Re: WWW Conferencing

Philip Adams (pka%DMU.AC.UK@vm.ucs.UAlberta.CA)
Thu, 8 Jun 1995 17:48:41 +0100


There seem to be some possibilities for making Conferencing easier and
perhaps friendlier by using the WWW. My impression of conferencing after
following a course on a COSY system is that there are some negative
features including:

1. Lack of structure to the postings, which follow in chronological order.
2. Lack of visual clues about the other participants.
3. Lack of feedback from people who have read a message, agree or
disagree, but don't want to commit to an actual reply.

Different WWW conferencing programs offer solutions to each of these
problems:

1. HyperNews structures the threads
2. WebChat will display a small .GIF of yourself or alterego
3. WIT (Web Interactive Talk) has a structure of proposals and responses,
and an "Agree/Disagree" button to select for a 'virtual nod'

Can they be combined into a single WWW solution?
There is an advantage too in using the WWW since it is relatively easy to
grasp. Students will need less induction training, and find they are
using a format in which they already feel more or less 'at home'.

The disadvantages would seem to be the high standard of hardware needed
by participants.

Regards,
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