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

WebEx minus Two

Author:Bernie DeKoven
Posted:6/29/1999; 8:04:26 AM
Msg #:7906 (In response to 7835)
Prev/Next:7905 / 7907

This is a follow-up to my apparently cryptic comments about WebEx and Frontier.

My interest in WebEx right now is very centered. It is a platform for technography. It is fast. It is free.

We the Pentium-powered have us a place to work (WebEx is not yet Mac-jiggy).

Get your free account. Let some friends know where to meet you (you are assigned a meeting room number), pick the applications you want to work with, and work away.

Talk to each other on the phone while you’re doing it. Make something together. Write a program or design a presentation or something. Find out how you can use your software skills in real time to help someone else make a better decision, help people get their work done, help people think.

You probably won’t be able to help noticing that WebEx has else to offer. A goodly else.

Along with the application sharing, WebEx provides users with a dedicated chat window. While the technographer’s busy helping the group develop its products, individuals can send notes to each other or to the entire group. Since the chat record is or can become part of the group record, chat not only allows for more participant involvement but also helps assure personal commitment.

As you become more comfortable with technography, you’ll discover that chat offers the group a unique opportunity, as do each and all of WebEx’s expanded offerings.

In addition to document-sharing, you can broadcast a presentation, mark-up a document for editing, or even invite people to come along as you do their browsing for them. And these virtual meeting capabilities are a subset of tools WebEx provides for your “virtual office.” There’s a calendar and address book and library for document storage.

And these capabilities are yet another subset of a virtual “Office Suite,” office sites with a common look, shared appointment book and address book document storage, and e-mail notification.

And yet, with all these advanced capabilities, WebEx is still lacking at least two vital pieces. The first is technography. The second is Frontier.

Technography because it’s there. Frontier because it’s not.

Technography because it’s the human component of a computer-supported collaborative system. It’s WebEx being used the way it should be used. Frontier because publishing to the web is as important to the effectiveness of the collaborative enterprise as the ability to print in hardcopy. Because publishing to the web is the virtual complement to technography, the perfect open-ended end-product of an open-ended process, the all-time proof of the real-time pudding.

And WebEx doesn’t quite get it.

And we do.

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