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Computer Supported Cooperative Work 16

Editors:Kjeld Schmidt
Publisher:Springer Verlag
Standard No:ISSN 0925-9724
Links:springerlink.metapress.com | Table of Contents
  1. JCSCW 2007 Volume 16 Issue 1/2
  2. JCSCW 2007 Volume 16 Issue 3
  3. JCSCW 2007 Volume 16 Issue 4/5
  4. JCSCW 2007 Volume 16 Issue 6

JCSCW 2007 Volume 16 Issue 1/2

Leisure and CSCW: Introduction to Special Edition BIBAKFull-Text 1-10
  Barry Brown; Louise Barkhuus
In this article we review the contribution to this special edition, and putting them into the context of research into leisure and technology. We discuss the challenges of studying leisure in a field where its very name seems to focus attention on the study of work.
Keywords: enjoyment - entertainment - friendship - games - leisure - media consumption - social network analysis - tourism
Collecting and Sharing Location-based Content on Mobile Phones in a Zoo Visitor Experience BIBAKFull-Text 11-44
  Kenton O'Hara; Tim Kindberg; Maxine Glancy; Luciana Baptista; Byju Sukumaran; Gil Kahana; Julie Rowbotham
The augmentation of visitor experiences with location-based technologies has been available for some time. Through in-depth studies of users during these experiences the field is building a rich picture of user behaviour in relation to certain location-based technologies. However, little work has explored the use of mobile camera phones and 2D barcodes on situated signs and their properties as a way of delivering such augmented visitor experiences. In this paper we present a study of people engaged in such a location-based experience at London zoo in which they use mobile camera phones to read 2D barcodes on signs at the animal enclosures in order to access related content. Through the fieldwork we highlight the social and collaborative aspects of the experience and how particular characteristics of the mobile phone and barcode technology shape these behaviours. The paper also highlights some of the non-instrumental aspects of the location-based experience, in particular in relation to the importance of collecting location-based content. We explore the social aspects of collecting as well as certain competitive elements it introduces into people's behaviour. This creates an interesting tension in that aspects of the application encourage cooperation and sharing among the visitors whereas others encourage competition. In the course of presenting the fieldwork, we explore this tension further.
Keywords: 2D barcodes - collecting - location-based computing - mobile phones - situated displays - visitor experience - zoo
A Look at Tokyo Youth at Leisure: Towards the Design of New Media to Support Leisure Outings BIBAKFull-Text 45-73
  Diane J. Schiano; Ame Elliott; Victoria Bellotti
In this paper we present a set of studies designed to explore Japanese young people's practices around leisure outings (how they are discovered, planned, coordinated, and conducted), and the resources they use to support these practices. Tokyo youth have a wealth of leisure opportunities and tools to choose from; they are technologically savvy, and are in the vanguard of those for whom the new mobile Internet technologies are available. We characterize typical leisure outings described by our study participants, how they are structured, and the tools used to support them. We found that discovery of leisure options tends to occur serendipitously, often through personal recommendations from friends and family. For leisure research and planning, the Internet is the tool of choice, but accessed via PC, not the mobile phone (or "keitai"), which is primarily used to communicate and coordinate, not to search for information. These and related findings suggest some emerging issues and opportunities for the design of future leisure support technologies.
Keywords: Japanese technology use - leisure - leisure outings - leisure planning - mobile internet - mobile phones - user-centered design
Group-Based Mobile Messaging in Support of the Social Side of Leisure BIBAKFull-Text 75-97
  Scott Counts
Communication on mobile devices plays an important role in people's use of technology for leisure, but to date this communication has largely been one-to-one. Mobile internet connectivity can support a variety of group-based messaging and media sharing scenarios. Switching to group-based messaging should enhance the social and leisure aspects of the communication, but in what ways and to what extent? An experimental system for text and photo messaging on mobile devices was tested in a research deployment to four groups of 6-8 participants who used both a group-based and one-to-one version of the system. Results highlight a significant increase in message sending, in mobile device "fun", and in the social qualities of mobile communication when messaging group-wide, along with a few minor costs. Qualitative feedback provides further explanation of the social benefits.
Keywords: groups - leisure - messaging - mobile - photos - social - social computing
Entertaining Situated Messaging at Home BIBAKFull-Text 99-128
  Mark Perry; Dorothy Rachovides
