another major problem is that there are not yet any effective techniques for measuring the performance of a groupware application. While a single user application can usually be fully tested by a user in under an hour, a groupware application would often require tests lasting multiple weeks for group interactions to unfold. It is also difficult to generalize results, as the group using a groupware application can often have more effect on the performance than the application itself. A highly motivated group will often still be able to achieve positive results with a bad product.
Qihang Chen 18:31:41 11/10/2014
This paper mainly dealt with a number of arguments for the development of systems that go beyond voice. This paper was mostly an idea paper, presenting what they saw happening in the future rather than testing a new system and providing experimental feedback. 20 years after this paper, we are starting to see this type of communication come into fruition. Two examples of this are Apple’s FaceTime and Microsoft’s Skype. Both of these technologies allow the user to be face to face with the person they are talking to through the medium of video and voice. Both give the ability to make it appear as if the person online with them is in the same room, making facial expressions and emotions visible to make the conversation more enriching. Technologies such as holograms are also coming into fruition, however it may be a few years until the reach the point that they can become commercially available. ================================ The main focus of this paper was the concept of “groupware”, software that allows users to work more efficiently towards a common goal with other group members. This paper was a lot more focused than the last. This paper efficiently laid out the 8 challenges facing group software in a very organized table. The analysis of these was very in-depth as well as accurate to the best of my knowledge. The only item on the list that I really want to take issue with is the “critical mass” idea; that a system needs to achieve a certain percentage of all users to be useful. I would argue that, if a team were using a groupware application to work on their project, that the groupware system is not effective unless all users make use of it. If not, there are going to be project difficulties, as some group members would be missing key conversations regarding the project they are working on.
Wenchen Wang 19:01:03 11/10/2014
<Beyond being there> <Summary> Beyond telecommunication by creating being there awareness, there could be some other ways to have social communicate with people. This paper proposes different hypothesis of people’s intention about communication with each other <Paper Review> Among those hypothesis, I like anonymity. It says that anonymous exchanges will encourage people to discuss issues that they are reluctant to discuss. Actually, programmers have been developed an application called Bibi in China. In Bibi, people could write posts anonymously and people cannot know who send out the blog. This application satisfy some people’s need of anonymity. I also like the hypothesis that use of semisynchronous mechanisms will encourage a greater range of responses than the normal asynchronous or synchronous mechanisms. Sometimes, I cannot come up with appropriate words to express my thoughts in face-to-face communication. If the communication could be semisynchronous, it could offer people more time to think about their words without embarrassing, which could happen in face-to-face communication. I think most today’s social networking application is semisynchronous, such as facebook, weibo and twitter. People could have a synchronous chat and also asynchronous post replying comments to other people’s post. <Eight challenges for developers> <Summary> This article briefly outlines the origins of groupware, describes eight specific problem areas, and finally examines groupware successes in search of better approaches to supporting work in group settings. <Paper Review> Software universe has been categorized into three class based on the number of users. They are organization software, group software and individual software. Groupware targets smaller groups than systems serving organizational goals. Management is less committed to the less expensive groupware applications or features. Group-aware applications know that they are being used by a group and accept inputs from multiple sources. Obviously such programs need to designed with groupware in mind and usually come as part of a groupware system. Group-aware programs may run either at a single machine, with inputs and results collected from multiple sites, or there can be a copy running on each machine in the group with only relevant commands (for a particular site) sent to a site. So there comes the problem that it is more difficult to implement than individual software. Some groupware applications are Lotus Notes, Collabra Share and Iphone (Internet Phone).
Mengsi Lou 21:35:27 11/10/2014
BEYOND BEING THERE This paper discusses the problems of current distance communications provided by the electronic media in 1992, and also proposals some research to deal with the issue of needs, media, and mechanisms. The key point of telecommunication is that people won’t detect the distance when they are communicating through electronic ways in a long distance. So in the ‘Being there’ part, the author introduces some main problems. ‘Being there’ means that when people making telecommunications if they feel ‘being there’ so the distance has no disadvantage. And of course the approaches are not close enough. People at a distance is at a disadvantage unless the approach can make the same physical mechanisms to interact with each other within a physical distance. Then at the ‘Beyond being there’ part, the author mentions some communication ways. For example, the author illustrates computationally a new medium that is the mediated communication, which is as good as or even better than the physically proximate medium. //////////////////////////////////////////////////// Groupware and Social Dynamics This paper discusses eight challenges for developers to develop the group used software. Groups are different from individuals and also organizations as can be seen from the figure 1 in paper. They own the feature that they will need to communication through the network to be a group. For the eight challenges for groups that also shows the group features and point out the main direction of developing progress. The first challenge is Disparity in work and benefit. Groupware application need to pay more attention to the users that they will perceive the benefit when using the application. The second challenge is the critical mass and prisoner’s dilemma problems. The third one is the disruption of social processes. Since the internet is powerful, what the users did and become a group that will lead to activity that finally violate the social processes. The fourth challenge is the exception handling. For example, the problem of large amount of ad hoc are often post hoc that we can see from the computer services division of efficient performance. The fifth problem is the unobtrusive accessibility. Group processes need unobtrusive accessibility and integration with more heavily used features. The sixth challenge is the difficulty of evaluation. The evaluation part is important and for the process and we need to learn from the users’ experience, which need to move the obstacles to analysis and groupware experience. The seventh one is the failure of intuition. The eight challenge is the adoption process. Groupware applications need more progress of implementation and also the designing and evaluation. In sum, the groupware applications earns the different features, like communication and interactive so that more work should be done when developing a groupware applications.
Nick Katsipoulakis 22:41:20 11/10/2014
Beyond Being There :: This article discusses ways of improving communication mediums for people not physically next to each other. The authors make a strong argument that physical presence can not be easily substituted by high-fidelity media. It is the telecommunication technologies responsibility to provide systems capable of providing additional communication richness compared to face-to-face interactions. The authors continue by addressing many research efforts, up to the point of writing this paper, which have attempted to imitate physical presence of people. Those efforts involved mainly high fidelity audio/video media. However, most of them always fell short compared to actual physical presence. The authors argue that this unwanted outcome is not because of mistakes made in those research efforts, but due to the goals that they have initially set. In order to overcome this problem, tools need to be developed which human will prefer in every occasion. Such tools should consider needs, media and mechanisms that are not met/employed by physical presence. In conclusion, I feel that this paper has not contributed much to my current knowledge about communication systems. Even though a robust points are made by discussing inherent difficulties of substituting physical presence, no actual solution is proposed. //--------------------------END OF FIRST CRITIQUE -----------------------------------/// Groupware and Social Dynamics :: I was surprised by the topics discussed in this article and how user behavior can be successfully justified in fourteen pages. In a developer's activities, collaboration plays a major role. It is more than usual when people need to work in teams for completing a Computer Science Project. Therefore, groupware applications need to be employed for optimizing the collaboration levels among peers. However, this article states facts about groupware's challenges and shortcomings that usually make groupware not popular. The author of this article starts by presenting the boom experienced in groupware applications and jumping directly into the problems appearing in collaborative environments. Those problems come from different backgrounds and have to do with socio-political factors, habits, and disparity among participating groups. Moreover, technical challenges arise when groupware applications are exploited for project completion, which often fail to address every possible problematic situation. In conclusion, I believe that this paper has successfully presented the status of a specific type of applications and the challenges that arise during their development, user training and usage.
