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Markus Oswald / Brigitte Römmer-Nossek / Erich Gstrein / Markus F. Peschl
Enhancing Blogs with a Dual Interaction Design
Blogging is a decentralized form of one-to-many communication. Unlike in a forum, a message is not �bound� to the particular place where it has been posted. It may appear in varying contexts. Users may subscribe to other blogs which implies that, apart from their own entries, a collection of different sources may make up their personal blog. Thus, a message seems to appear redundantly in multiple contexts of the system, while existing only once on a technical level. The individual blog merely constitutes a filter determining which messages of the whole system should be (re-)presented.
An interesting effect is that this system offers complete transparency and access to information, while at the same time it is controlling information overflow by the personal preferences having been chosen by the user.
We propose a dual interaction design, which adds an additional level to the system by providing users with a compact graphical user interface for navigation. While blogs form a flexible network of messages, the network of messages exclusively consists of personal blogs. Navigation �across� blogs does not exist.
In current systems a blog-message is bound to personal pages of an author and subscribers. Navigation is introduced to create an additional layer of access-points to a blog-message. The user is presented an overview over the topics discussed, while enriching the single blog-message with multiple contexts without leading to redundant messages.
Blog-messages are on the one side, while - on the other side - the navigation-interface acts as a filter for setting the context currently preferred by the user.
When posting, the user has the option to attach files and post her mood. While attaching files is a prerequisite for coordinating tasks (e.g., in a project) through a blog, the latter feature may be used in project or learning environments, where a subjective �how did I feel with this task� may be a supplement or alternative to a verbal evaluation procedure.
The prototype introduced here is currently used in a pilot project, where it is used to support the communication of a group of trainees. During their education they have several weeks of classroom schooling together, while during their weeks of practice they are spread in different cities all over Austria.
Empirical results of this first application are intended to be part of the presentation at the conference.
last update: Friday, July 23, 2004 at 10:32:39 AM-----------------------