Leisure and entertainment-based computing has been traditionally associated with interactive entertainment media and game playing, yet the forms of engagement offered by these technologies only support a small part of how we act when we are at leisure. In this paper, we move away from the paradigm of leisure technology as computer-based entertainment consumption, and towards a broader view of leisure computing. This perspective is more in line with our everyday experience of leisure as an embodied, everyday accomplishment in which people artfully employ the everyday resources in the world around them in carrying out their daily lives outside of work. We develop this extended notion of leisure using data from a field study of domestic communication focusing on asynchronous and situated messaging to explore some of these issues, and develop these findings towards design implications for leisure technologies. Central to our discussion on the normal, everyday and occasioned conduct of leisure lie the notions of playfulness and creativity, the interweaving of the worlds of work and leisure, and in the creation of embodied displays of affect, all of which may be seen manifested in the use of messaging artefacts. This view of technology in support of leisure-in-the-broad is strongly divergent from traditional entertainment computing models in its coupling of the mechanics of the organisation of everyday life to the ways that we make entertainment for ourselves. This recognition allows us to draw specific implications for domestic situated messaging technologies, but also more generally for technology design by tying activities that we tend to regard as purely functional to other multifaceted and leisure-related purposes.
Keywords: communication - domestic computing - ludic computing - playfulness - shared displays - situated messaging
Virtual "Third Places": A Case Study of Sociability in Massively Multiplayer Games BIBAKFull-Text 129-166
  Nicolas Ducheneaut; Robert J. Moore; Eric Nickell
Georg Simmel [American Journal of Sociology 55:254-261 (1949)] is widely credited as the first scholar to have seriously examined sociability -- "the sheer pleasure of the company of others" and the central ingredient in many social forms of recreation and play. Later Ray Oldenburg [The Great Good Place. New York: Marlowe & Company (1989)] extended Simmel's work by focusing on a certain class of public settings, or "third places," in which sociability tends to occur, such as, bars, coffee shops, general stores, etc. But while Simmel and Oldenburg describe activities and public spaces in the physical world, their concepts may apply as well to virtual or online worlds. Today Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) are extensive, persistent online 3D environments that are populated by hundreds of thousands of players at any given moment. The sociable nature of these online spaces is often used to explain their success: unlike previous video games, MMOGs require players to exchange information and collaborate in real-time to progress in the game. In order to shed light on this issue, we critically examine player-to-player interactions in a popular MMOG (Star Wars Galaxies). Based on several months of ethnographic observations and computerized data collection, we use Oldenburg's notion of "third places" to evaluate whether or not the social spaces of this virtual world fit existing definitions of sociable environments. We discuss the role online games can play in the formation and maintenance of social capital, what they can teach us about the evolution of sociability in an increasingly digitally connected social world, and what could be done to make such games better social spaces.
Keywords: automated data collection - online games - sociability - third places
The Cooperative Work of Gaming: Orchestrating a Mobile SMS Game BIBAKFull-Text 167-198
  Andy Crabtree; Steve Benford; Mauricio Capra; Martin Flintham; Adam Drozd; Nick Tandavanitj; Matt Adams; Ju Row Farr
This paper focuses on orchestration work in the first iteration of a mobile game called Day Of The Figurines, which explores the potential to exploit text messaging as a means of creating an engaging gaming experience. By focusing on orchestration we are especially concerned with the 'cooperative work that makes the game work'. While the assemblage or family of orchestration practices uncovered by our ethnographic study are specific to the game -- including the ways in which behind the scenes staff make sense of messages, craft appropriate responses, and manage and track the production of gameplay narratives as the game unfolds -- orchestration work is of general significance to our understanding of new gaming experiences. The focus on orchestration work reveals that behind the scenes staff are co-producers of the game and that the playing of games is, therefore, inseparably intertwined with their orchestration. Furthermore, orchestration work is 'ordinary' work that relies upon the taken for granted skills and competences of behind the scenes staff; 'operators' and 'authors' in this case. While we remain focused on the specifics of this game, explication of the ordinary work of orchestration highlights challenges and opportunities for the continued development of gaming experiences more generally. Indeed, understanding the specificities of orchestration work might be said to be a key ingredient of future development.
Keywords: cooperative work - ethnography - mobile games - orchestration - SMS text messages
Let's Get Physical! In, Out and Around the Gaming Circle of Physical Gaming at Home BIBAKFull-Text 199-229
  Allison Sall; Rebecca E. Grinter
Physical gaming is a genre of computer games that has recently been made available for the home. But what does it mean to bring games home that were originally designed for play in the arcade? This paper describes an empirical study that looks at physical gaming and how it finds its place in the home. We discuss the findings from this study by organizing them around four topics: the adoption of the game, its unique spatial needs, the tension between visibility and availability of the game, and what it means to play among what we describe as the gaming circle, or players and non-players alike. Finally, we discuss how physical gaming in the home surfaces questions and issues for householders and researchers around adoption, gender and both space and place.
Keywords: collaborative play - exergaming - physical games - spatiality