SenhuaChang 23:14:49 11/10/2014
Beyond Being There: This article points out that in order to design really good telecommunication systems, we should focus more on communication. the authors argue that tools that people prefer to use even when they have the option of interacting in physical proximity as they have heretofore is what the telecommunication people should working at, in short they call it ‘beyond being there’. I think the most important point in this paper is that the authors have emphasized again and again requiring one medium to imitate the other inevitably pits strengths of the old medium against weaknesses of the new. The authors claim that we should focus more on taking advantage of the good aspects of new medium instead of trying to solve the disadvantages comparing to face-to-face method. The authors gave out several examples showing how people will do differently with the advent of the new features. And to sum up, this paper is very good at giving many insights in what matters between human’s communication and present good hypotheses. By the way, the sentence that making the technology unique rather than simply imitating is really interesting and inspiring. Groupware and Social Dynamics: This article points out that several challenges for groupware developers, in order to points out those challenges, the author divide this article into three parts: the origins of groupware, eight challenges for developer, and analysis of successful examples. First, the author uses a figure to illustrate the position of groupware in the entire software universe, giving an accurate location of groupware. Second, the author mainly talks about those eight challenges for groupware developers. The author not only describes what these challenges are, but makes comparisons with single-user applications and organizational information system. Third, the author uses email as a typical example to explain why it succeeds. In this article, some concept really impress me- For those developers, may be they only care about how to implement a fast algorithm or a new function. Most of time, when they develop a software, they care less of these social factors. Maybe this is ok for lots of single-user application, but in terms of groupware, we should put much attention on the people collaboration part.
Qiao Zhang 23:25:48 11/10/2014
Beyond Being There This paper discusses various ways of communication besides the imitation of "being there". The general telecommunication problem seems to be to create a system that affords us the same richness and variety of interaction that we have when we are physically proximate, even when we are physically distant. It is tempting to create a system that can achieve a level of information richness so close to face-to-face that for most needs it will be indistinguishable. Many current efforts to accomplish this attempt to create a sense of "being there", chiefly by stablishing audio and video channels between distant locations. However, a study suggests that in one important respect, systems using this approach may never be "close enough". This is not because of the quality of the systems, but because of what they attempt to achieve. If we ever hope to solve the telecommunication problem, we must develop tools that people prefer to use even when they have the option of interacting in physical proximity as they have heretofore. To do that requires tools that go beyond being there. To create such tools, the authors suggest framing the problem in terms of needs, media, and mechanisms. The goal then becomes identifying needs which are not ideally met in the medium of physical proximity, and evolving mechanisms which leverage the strengths of the new medium to meet those needs. In an important sense, computationally-mediated communication is a new medium, potentially as good or better than the physically proximate medium we are used to. The authors argue that a better way to solve the telecommunication is to not focus on the tele- part, but the communication part. That is, to make the new medium satisfy the needs of communication so well that people, whether physically proximate or not, prefer to use it. The authors use three examples of computationally-mediated informal communication. Ephemeral interest groups, which creates a mechanism that allows a short-lived discussion to be attached to any object in a community's electronic "space". Groups are disposable, intended only to last a limited amount of time. It is a situation where face-to-face synchronous communication is not desirable. Meeting others, or computing personals, can be seen everywhere today on online communities. Anonymity and semisynchronous discussions, of course, cannot be achieved through traditional tele-communication. More subtle details such as a glance that conveys intersubjectivity would probably be never imitated using electronic media. instead, focusing on underlying requirements and the distinctive characteristics of the electronic media might lead to even better solutions. Groupware and Social Dynamics - Eight Challenges for Developers Current computers have little support for group users. Not being able to understand the unique demands result in expensive failures. This article outlines the origins of groupware, describes eight specific problem areas, and finally examines groupware successes in search of better approaches to supporting work in group settings. Single user applications are well exploited, groupware (multiuser applications), however, as networks link the computers, this large potential market has many challenges. Groupware targets smaller groups than systems serving organizational goals. Because of the social and political factors at work in group settings, achieving groupware acceptance is much trickier than single user product acceptance. The first problem the article talks about is the disparity between work and benefit. Three examples, automatic meeting scheduling, digitized voice, and a computer-assisted management system, are used to demonstrate the fact that a groupware application never provides precisely the same benefit to every group member. The second problem of critical mass and prisoner's dilemma is very interesting. This is a problem of any collaborative systems: rational individuals make their best choices lead to a worse result overall. The third problem is that users may be interrupted by other social activities because of the collaborate nature. Because there are innumerous variables of human beings, the unstable interaction between variables will inevitably lead to unpredictable results. Conflicts of interest should be dealt with the consideration of the magnitude of the problem. The fourth problem is that it is generally hard to handle exceptions among groups because of the ad hoc human activities. Exception handling is often post hoc rationalization; groupware developers should decouple the rules and structures as much as possible to get the work done according to the localized judgments of those doing the work. How work is actually done should be well studied. The fifth problem is unobtrusive accessibility. The designing for infrequently used features, such as a coauthorship software, should be unobtrusive yet accessible. However, I see different recent trends on this problem: one is Git like version control system, which allows user use whichever programming environment they prefer and merge the conflicts; the other is Google Docs like system, which supports "being there" experience. In such ways, the secondary functions are either decoupled from the system, or highly integrated into the system. The sixth problem is difficulty of evaluation. Evaluating groupware is to analyze the groupware in a meaningful and generalizable way. Because lab controlled experiments cannot reliably capture complex but important social, motivational, economic, and political dynamics. It generally takes longer and more complex methods to evaluate groupware, and the evaluation is less precise. Generalizing from experience is risky. The seventh problem is the failure of intuition: actually, this is something that the iterative design process is trying to solve. Human beings are not made perfect, especially in groups where users' mistakes are combined. Managers' opinions are more favored in the decision making process. The decision maker does not provide a collective benefit to the group or organization. The last problem is the adoption process. Groupware must be introduced very carefully, leaving little to chance. At last, the authors take email as an example to explain how the 7 problems are addressed. It shows how important it is to adopt a workplace perspective rather than a technology perspective, and how difficult it is. Several applicable methods that can help overcome the behavioral and social challenges are introduced too.
