Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

On-line Outline?

Author:Bernie DeKoven
Posted:3/29/1999; 9:12:23 AM
Topic:On-line Outline?
Msg #:4644
Prev/Next:4643 / 4645

On-line technography? As Frontier continues to prove itself and new scripts, like My.UserLand are developed to expand its suite of offerings, I am convinced that Frontier is the medium of choice for technography. And it’s making me very impatient. As powerful as technography is in the meeting room, I am convinced that it will prove even more powerful on-line. This is making me even more impatient. The ability to use the “on-line outliner” should prove to be pivotal, not only for meeting facilitators, but also for journalists and emergency response teams, therapists and consultants. As convinced as I am, we still don’t have the tools I need to make this happen. We need tools that will allow us to broadcast a dynamic outline over the Internet. We have the opportunity, we certainly have the capability. It just hasn’t been put together yet. As we’ve discussed, latency is the big issue. It’s the immediacy of technography that makes it work so well. The magic of “seeing yourself being heard” is central to enhancing communication. The power of collapse and expand crucial to keeping people focused….the ability to instantly add a new category to absorb tangential contributions... I don’t know exactly how much latency is tolerable. Ten seconds seems too long. Maybe even 5 seconds is too slow. I tried a very crude experiment. I used, can you believe it, Front Page as the authoring tool, and a webpage that had an autorefresh set to eight seconds. I had a static outline to work from (I couldn’t collapse or expand). I had to use a separate FTP program, so I had to save the file first and then upload it each time I wanted to update the screen. For anybody who had ever experienced technography, the delay was intolerable. On the other hand, for the people who hadn’t, it actually verged on being productive. Clearly better than a phone call. The autorefresh didn’t always work well. Sometimes, because of some local LAN thing, my correspondent wound up with a blank screen. But it was actually better than nothing, proving the adage: “better latent than never.” So, with that to encourage us, Here’s what I think we need: Beyond Frontier: After all our previous conversations, it seems clear that we’re going to need some kind of applet, Javalike, to make this all work. It’s a waste of time and resources to have to rebroadcast an entire outline. We should be able to broadcast just the changes. Push: I think the auto-refresh, even when it’s set at 8 seconds, isn’t a very viable solution. It should be much better if the technography can push a refresh on-demand. Until we figure out some technology which can constantly refresh the screen at intervals of one-second or less, it needs, at least, to be under the control of the technographer. This way the technographer knows what people are seeing when. Outline and Web page views: From time to time, at intervals of perhaps fifteen minutes or longer, the technographer will want to “publish” the document being created as a web page. This helps give participants a sense of completion. It’s all right if it takes a minute or two. This is a perfectly delicious use of Frontier as a creator of web-pages. Tables, sort, and spell check are always useful on the technographer’s end. Tables and sort lead to key facilitation processes. Other tools: then there are all sorts of tastey little tools we can develop to support the process: things like the Meeting Meter to keep track of how much we’re spending on the meeting, persuasion tools (like voting, only done more to stimulate conversation than to reach a “democratic” conclusion), graphic templates, hyperlinks, library management, etc. If there’s anything you want to know about technography, any questions about the need for speed, anything I can do to encourage you to take this seriously….impatiently, I await your words

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