JCSCW 2007 Volume 16 Issue 3

How Can I Help You? Call Centres, Classification Work and Coordination BIBAKFull-Text 231-264
  David Martin; Jacki O'Neill; Dave Randall; Mark Rouncefield
As a comparatively novel but increasingly pervasive organizational arrangement, call centres have been a focus for much recent research. This paper identifies lessons for organizational and technological design through an examination of call centres and 'classification work' -- explicating what Star [1992, Systems/Practice vol. 5, pp. 395-410] terms the 'open black box'. Classification is a central means by which organizations standardize procedure, assess productivity, develop services and re-organize their business. Nevertheless, as Bowker and Star [1999, Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences. Cambridge MA: MIT Press] have pointed out, we know relatively little about the work that goes into making classification schema what they are. We will suggest that a focus on classification 'work' in this context is a useful exemplar of the need for some kind of 'meta-analysis' in ethnographic work also. If standardization is a major ambition for organizations under late capitalism, then comparison might be seen as a related but as-yet unrealized one for ethnographers. In this paper, we attempt an initial cut at a comparative approach, focusing on classification because it seemed to be the primary issue that emerged when we compared studies. Moreover, if technology is the principal means through which procedure and practice is implemented and if, as we believe, classifications are becoming ever more explicitly embedded within it (for instance with the development of so-called 'semantic web' and associated approaches to ontology-based design), then there is clearly a case for identifying some themes which might underpin classification work in a given domain.
Keywords: call centres - categorization - classification - ethnography - ethnomethodology - ontology
Doing Virtually Nothing: Awareness and Accountability in Massively Multiplayer Online Worlds BIBAKFull-Text 265-305
  Robert J. Moore; Nicolas Ducheneaut; Eric Nickell
To date the most popular and sophisticated types of virtual worlds can be found in the area of video gaming, especially in the genre of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG). Game developers have made great strides in achieving game worlds that look and feel increasingly realistic. However, despite these achievements in the visual realism of virtual game worlds, they are much less sophisticated when it comes to modeling face-to-face interaction. In face-to-face, ordinary social activities are "accountable," that is, people use a variety of kinds of observational information about what others are doing in order to make sense of others' actions and to tightly coordinate their own actions with others. Such information includes: (1) the real-time unfolding of turns-at-talk; (2) the observability of embodied activities; and (3) the direction of eye gaze for the purpose of gesturing. But despite the fact that today's games provide virtual bodies, or "avatars," for players to control, these avatars display much less information about players' current state than real bodies do. In this paper, we discuss the impact of the lack of each type of information on players' ability to tightly coordinate their activities and offer guidelines for improving coordination and, ultimately, the players' social experience.
Keywords: collaborative virtual environments - conversation analysis - ethnomethodology - game design - Massively Multiplayer Online Games - virtual worlds
Boundary Negotiating Artifacts: Unbinding the Routine of Boundary Objects and Embracing Chaos in Collaborative Work BIBAKFull-Text 307-339
  Charlotte P. Lee
Empirical studies of material artifacts in practice continue to be a rich source of theoretical concepts for CSCW. This paper explores the foundational concept of boundary objects and questions the conception that all objects that move between communities of practice are boundary objects. This research presents the results of a year-long ethnographic study of collaborative work, specifically the multidisciplinary collaborative design of a museum exhibition. I suggest that artifacts can serve to establish and destabilize protocols themselves and that artifacts can be used to push boundaries rather than merely sailing across them. Artifacts used for collaboration do not necessarily exist within a web of standardized processes and disorderly processes should not be treated as "special cases".
Keywords: articulation work - artifacts - artefacts - boundary negotiating artifacts - boundary objects - collaborative work - communities of practice - Computer Supported Cooperative Work - design - ethnography - museums - theory
Beyond Boundary Objects: Collaborative Reuse in Aircraft Technical Support BIBAKDOI 341-372
  Wayne G. Lutters; Mark S. Ackerman
Boundary objects are a critical, but understudied, theoretical construct in CSCW. Through a field study of aircraft technical support, we examined the role of boundary objects in the practical achievement of safety by service engineers. Their resolution of repair requests was preserved in the organization's memory via three compound boundary objects. These crystallizations did not manifest a static interpretation, but instead were continually reinterpreted in light of meta-negotiations. This suggests design implications for organizational memory systems which can more fluidly represent the meta-negotiations surrounding boundary objects.
Keywords: boundary objects - collaborative work - high reliability organizations - hotlines - information reuse - organizational memory - safety - service engineering - technical support

