The Notification Collage (NC) is a groupware system where
distributed and co-located colleagues comprising a small community post media
elements onto a real-time collaborative surface that all members can see. Akin
to collages of information found on public bulletin boards, NC randomly places
incoming elements onto this surface. People can post assorted media: live
video from desktop cameras; editable sticky notes; activity indicators;
slide shows displaying a series of digital photos, snapshots of a person's
digital desktop, and web page thumbnails. User experiences show that NC
becomes a rich resource for awareness and collaboration. Community members use
it to indicate their presence to others by posting live video onto it. They
regularly act on this information by engaging in text and video conversations.
Because others can overhear these conversations, these become opportunities to
join in. They also post items they believe will be interesting to others,
such as vacation photos. People also use NC somewhat differently when it is
displayed on a large public screen than when it appears on a personal computer.
Under the covers, the system works by propagating and storing information
through a combined shared dictionary/notification server architecture.
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