nro5 (Nathan Ong) 23:41:39 11/10/2014
Review of “Beyond Being There” by Jim Hollan and Scott Stornetta The authors present the state of telecommunication technology and how the prevailing viewpoint is to design and develop technologies to make non-face-to-face communication as close to “being there” as possible. However, the authors believe that there is a possibility of making communication better than a face-to-face meeting. They present numerous ideas in augmenting communication, specifically in the aim of facilitating informal communication. The authors’ views may have been true in 1992, but I believe the current state of research is not limited to “crutches” anymore. However, it should be mentioned that many people still hold the same belief that communication is a poor substitute for a face-to-face conversation. This may be true for people who normally need a lot of interaction (e.g. coworkers, relatives, friends, etc.), but the authors, while pointing towards “better than face-to-face” communication, seem to hint more at removing obstacles for making new friends or other forms of informal interaction. This is truly revolutionary at a time when the internet was not widely accessible and the only methods of informal interaction would be at social events or chance occurrences. Essentially, the authors are describing the ideal social network, where people tend to find new friends due to similar interests and have the chance to interact with many different people, regardless of distance and, to an extent, time. Better interaction, whether through video, audio, or some other medium, is only a bonus, but not really vital to the new friendship. The biggest factor is simply providing an easy way to view some more information about someone. For example, knowing which sports teams he likes, knowing what brands of clothing she likes, knowing if they attended a concert, etc., all will help provide common ground for starting an informal conversation. Then it is up to the communication medium to help facilitate a conversation, which is relatively simple compared to gathering and displaying the information. What I think the authors did not and could not anticipate was how people would simply use social networks as a means to keep connections alive rather than to find new connections. While there are social networks devoted solely to helping people find new friends or other types of relationships, the most popular social networking services are those that deviate from the original goal of facilitating informal communication with unfamiliar people who have similar interests. Review of "Groupware and Social Dynamics: Eight Challenges for Developers" by Jonathan Grudin The paper describes eight difficulties relating to social conventions in developing "groupware," how they are not applicable to single-user software and large mainframe-style systems, and possible ways to solve or work around them. The author then explains how electronic mail is a successful implementation of groupware and the ways it deals with the eight challenges. As I lamented in the previous review, the technology has to work with social conventions, not work in spite of them. This is due to the necessity that society applies social conventions to all forms of interaction (notably that are not anonymous. Social conventions differ when anonymity (or an illusion of it) is provided). Social conventions, however, are not limited to friendship or relationship, but also to work, and according to the authors, work procedures also need to be taken into consideration. The current method of design tends to revolve around the single-user utility (generally the managers or other administrators) rather than the group, which leads to inefficiencies of communication between multiple users and eventually makes most users unlikely to adopt the software fully. What was interesting was the fact that in both papers, e-mail was cited as a success story in combining communication with social conventions. E-mail is convenient, allows for different levels of formality depending on the participants, allows users to set the participants, allows users to follow as many social conventions as they want, etc. E-mail is extremely flexible, and this is what leads to its success. Can a non-written medium or some multimedia platform provide this kind of flexibility as well? Would that automatically qualify it to be a good form of communication and collaboration? Until society can get out of the mindset that telecommunication is the field of bringing communication to the level of face-to-face, it does not seem to matter what technology is presented.
phuongpham 0:11:43 11/11/2014
Eight challenges for developers: this paper seems to be a literature review (survey) paper. However, the author focused more on pointing out weaknesses of current systems and suggested some initial, high level solution. I think this way of writing paper is very helpful because researchers who are interested in the field can start from suggested solutions and contribute to the community. Another interesting is Figure 1. This new way of displaying design space looks concise and "new". I think the paper has a certain impact on the community, especially on industrial development. Take a look at current collaborative applications, most of them are addressing some suggested points in this paper. For example, Google closely links its email application with office applications to gain critical mass as well as build from an existing well accepted application (Gmail), MS expands the current well accepted office application with sharing functions to reach groupware market. However, I think the hardest point is understand the decision process and making everyone profit. I think each application is different and user's expections are also different. It is interesting that mainstream applications such as office applications are slowly get adopted to groupware (I am not sure 100% about this), but other niche applications, e.g. file sharing, code management, messeging, are becoming more popular with the growth of Internet. ***Beyond being there: this is an interesting paper about media assisting people overcome the distance obstacle in communicating. The authors made an interesting argument that the distance obstacle is not important in a communication, it's the media. As many HCI papers we have read in this course, the authors presented some initial projects to prove their points with informal evaluations. However, these initial projects have become true nowadays with initial success from startups as well as big companies: SnapChat (ephemeal interest groups), gossip anonymous apps (anonymity), and I think LinkedIn is a kind of meeting others. What most interesting in the paper is when the authors push the idea to the limit, what if media can provide a more reliable communication than face to face. Unfortunately, these ideas have not become real products (as I have known) because it requires advancements in other fields, such as IA, linguist, etc. Moreover, I think there are other aspects which the authors haven't mentioned, e.g. security. If we only know others cyberly, can we trust them? Online merchants like Amazon or eBay can be successful but not all merchants can do online purchasing with a highly trust as these companies. Another example is Feedback, even facial expressions, head nooding may be imprecise, but we still need them in real life, you may not totally agree with your friends but you may really want to support them by giving a 'white lie', or pseudo agreement. If we eliminate imprecise behaviors, we also eliminate this good culture. Here, I think knowledge from psychology would help.
Wei Guo 1:16:55 11/11/2014
Reading Critique Current main trend of telecommunication is focusing on how to provide imitations as if users are communicating face-to-face. The paper Beyond Being There is introducing a new research field form traditional telecommunication: focusing on making the new medium satisfy the needs of communication so well that people prefer to use it no matter physically proximate or not. The paper Eight Challenges for Developers introduces the origins of groupware and describes eight specific problem areas and finally examines groupware successes in search of better approaches to supporting work in group setting. Compare to the second paper, I think the first one is more interesting to me. The author’s metaphor about the “tele” as crutches and “communication” as shoes are concise and interesting. I do agree that do matter how real the fake face-to-face imitation was, people will be intended to choose the real face-to-face communication. The author does not deny the imitation though. He admits that it is important to help people “be there” if one cannot do that physically. Beyond being there will be a new approach to telecommunication area. Beyond being there approach as the author describes, is like techniques user can take advantage of no matter being there or not. This advantage will be the key to determine whether user choose it or not. In this paper, the author introduces the advantages for some examples: such as ephemeral interest groups, meeting others…. The advantages are attaching to the community tighter, learning people effectively, having greater range of responses, and avoiding reluctances, and so on. I think we can think some “advantages” that are not really necessary advantages. It is like people are browsing social-media to know other’s life. It is hard to say facebook is better than google circles now. You would like to choose facebook is just because you have more friends updating their status on facebook. The advantages such as being popular might be taken into account, too.