JCSCW 2007 Volume 16 Issue 4/5

Learning In Communities: Introduction to the Special Issue BIBFull-Text 373-374
  J. M. Carroll
Local Groups Online: Political Learning and Participation BIBAKFull-Text 375-395
  Andrea L. Kavanaugh; Than Than Zin; Mary Beth Rosson; John M. Carroll; Joseph Schmitz; B. Joon Kim
Voluntary associations serve crucial roles in local communities and within our larger democratic society. They aggregate shared interests, collective will, and cultivate civic competencies that nurture democratic participation. People active in multiple local groups frequently act as opinion leaders and create "weak" social ties across groups. In Blacksburg and surrounding Montgomery County, Virginia, the Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV) community computer network has helped to foster nearly universal Internet penetration. Set in this dense Internet context, the present study investigated if and how personal affiliation with local groups enhanced political participation in this high information and communication technology environment. This paper presents findings from longitudinal survey data that indicate as individuals' uses of information technology within local formal groups increases over time, so do their levels and types of involvement in the group. Furthermore, these increases most often appear among people who serve as opinion leaders and maintain weak social ties in their communities. Individuals' changes in community participation, interests and activities, and Internet use suggest ways in which group members act upon political motivations and interests across various group types.
Keywords: social computing - empirical methods - survey research
Sustaining a Community Computing Infrastructure for Online Teacher Professional Development: A Case Study of Designing Tapped In BIBAKFull-Text 397-429
  Umer Farooq; Patricia Schank; Alexandra Harris; Judith Fusco; Mark Schlager
Community computing has recently grown to become a major research area in human-computer interaction. One of the objectives of community computing is to support computer supported cooperative work among distributed collaborators working toward shared professional goals in online communities of practice. A core issue in designing and developing community computing infrastructures -- the underlying socio-technical layer that supports communitarian activities -- is sustainability. Many community computing initiatives fail because the underlying infrastructure does not meet end user requirements; the community is unable to maintain a critical mass of users consistently over time; it generates insufficient social capital to support significant contributions by members of the community; or, as typically happens with funded initiatives, financial and human capital resource become unavailable to further maintain the infrastructure. Based on more than nine years of design experience with Tapped In -- an online community of practice for education professionals -- we present a case study that discusses four design interventions that have sustained the Tapped In infrastructure and its community to date. These interventions represent broader design strategies for developing online environments for professional communities of practice.
Keywords: community of practice - human-computer interaction - participatory design - social capital - sustainability
Expert Recommender: Designing for a Network Organization BIBAKFull-Text 431-465
  Tim Reichling; Michael Veith; Volker Wulf
Recent knowledge management initiatives focus on expertise sharing within formal organizational units and informal communities of practice. Expert recommender systems seem to be a promising tool in support of these initiatives. This paper presents experiences in designing an expert recommender system for a knowledge-intensive organization, namely the National Industry Association (NIA). Field study results provide a set of specific design requirements. Based on these requirements, we have designed an expert recommender system which is integrated into the specific software infrastructure of the organizational setting. The organizational setting is, as we will show, specific for historical, political, and economic reasons. These particularities influence the employees' organizational and (inter-)personal needs within this setting. The paper connects empirical findings of a long-term case study with design experiences of an expertise recommender system.