Xiaoyu Ge 1:20:35 11/11/2014
Beyond being there Telecommunication provides means of communications other than face-to-face conversations, and many existing system were trying to provide people by faking the sense of accrual conversation. However, this paper argued that a successful telecommunication tool should have the power to make people willing to replace some face-to-face conversation with it rather than imitating the real conversation. In that case, there should be some great beneficial characteristics telecommunication tools can achieve but face-to-face communication can`t. In this paper, the author pointed out that telecommunication can achieve anonymity and semi-synchronous discussions such as emails. Moreover, it can be clearer and can even be archived with better credibility. This direction this paper pointed out accurately reflect current telecommunication situation and trend. Facebook, twitter, blog and flicker in this case can be a great example representing the author`s idea. All these social media tools provide people with alternative ways for people to communicate with each other. As for blog, people can stay anonymous and leave communication records of questions and answers that searchable by people with similar need. It can be a way of exchanging knowledge in a broader way than just face-to-face. And social media like flicker make people able to communicate with just pictures, which can be recognized as an innovated new conversation style. And website I have worked on benefit greatly by applied similar methods to attract users. Groupware and social dynamic/Eight challenges for developers In this paper the author introduced eight challenges for groupware developers: Disparity in work and benefit, critical mass and prisoner`s dilemma problems, disruption of social process, exception handling, unobtrusive accessibility, difficulty of evaluation, failure of intuition, and the adoption process. And the paper provided solutions for them. Group setting should be include into the single user applications, and find existing groupware succeeds and adopt them, build a share information system to share information and knowledge, and provide direct benefits for all group members, and working with users, extensive prototyping and better understanding of decision making process in development. In the industry environment, team is essential. Produce need experts from different areas to make the product not only finished but also become heat in the market. In order to achieve that goal, the development process becomes really complicated. Decisions were made according to the product analysis and user feedback. Success team experiences should be adopted and development cycle and software management process should be followed in order to form a build up a successful product. Agile for example, was used as software development management process. Agile provide solutions including arrange team member with different position and including designers and analysis people to work with users. Since many company worked well using agile management process, I agree with the basic concepts introduce. It is the right trend for software development.
changsheng liu 1:44:52 11/11/2014
<Beyond Being There> discusses methods of improving communication to such a degree that it is even preferable to simply meeting in person. The authors are very observant when they point out that a primary reason that new communication technologies tend to not gain popularity over normal communication is the fact that people don’t want to use them, but rather have to use them. The authors propose approaching the problem in a new way: attempt to make something so revolutionary that people will want to use it in their everyday life instead of using normal speaking/social interaction. This pushes us to think about new ways to utilize computer technology. The paper proposes a few novel systems. Two of the most interesting were ideas based on asynchronous message delivery and anonymous chat. The asynchronous message method attempted to negate the potential problems posed by allowing individuals to respond to a post as soon as it was posted and potentially steer the conversation off course. The idea is to simply batch posts and display them all at once. The anonymous message board idea mimics modern attempts to provide free speech to areas where it is frowned upon by the local authorities. While no technology has yet completely changed the way we communicate, the ability to access email and text messages from a cell phone seems to have acted as a force multiplier for the changes brought about by email. Text messages in any form seem to be preferable to speaking in many cases (except with the most intimate of friends) since they remove the awkwardness of speaking in person while providing a searchable conversation history. These features seem to impress many. <Groupware and Social Dynamics: Eight Challenges for Developers> discusses some major problems relating to groupware development and adoption. This paper draws a distinction between software developed for individuals, corporations, and organizations. The author primarily focuses on software developed for organizations with the intention of supporting multiple users. This type of software has some unique design and development challenges that revolve around the specific use cases these organizations may have, but specific issues arise when collaboration is involved. The author lists eight challenges faced by groupware and discusses a few ideas for mitigating these concerns. Many of the issues arise from the rather unique problem of concurrent collaboration and how hard it is to develop designs that support real world analogies. Since collaborative systems is a large category the issues discussed have to be defined rather generally. The author does not have the room to delve into too many details of improvement, but he does bring up positive examples (such as email) to provide guides for successful technologies. Many modern systems are based around a collaborative work environment. Google Docs and numerous cloud services are designed to support multiple editors, sharing, and other key tenets of concurrent development. Some industrial editors have code sharing (or screen sharing) features that help allow multiple users in different locations to all focus on and manipulate one file. These systems make multinational corporations and development processes possible.
zhong zhuang 2:21:51 11/11/2014
This paper is very interesting, in many human computer interaction or telecommunication researches, researchers always want to proximate the real communication or face to face communication as much as possible. But we need to know that there will be always a gap between telecommunication and real-communication because it will never be as natural as face-to-face communication. So we may be going to the wrong direction in these researches, the author proposed another direction, go beyond face to face, researchers need to think what are the characters that telecommunication have that makes it better than real communication, that means in what situation, we will choose telecommunication even face to face communication is possible. The author presents four examples, first is about asynchronous communication, this is one unique strength of telecommunication, this means two people can communicate with each other at different time frame. The author presents a project that allows people to make informal conversations asynchronously. The second is low cost electronic access to information about others. To gather information about others in real life is often inefficient and difficult, but using a electronic board displaying some profile is low cost and easy. The third is anonymity, this is obvious the most strong advantage of telecommunication, right now, the most successful example is tweeter, this encourage people to discuss issues that they are reluctant to discuss in face to face communications. The last one is semi synchronous discussions. people will have much greater range of response than the normal face-to-face communication.
Bhavin Modi 2:44:26 11/11/2014
Reading Critique on Beyond Being There The topic shifts to Social Computing and here it does not mean Facebook or Twitter. The first paper today incorporates in it a concept that shifts the paradigm of maintaining the richness of supporting face to face communication when not co-located to using the benefits of not being co-located to create a new interaction that utilizes existing benefits of such communication and does not try to mimic physical interaction. As such the author names the concept as beyond being there. To some extent it does sound intriguing, but begs one to wonder how far we can push the benefits of such an interaction. It just feels like turning over the leaf metaphorically, when what we should try is merging the benefits of to create a synergy between them. The main focus of researchers at that time was trying to improve and better communication channels so as to make it as good as the real thing. Telecommunications was the big thing at that time, and audio/visual combination was thought of the best solution to imitate the face-face interaction. So the author introduces a new direction of thought. The paper was published in 1992, when the field was still in its infancy and as one the first papers it does help to shed light on a new research direction. More on what the paper entails is, the author to prove his point discusses the various prototypes that his team are working on, and leads to the stating many hypotheses as what he plan to achieve from them. Highlights being, to create an open, anonymous and social platforms so as utilize the benefits of an asynchronous platform together with time sharing. Having user profiles so as make informal interaction of people with matching interests easier and faster. At the same a place to be anonymous of you want and talk freely. Emails being mentioned as one the best examples of such an existing technology which incorporates all the mentioned benefits. What is interesting is that the potential critiques of the methods too have been discussed along with possible solutions clearly. The critiques being about not taking into account culture and inter-subjectivity. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reading Critique on Groupware and Social Dynamics The paper discusses in detail the challenges faced and good practices to keep in mind while developing applications targeted for use by a group of people to better facilitate work on a common project. Written in 1994, we realise that till today we do not have many state of the art groupware applications that are commercial successes and a must have. The reason being that we have still not completed understood group dynamics, and our natural, more intuitive mode of thinking is in terms of single-user interfaces. Groupware is still recognised an untapped area of opportunities since it being christened as a layer between the single-user applications (commercial) and the organization level IS/MIS. A list of problems in developing such applications are disparity in work and benefit, critical mass and prisoner’s dilemma problem, disruption of social processes, exception handling, unobtrusive accessibility, difficulty of evaluation, failure of intuition, and lastly the adoption process. By reading this paper we are introduced to the domain of social computing, to be specific on creating group based commercial applications and things to be kept in mind about their success. A comprehensive study this paper provides an adept base to build upon. Some interesting points that I picked up were on evaluation, how to decide the best technique in a natural environment that would ensure surety for success when the product was actually deployed. Another was that we tend to create applications for managers and while that is necessary we must make its use beneficial to all. While there are other points too, a repetition of them does exist within this context. One major aspect was that the importance of email was brought to light and its benefits highlighted in both papers today. Now moving on to some of my thoughts. To address the problem of scheduling one aspect to be kept in mind is that don’t make decisions for the people, rather help them make decisions. Our plans change and so do motivation, automatic scheduling though convenient takes away control which is one of the major problems I think in any such application. Second is providing degrees of freedom to overcome problems faced by only speech based application. We realise this since we been through so many papers and some ideas can be reutilised in this respect. But sometimes enforcing a good scheduling practice is beneficial and maybe automate it like by creating an application that does it for you (a modification based on the idea of Deep shoot).