Keywords: expertise sharing - expert recommender system - case study
Architecture, Infrastructure, and Broadband Civic Network Design: An Institutional View BIBAKFull-Text 467-499
  Murali Venkatesh; Mawaki Chango
Cultural values frame architectures, and architectures motivate infrastructures-by which we mean the foundational telecommunications and Internet access services that software applications depend on. Design is the social process that realizes architectural elements in an infrastructure. This process is often a conflicted one where transformative visions confront the realities of entrenched power, where innovation confronts pressure from institutionalized interests and practices working to resist change and reproduce the status quo in the design outcome. We use this viewpoint to discuss design aspects of the Urban-net, a broadband civic networking case. Civic networks are embodiments of distinctive technological configurations and forms of social order. In choosing some technological configurations over others, designers are favoring some social structural configurations over alternatives. To the extent that a civic network sets out to reconfigure the prevailing social order (as was the case in the Urban-net project considered here), the design process becomes the arena where challengers of the prevailing order encounter its defenders. In this case the defenders prevailed, and the design that emerged was conservative and reproduced the status quo. What steps can stakeholders take so that the project's future development is in line with the original aim of structural change? We outline two strategies. We argue the importance of articulating cultural desiderata in an architecture that stakeholders can use to open up the infrastructure to new constituents and incremental change. Next, we argue the importance of designing the conditions of design. The climate in which social interactions occur can powerfully shape design outcomes, but this does not usually figure in stakeholders' design concerns.
Keywords: network architecture - infrastructure - civic networks - broadband telecommunications
Supporting Community Emergency Management Planning through a Geocollaboration Software Architecture BIBAKFull-Text 501-537
  Wendy A. Schafer; Craig H. Ganoe; John M. Carroll
Emergency management is more than just events occurring within an emergency situation. It encompasses a variety of persistent activities such as planning, training, assessment, and organizational change. We are studying emergency management planning practices in which geographic communities (towns and regions) prepare to respond efficiently to significant emergency events. Community emergency management planning is an extensive collaboration involving numerous stakeholders throughout the community and both reflecting and challenging the community's structure and resources. Geocollaboration is one aspect of the effort. Emergency managers, public works directors, first responders, and local transportation managers need to exchange information relating to possible emergency event locations and their surrounding areas. They need to examine geospatial maps together and collaboratively develop emergency plans and procedures. Issues such as emergency vehicle traffic routes and staging areas for command posts, arriving media, and personal first responders' vehicles must be agreed upon prior to an emergency event to ensure an efficient and effective response. This work presents a software architecture that facilitates the development of geocollaboration solutions. The architecture extends prior geocollaboration research and reuses existing geospatial information models. Emergency management planning is one application domain for the architecture. Geocollaboration tools can be developed that support community-wide emergency management planning and preparedness. This paper describes how the software architecture can be used for the geospatial, emergency management planning activities of one community.
Keywords: collaboration architecture - software design - emergency planning