zhong zhuang 2:45:42 11/11/2014
This chapter of book talks about groupware and the challenges for designing groupware. Groupware is between organization level and single user level. It is made for a group of people, facilitate their communication and collaboration. The author claims that most of these software is failure, not because of technical challenge but social challenge. The author names eight of them. First is disparity in work and benefit, this means that most groupware application require additional work from users, and also benefit each of every users in group, but the work and benefit is not equal for every user. Second is critical mass and prisoner’s dilemma. Groupware application require most of the users agree to use the same application, this is so called critical mass, but this is really difficult in users because each person has his own like and dislike of applications, also the prisoner’s dilemma is also a concern. The third one is disruption of social process, this means that groupware often require a standard procedure to carry, but this may violates human social conventions because such conventions are often vague and unclear. The fourth one is exception handling, this simply means that groupware application cannot accommodate the wide range of exception handling and improvisation that characterizes much group activity. The fifth is unobtrusive accessibility. Many of the infrequently used features requiring unobtrusive accessibility, these features are often coupled with heavily used features. The sixth one is difficulty of evaluation, groupware applications are extremely difficult to evaluate, this makes us extremely difficult to analysis and generalize these applications. The seventh is failure of intuition, groupware applications often have very poor intuitions to users, this resulting in bad user experience. The last one is adoption process, groupware requires more careful implementation in the workplace than product developers have confronted.
Brandon Jennings 3:12:22 11/11/2014
Beyond Being There This paper is about creating a face-to-face experience despite the distance between communicating entities. This research supports the notion that we as a society are at a point where we are technologically advanced enough to allow for in-person experience between parties that are otherwise distant. An interesting idea this paper presents is developing distant agnostic systems for telecommunicating system. That is, make a viable system that is preferred regardless of distance. I think this is important as humans become more dependent and accustomed to using telecommunication tools. The experience of using such tools should be more likened to communicating with someone in person. For example, adding sound and graphics to email will add some social contexts and cues not expressed by simple text. Though it doesn’t give a full physical experience, it certainly enhances the telecommunication interaction. One of the things I appreciate form the paper is the attempt to create an intimate experience through techniques other than audio and video. The paper points out that a significant flaw in current systems is the attempt to imitate being closer. It suggests that they key is to develop systems that are preferred by people, in that it takes the attention away form being apart. If people are comfortable with the telecommunication technology, they will not experience the loneliness associated with distance. It becomes important to address needs, which are not ideally met in the medium of physical proximity, and evolving mechanisms, which leverage the strengths of the new medium to meet those needs. Groupware and Social Dynamics This paper is about computer support for groups. Aside from common tools like email and b-boards there really has not been much software and product development to support group and collaborative work. It discusses eight issues to consider when developing groupware. This paper does a great job of analyzing the particular features critical for software aimed for the productivity of groups. I think one of the harder problems to overcome is the critical mass and Prisoner’s dilemma problem. It is difficult to ensure the number of users necessary for a group application. Different people use different applications for different reasons and that presents a challenge for developing groupware to accommodate everyone and provide the needs and services for everyone using it. Evaluation is also another challenge. Because the variety of users can be vast, it is difficult to generically evaluate. Everyone has a different experience and use the groupware differently so it may be hard to make a deterministic analysis that can be generalized about the application.
Yingjie Tang 4:27:05 11/11/2014
“Beyond Being There” is a overview paper about the “future” development of the telecommunication. The main point of the paper is that the design of the telecommunication system should not focus on the crutch-like tools and they can play a more important role in human life. That’s the shoe-like tools and it is indicates that the telecommunication systems in the “future” has the possibility to be preferred by human than physical conversations. In another words, a better way to solve the telecommunication problem is to focus on the communication part but not the tele part. Although the paper was written almost 20 years ago, it has a great foresight that the technology will develop greatly that the “tele” part will not be the bottom line to solve the telecommunication problem. The paper listed several examples at that time e.g email, there are also a lot of examples nowadays. There is a prevalent phenomenon that people are more likely to look at there smartphone while sitting with there friends. And this has incurred great debut whether the social network has make people closer or it has set people more apart? People are more likely to focus on there “virtual-social-network” while neglect their surrounding friends. From another angle of point we can see that the social network has largely influenced our life that we are more likely to use it to communicate while we are face-to-face with our friends.——————————————————————————————————————— The paper “Groupware and Social Dynamics” is a paper with great success which emphasized the importance to add groupware and social dynamics with computer techniques. And that’s the original idea of social computing. Group has strong information for us to conclude from and can support us with some important points. For example, we can use the GPS information of all the users of GPS-oriented users to compute the social behavior easily and to infer the flow of people which is hard to achieve by conventional computing. The author adds by suggesting that IS tends to be custom-written software built almost as a service while CSCW has struggled in part because of its different business models that has focused on off-the-shelf software. More importantly though, he points out that groupware has suffered in part because it has many of the problems that single-user applications suffer from in terms of usability issues, plus a whole set of new challenges introduced by the group-based nature of the tools. As the subtitle implies, his article focuses on eight of these problems.1)A work versus benefit disparity: Groupware systems often require work from people who do not benefit directly from them, for example, people adding data to a calendaring system so that the person doing the scheduling can benefit. 2)Critical mass and prisoner dilemma problems: Groupware cannot succeed unless a larger number of people use it at the same time and this creates a collective action problem. 3)Social, political and motivational issues: Groupware violate social and organization taboos or threaten political structures that existing in an organization. 4)Exception handled issues: Improvization and error handling common in organizations are not built into workflow based groupware systems. 5)Unobtrusive accessibility: Often the features that support group processes are not used frequently but must still be accessible enough to be used. 6)Difficult of evaluation: We have trouble learning from failed groupware projects do to a lack of evaluation routines. 7)Failure of intuition: Intuitions in current software development environments are often poorly suited the best actions in a groupware setting. 8)The adoption process: Introduction can require more care, planning, and effort that most software developers consider.