JCSCW 2007 Volume 16 Issue 6

Seeds of Cross-Media Production BIBAKFull-Text 539-566
  Susanne Bødker; Anja Bechmann Petersen
We present an empirical study of an organization that has recently moved from traditional newspaper production towards cross-media production involving the integrated digital production of newspaper, television, radio and web-news. The paper focuses on the daily production rhythms of the media separately and of cross-media production. Since cross-media production is in the making, we study the instruments currently used for planning and coordination, and analyze them as seeds that will eventually make cross-media production happen. Time and timing are important in news production in general, and our analyses focus on the rhythm of the daily planning, coordination and production processes. Specifically, we analyze the temporal coordination of the activities in and around the Superdesk -- the current center of coordination of the news organization, and of the persons who work specifically with planning and coordination. We demonstrate how the production rhythms of the individual media collide with that of cross-media, and how product lifecycle rhythms add to the list of causes of problems that may jeopardize cross-media production. We propose to strengthen planning and overview support elements of the Superdesk, and the main new coordinator role of the organization. We point out how the media rhythms of newspaper in particular must be backgrounded. To achieve cross-media production, the starting point must be to strengthening and developing further the cross-media rhythms, rather than supplementing individual media rhythms.
Keywords: cross-media production - daily production rhythms - Superdesk
Improving the Effectiveness of Virtual Teams by Adapting Team Processes BIBAKFull-Text 567-594
  Daniel J. Rice; Barry D. Davidson; John F. Dannenhoffer; Geri K. Gay
Results are presented from a study on virtual teams and whether appropriate early training can positively influence their effectiveness. Sixteen teams that worked together for periods ranging from three months to three years were studied. Team processes that emerged naturally from long-duration teams were formalized and taught to shorter duration teams. These shorter duration teams comprised three different cohorts, each of which received different levels of training. It was found that the adoption of formal procedures and structured processes significantly increased the effectiveness of virtual teams. Tasks that lend themselves to a structured approach were most effectively accomplished during virtual meetings, whereas face-to-face interactions were better for relatively unstructured, discussion intensive tasks. The performance of a virtual team was significantly improved when team processes were adapted to the affordances of the CMC environment. It is shown that this adaptation can occur very rapidly if teams are trained on the technology as well as on work processes that best exploit it.
Keywords: brainstorming - collaboration - communication - computer-mediated - consensus - decision-making - dispersed - distance - geographically distributed
Telehealth in Context: Socio-technical Barriers to Telehealth use in Labrador, Canada BIBAKFull-Text 595-614
  Katrina Peddle
Currently telehealth is being offered as an innovative solution to austerity, staffing issues and problems accessing care in Canada's rural communities. Despite the current enthusiasm for telehealth in provincial and federal policy documents, many of these promises have not been realized. The Labrador region is a large and sparsely populated area that was vested with a federal "Smart Community" project to increase the region's technological capacity, making it one of the most connected locales in the country. While telehealth was a key component of the SmartLabrador plan, there has been limited uptake of newly available technologies for the purposes of mediating distance in health care. My work critically examines the factors surrounding this lack of uptake, and takes the work of Harold Innis as a starting point when analyzing the breakdown of time and space in Labrador. Focused around qualitative field research conducted in Labrador in 2003, I explore spatialization, structuration and work practice as they relate to telehealth use and non-use in the region. I review federal and provincial telehealth policy to provide a macro context for the study, which I then link to meso and micro levels of analysis in organization structures and situated work practice. I examine telehealth in the user context from the health care provider perspective. This reveals several constraints that have limited the usage of new technologies for health communication in Labrador. The user context must be considered in the design of telehealth programs and policy if the desired outcomes for telehealth are to be realized. The barriers to telehealth use are not simply technical, but relate to issues of privacy, culture and trust. I discuss these and other barriers with a focus on the needs of the Labrador community.
Keywords: health services - policy - political economy - rural communications - Smart Community - telehealth - work practice

Book Review

"Designing Collaborative Systems" by Andy Crabtree. BIBFull-Text 615-617
  Bob Anderson
"Ethnomethodology's Program: Working Out Durkheim's Aphorism." edited by Harold Garfinkel BIBDOI 619-626
  Graham Button
"Sharing Expertise: Beyond Knowledge Management." edited by Mark Ackerman, Volkmar Pipek, Volker Wulf BIBDOI 627-630
  David W. Randall