yubo feng 5:12:21 11/11/2014
Beyond Being There This paper is an overview of challenges and their possible solutions in the field of face-to-face telecommunications. An undoubtedly important aspect of communication is the face; it does not only produce sounds but also emotional cues to demonstrate how the speaker is feeling. The telephone simply does not capture this well, and text captures this even worse (anyone who has tried to convey sarcasm over the internet is surely aware of this). This paper ideates ways in which the lack of "being there" can be overcome. The paper begins by noting that social presence and information richness have been identified as measures of progress towards direct face-to-face simulation. Video conferencing is closer to this gold standard than voice communication, but still falls short. The authors conjecture that screen resolution and audio fidelity are not enough to bridge this gap alone. We must invent new technologies to get closer. The authors believe that we will never be "close enough" unless the way we interact with people at a distance is via the same mechanism as when we are physically close. A good number of ideas are presented in this paper, the most important of which is the idea that physically close and physically distant people need to be brought into the same realm. While I can see the authors' point on this, I do not think that this will be possible in the foreseeable future. I have texted people sitting next to me, but this would not be my preferred method of communication. In short, there is something about physically interacting with someone that cannot be replicated with current technology. I believe that touch is probably the most important aspect of this. Touch is amazingly important in communication, and I think we do not give it the credit it deserves because we tend to only touch those we are close with. But touch is what bridges the gap between acquaintance and friend, and I believe it is what is needed to bridge that gap between telecommunications and being there. Groupware and Social Dynamics: Eight Challenges for Developers This paper focuses on eight problems facing groupware. These challenges, included in a table in the paper, address reasons why current groupware software often fails. Individuals may not perceive benefit from the extra work required to use a groupware application. There may not be enough users. Users may not be comfortable. Users may not wish to adapt. These are just half of the reasons introduced in the paper. These reasons are the heart of the paper. The paper explains these challenges in detail. For example, critical mass and prisoner's dilemma are described. Essentially, a "critical mass" of users must agree on the system to use before it actually becomes useful. If only a few users decide to not user the application, then the group as a whole is disincentivized from using the application. This paper is a bit dry and contains some challenges that are a reach. It seems as though the authors were searching for something to write about, and decided to add in more problems than exist to bulk up the section. That said, the challenges listed here could prove useful to a designer of groupware. Still, I think much of the problems are either extraneous or too far out there.
yeq1 5:12:53 11/11/2014
Yechen Qiao Review for 11/11/2014 Beyond being there In this paper, the authors noted many previous telecom researchers have focused on trying to evaluate the communication systems by treating face to face communication as the gold standard. They argues that the trend of trying to imitate a communication medium may not allow researchers to see the unique advantages of this new medium. Here’s the best sentence I want to quote from the paper: Requiring one medium to imitate the other inevitably pits the strength of the old medium against the weakness of the new. The author think that although there are some advantages of imitating physical communications, some of the tools were successful simply because they leverage the advantages of the medium, such as asynchronous communications and recordings. While not familiar with this topic, I can sort of see this happening right now. Facebook traffic has surpassed the amount of text messaging in the most popular carriers today, and many people had long preferred the use of SMS over voice. Neither FB nor SMS imitates physical communications better than voice. I think the reasons these communication mediums are successful because they have many unique advantages: chatting with multiple people at the same time, “reward” of social status to keep their engagements, etc. etc. Groupware and Social Dynamics: Eight Challenges for Developers In this article, the author gave a brief overview of groupware, and listed eight challenges that groupware may have and compared them against other types of software. I think we can probably coin them in general principles of economics. In organization and individual level software tools, the software has utility to promote one or more goals of an individual entity. The tools developed can therefore be privatized. This means for these tools, it is easier to gain tractions on use and purchase, and make direct comparisons among systems that promotes similar goals. Groupware, in contrast are similar to public goods (design space http://livingeconomics.org/images/glossary/excludable_rival_goods2.jpg). The product is designed for mutual benefit of multiple people. The goals can either be somewhat explicit but depends on many people, or implicit and depends on many people. Each individual must make contributions in order for groupware to be useful. In this case, manual actions are often required for the economy to reach the optimal equilibrium. In some ways, all of the challenges listed are related to challenges of reaching the optimal for public goods and services. I guess this is somewhat a new concept for computer researchers at that time?
Jose Michael Joseph 6:58:14 11/11/2014
Groupware and Social Dynamics This paper is about the evolution of groupware and the challenges the people who developed it faced at the initial days of its conception. Groupware by definition is any software that is designed to enable collaboration among various users. The challenges that they faced with this was that it has both the challenges of a single user system as well as those that are introduced by a concept such as groupware. There are also challenges on who will receive the most benefit from such a system. Not all users tend to gain similarly as for some it would be more of a burden than the actual task in itself. Thus we must keep in minds these factors while modelling a groupware system. We also need to ensure that a “critical mass” of users ends up using the system. This is the minimum number of users needed to use the system for the system to be feasible. The groupware must be designed in such a way that it takes into account the social implications of the environment. It should not impose itself into an environment that requires subtle human communication. Since computers deal with explicit and concrete data, they may be unable to handle such an environment and might eventually be not used by the employees. Groupware may also not be able to handle the various problems that comes up during a normal session of collaborative work. Since in a normal session there are many problems that are resolved by the people by making changes to their plans and initial ideas, such tasks are not easy to be performed by computers at least in the years that this paper was written in. Another challenge is that the features that support groupware, once implemented into the system, do not have a fixed rate of usage by the users. Thus it would be hard to predict the usability of such a system. Also the implementation would require a large integration with the existing system which assumable focuses on single user interface. Thus the effort required would be great without consistent results. The author does state that groupware is not as intuitive as normal single user software but I disagree. At least in today’s technologies, groupware has been developed to a stage where ideas can flow freely among people and result in a very productive environment that is focused on getting results. This is shown by the success of products such as the Google Docs which allows multiple users to work simultaneously on single documents.
Christopher Thomas 7:24:35 11/11/2014
2-3 Sentence Summary of Beyond Being There – The author begins by stating that telecommunications research in the past has operated under the assumption that there was some natural ideal model of communication (being actually physically with someone). Then, he begins to deconstruct the notion that being there is the ideal in which we should try to imitate – he calls current research “crutches” rather than shoes and he believes that trying to imitiate that paradigm has serious limitations. One of the things which I thought was novel about this paper, was the author introduced the concept of needs, media, and mechanism and then proceeded to analyze such a broad subject as communication through those three lenses. The author draws a fine line between the three concepts, explaining that needs are the underlying requirements served by communication. Media is the mediation behind communication, for instance, for face-to-face interactions, the medium is the physical reality. Mechanisms are ways to meet “informal” communication needs. Note that one of the critical points here is the author explicitly is considering informal interactions as important. This is something that most people wouldn’t be supporting. For instance, most hiring managers consider banter at the water cooler to be inefficiency and attempt to eliminate it, not duplicate it. In contrast, the author makes the observation that only through those types of informal interactions do people build up enough comfort and trust in each other to actually work together and thus replicating that is of critical importance. The author then proceeds to challenge the assumption that the media and mechanisms are the requirements for ideal communication. In other words, most people who look at the problem frame it narrowly, by stating that we need to make communication as realistic as possible – such as having a webcam in an attempt to bridge the distance, so people can be seen face to face. The point here is that thinking in this way limits one’s mindset of possible solutions. The author’s key realization here is that by setting an implicit assumption that face to face communication is the ideal, we limit ourselves to trying to imitate something and limit our potential solutions. The author realized that perhaps other modalities of communication could be better and they haven’t been explored and aren’t being explored because people are being so limited by this false dichotomy. The author posits a variety of ways to address certain challenges – such as ephemeral interest groups and believes that they are a mechanism for initiating friendships and comraderies electronically. Next, they believe that by creating an online database in which people can be matched to others with similar interests, costs will decrease and interactions will increase. We can see examples of this all the time today, with social media. Note that this paper was published in 1992 – before MySpace and Facebook existed and the concept of social media didn’t even exist. Thus, the author was making an argument for a sort of social media – though he didn’t call it that at the time. He also posits taking advantage of inherent capabilities of the internet. For example, people can be anonymous on the internet. He thinks this can be a positive thing, not a good thing. Thus, taking advantage of some intrinsic property of the internet and turning that into a positive thing. For instance, he believes people will be more likely to talk about difficult issues anonymously than they would be to initiate in person. He also believes that the ability to have semisynchronous discussions could be extremely useful – such as the ability not being both at the computer or discussion medium at the same time. Again, something we take for granted. His solution to all this is an “auditory paper” a real-time extension of natural language – such that people can search interactions naturally without additional effort. I’m not sure I by this idea, but I believe we can see something like it on Facebook where people believe they have a greater “social presence” by using it. 2-3 Sentence Summary of Groupware and social dynamics. The author starts by creating a taxonomy (of sorts) of development and research contexts, explaining where organizations, groups and individuals fit a paradigm with applications, groupware, and systems. Next, the author poses a number of problems facing groupware applications at the time, he examines each of these claims with examples. At the end of the paper, although the author was glum about current prospects for improvement, he had a positive outlook and ideas for progress. First, the author introduces a seemingly obvious paradigm to look at technologies through – the balance of work vs the benefit of the technology. For one thing, developers at the time had developed a system which enabled automatic scheduling of meetings by comparing the calendars of all the participants. This enabled the system to automatically schedule important meetings and so on. The problem is that the benefit was a reduction in work for a secretarial type person – but not all the participants. Additionally, all the participants then had to take time out of their days constantly to be updating calendars to put in their availability, just for this purpose which many did not do. The work here is large but the benefit is small. Additionally, if one person does not do a good job of keeping the calendar up-to-date, the entire system fails. Thus, the work-benefit balance is out of sync. However, consider a modern application like Doodle.com. This web service allows participants to simply vote on their choice of time and is thus a small amount of work, but a large gain in that everyone can come to the meeting. Next, the author discusses the problem of critical mass. This is the problem that using some tools requires everyone to be using them to be effective. For instance, if hardly anyone were on facebook, it would be a pretty useless tool. Similarly, if all these technologies facilitating interactions in groups are available but not used widely, they simply are useless because they don’t have the fundamental feature necessary to be effective – their widespread usage. The prisoner’s dilemma is that when everyone acts to better their own self-interest, rather than that of the group or acting altruistically, the whole system suffers. The author suggests possible solutions such as reducing the work involved to use the tools and providing incentives. Next, the author addresses social issues. For instance, using groupware technologies seemed socially awkward at the time and violated social taboos. Many users who feel strange or uncomfortable using such platforms are unlikely to use them. Only by making technologies like facebook, etc. seem usual and not strange do people begin to adopt them and use them. Another problem is that groupware is intolerant to failures. Normally, in group situations if the organizer doesn’t show up, the show goes on without them usually and the meeting is held in his absence. However, in groupware applications, there is less resilience to failures and less tolerance of exceptional circumstances. The author notes that many meetings improvise or move rooms suddenly and that bringing that flexibility into groupware is essential. Another problem is that technology at the time that supported group interaction was used infrequently. The authors solution to this was to make group interaction natural and flexible as part of it. An example of how this has changed is Google Docs and Google drive, with everyone collaborating naturally. The author also discusses how evaluating groupware’s effectiveness is also a challenge. Next, the author argues that by using common intuitions to drive product development, people are adversely affecting multiuser applications. The author argues that intuitions for multi-user platforms are poor and it results in bad design. Finally, the author suggests that how groupware is introduced into workplaces needs to be considered. It needs to be brought in at the right places and encouraged by management and with positive reinforcement, not rolling eyes or negative feedback in the workplace. By creating positive environments for its use, the author argues that adoption will spread faster than if people enter the system with the impression that it is burdensome or management’s latest hijinks.
Jose Michael Joseph 7:38:57 11/11/2014
Beyond being there This paper talks about the various ways technological innovation has tried to reach towards face to face communication but still falls short irrespective of the quality of technology defined. The reason for such a thing, the author states, is that as long as people use one medium of communication for people who are in physical proximity and another for those who are not, then there will always be a problem irrespective of the level of technology being used. Thus the solution as stated by the author would be to devise a new method of communication that is so efficient that people would rather use that for even communicating with people at a near distance than switch to another medium. One example discussed is the ephemeral interest groups. It is a form of a temporary bulletin group that can be discarded after a few hours. The purpose of this is that only people who are interested in some certain message are free to view it instead of imposing the message on everyone on the bulletin board. The author appears to be vague about this system focusing more on the example rather than the implementation. The next idea suggested is that of using computing profiles with online personas that help people to find others of similar interests. It sounds like the concept of Facebook and thus makes me wonder why it has to be implemented specifically for the office environment when such a social media approach is already present. Anonymity is an important concept that has fueled the internet boom. The author states that such a level of anonymity also has to be brought into this communication. But bringing too much anonymity can lead to misuse of the system especially when the system has data about the personal information about the various users. The author then goes on to wonder whether we may be able to make a system with more richness than ordinary face to face communication. In the current state of technology it does not seem so that we are yet able to make anything that gets near to the richness of face to face communication, let alone surpass it. In the near future we might be able to find some way to add more richness to our conversation. Personally I felt this paper was vague at many places and would have liked the author to be more precise on their recommendations and their example instead of stating concepts. It would also have been good if the author could state the current progress of devices that the author feels could match up to his vision of an ideal communication system.
Xiyao Yin 8:50:45 11/11/2014
‘Beyond Being There’ elaborates an alternative approach to the telecommunication problem. Telecommunication is communication at a distance by technological means, particularly through electrical signals or electromagnetic waves. The word is often used in its plural form, telecommunications, because it involves many different technologies. Early means of communicating over a distance included visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs,signal flags, and optical heliographs. Other examples of pre-modern long-distance communication included audio messages such as coded drumbeats, lung-blown horns, and loud whistles. Modern technologies for long-distance communication usually involve electrical and electromagnetic technologies, such as telegraph, telephone, and teleprinter, networks, radio,microwave transmission, fiber optics, and communications satellites. Authors emphasize the idea that many things which currently occur in face-to-face, synchronous interactions might actually benefit from being handled in a way that is not, at least superficially, very imitative of face-to-face encounters. Authors provide the style of approach called ‘Beyond Face-To-Face’ by discussing aspects of Clarity, Feedback, Archive and Hypotheses. One important thing is that authors also respond to a collection of potential critiques including advantages of limitation, culture and intersubjectivity. In conclusion, authors confirm the research over a hundred years ago and provide their view in the future. This paper seems to lose the part of related work, but since it is published in 1992, this can be the style of paper in that decade. ‘Groupware And Social Dynamics: Eight Challenges For Developers’ analyze previous researches and provide eight new problems for group developers including disparity in work and benefit, critical mass and prisoner’s dilemma problems, disruption of social processes, exception handling, unobtrusive accessibility, difficulty of evaluation, failure of intuition and the adoption process. It also infers some solutions of these eight challenges. One good point is the figure of development and research contexts, it directly shows the relationship in this research area. I focus on the part of difficulty of evaluation because it seems that it can do something on our recent research. I find that it seems a hard work to do evaluation because group interactions will take over days or weeks. What’s more, groupware evaluation methods are less precise. This needs to be discussed in the future. One interesting point in this paper is that many parts will have the same three aspects, comparison: single-user applications, comparison: organizational IS and addressing the problem. It shows that different parts have the same position and they can all be discussed in the same way.
Longhao Li 8:52:49 11/11/2014
Critique for Beyond Being There In general, this paper talked about imitating face-to-face communication, its limitation and also author’s new approach to do communication. The paper detailed show why imitating face-to-face communication has its limitation and why the author’s idea is advanced. To my understanding, I think this paper is important for the area of telecommunication. It is because that it not only concerning about user’s feeling of communication, but also point out the limitation of imitating face-to-face communication and author’s solution. The original approach tried to achieve the face-to-face communication by establish audio and video communication in distant location. This approach cannot bring user the physical feeling of communication. The author’s approach is trying to bring physical interaction into the communication. The author gave a very comprehensive reasoning. I think this is a good idea. Even though the author introduced this method to make more physical communication on distant communication, I still think that it cannot be same with the real face-to-face communication. There is more room to grow for the research in this area. I got an idea that telecommunication is not only depends on the method of communication, but also the environment of communication. People like to communicate on Facebook with only text-based communication. It is because that Facebook gave people the environment of find people to talk with. Critique for groupware and social dynamics This paper mainly introduced what is groupware and what is social dynamics. The author use detailed analysis to help reader understand the concept. What is groupware, it is an idea that connect user’s computer on the web to do computation. It utilized the free resource on the web to do fast computation. This article talked about the origins of it and also some problems that need to be solved. It appeared in mid-1980s, and there are some problems for it, like it will be useful if a lot of people use it. But this is hard so that it will be hard to start. Also it may lead to violation of social rules and even laws since it is hard to be controlled. Furthermore, it is hard to evaluation since it have huge groups. It makes the evaluation hard to conduct so that developers need to have skills on doing it. In general, if we can solve these problems, I think groupware will become the top in the research of computer science. Based on my experience, I think I used to be benefit from groupware, and I think most people have it too. There are a lot of video steaming website that use technology that looks very similar with groupware, sharing video from one client software to another, since a lot of clients share it with you. The speed of connection may hit the top of your web connecting speed so that you can get a great feeling on watching video. Also some downloading tools using similar technology, which share data with others. This is great on downloading but it may against the laws like download illegal music and video by others may use your computer to speed up. Even though that it have the limitation. But still, I think it benefit us a lot , and l think it will benefit more in the future.
Vivek Punjabi 9:52:18 11/11/2014
11-11 Beyond being there: This paper gauges the current systems used for telecommunication, especially face to face communication and presents an alternative proposal to motivate research in this vast field. Research has clarified and substantiated certain intuitions that have arisen from face-to-face conversation among those who are co-located. For the complex processes, we are depending on what physical proximity facilitates. In the part mentioned Being There, the author mentions the existing studies and research carried in this area and their limitations. Then, in Beyond Being There, he explains his own approach that frames the issue in terms of needs, media and mechanisms. We divide this issue in terms of needs which are not met, media where these needs are required and mechanisms which can resolve such needs by leveraging the strengths of new media. The author have provided some examples to support his approach. The examples include the scenarios of an ephemeral interest groups, meeting others, anonymity, semi-synchronous discussions and beyond face-to-face. The hypothesis provided for each example gives an overall view of the scenario. Also, there are responses for the possible critiques like imitation, culture ans inter-subjectivity. Groupware and Social Dynamics: Eight Challenges for Developers: This publication introduces a newly arrived development and research context of groupware applications which lies between individual services and organizational systems. It explains the existing problems for these applications which usually involve some problems form individual groups and some from organization level. Then there have been 8 basic fundamental problems that are usually faced by the developers. Disparity in work and benefit, which means such applications require additional work form the individuals which have no direct benefit from the application. Critical mass and Prisoner's dilemma problems, identifying a critical mass of users is sometimes difficult and also the application cannot work for the advantage of just one user. Disruption of social processes, which can lead to violation of social processes and even demotivate the crucial users. Exception handling, its almost impossible to consider and handle all the exceptions associated with a group of individuals. Unobtrusive accessibility, some of the group oriented features are hardly used by everyone making it a overhead. Difficulty of evaluation, the obstacles and generalizable analysis make it difficult to evaluate the groupware applications. Failure of intuition, with multi-user environment, its very tough to make accurate intuitions. The adoption process, the implementation required for groupware is more than what is confronted by the product developers. There have been some successes also to facilitate such applications like email, databases and code management systems. So its important for the product developers to shift to the new perspective in order to work for the groupware which has many trade-offs as well. This thorough analysis of the problems faced by developers in such environment provides motivation and ways to shift to a new work perspective and succeed.