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comp.groupware FAQ: Posting guidelines for Comp.groupware


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Archive-name: comp-groupware-faq/guidelines
Posting-Frequency: weekly
Last-modified: 1995.8.8
Version: 2.9.1
Copyright: 1990 - 1995 (C) David S. Stodolsky, PhD

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
This is the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) list for comp.groupware.
====================================================================

Please read carefully:

Any article posted to comp.groupware uses a MINIMUM of TEN hours of 
readers' time. 

Do not post responses to ABUSIVE or INAPPROPRIATE articles. 
See (2h) in the FAQ List.

Do not post TEST messages to comp.groupware (see question 2f below). 

LOTUS-NOTES specific material goes to comp.groupware.lotus-notes.misc. 
Crosspost or post Lotus Notes related material to comp.groupware only if 
the post is also of interest to users of other types of groupware. If a 
follow-up you post is also of interest to Lotus Notes users add 
comp.groupware.lotus-notes.misc to the Newsgroups (and Follow-ups To) 
header.

Before asking for HELP, read at least this part of the FAQ List. 
Send an e-mail message to rre-request@weber.ucsd.edu with the subject 
"archive send getting-help" (no quotes) and read "The art of getting 
help" to avoid embarrassment and improve your chances of receiving 
useful feedback.

Information for TEACHERS is given under the question on class activity 
(1d).

All posts to comp.groupware are archived and PUBLICLY accessible. Do not 
post anything you would not want a (future) employer to read.

This FAQ list may be cited as:
Stodolsky, David S. (1995). Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) List for 
comp.groupware. _Comp.groupware_ [Usenet]. (Available by anonymous FTP 
from rtfm.mit.edu in the directory pub/usenet/news.answers/comp-
groupware-faq.)

The latest version of this document can also be accessed by sending an 
e-mail message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with "help" and "index" in 
the body on separate lines.

John Faughnan <jfaughnan@medinfo.labmed.umn.edu> writes:
The correct URL (and it's great) is: http://www.cis.ohio-
state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/comp-groupware-faq/top.html

This article is posted automatically every 8 days to introduce the group 
to new users. This FAQ list is intended to cut down on the number of 
"Frequently Asked Questions" posted to comp.groupware.


**** TABLE OF CONTENTS: ****
============================

1a) What is comp.groupware?
1b) How many people read comp.groupware?
1c) Should I post if I am not a "groupware professional"?
1d) Should comp.groupware be used as a class activity?
1e) What do I do if an e-mail reply to an author fails?
1f) How do I get information about a specific book or product?
1g) How do I post long articles?
1h) What if I don't follow the guidelines for posting to comp.groupware?

2a) What should I do before posting to comp.groupware?
2b) How do I ask a question?
2c) How do I get the answer to a question someone else posted?
2d) What should I use as a subject for my post?
2e) Why should I bother with Subject, Summary, and Keyword headers?
2f) How do I post test messages?
2g) What is the best way to post a follow-up message?
2h) What should I do about inappropriate articles?

3a) Can more than one person use an account name for posting?
3b) What is the best way to sign an article?

4a) What is the proper setting for my distribution header?
4b) What if my distribution is restricted?
4c) How can I post if I have read-only access to comp.groupware?
4d) Can I get comp.groupware by e-mail?

5) What is groupware?

6a) Where is comp.groupware archived?
6b) What is FTP?

***What is needed to improve comp.groupware?

***How do I post copyrighted work?
***This document's copyright.

***What is the easiest way to read this FAQ?

***Additions.
***Corrections, comments, and suggestions.

Additional contents information may be found in other parts of the FAQ 
list.


1a) What is comp.groupware?
===========================
Comp.groupware is a Usenet conference for professional level discussion 
of groupware. A conferencing system is a type of groupware application, 
and this part of the FAQ list suggests how to use this newsgroup most 
effectively. Please help demonstrate the effective use of a newsgroup by 
reading this part completely before posting.

1b) How many people read comp.groupware?
----------------------------------------
Comp.groupware is read by over 40,000 people (Brian Reid posts 
readership statistics at the beginning of each month to the newsgroup 
news.lists). 

1c) Should I post if I am not a "groupware professional"?
---------------------------------------------------------
Consider the cost to readers of any post. If even an obviously 
inappropriate article is distributed, one that just takes readers a few 
seconds to scan, and then skip or kill, the total time used is still 
large. With 36,000 readers, a post that takes an average of 1 second for 
each reader to deal with (i. e., examining the subject line) means a 
total of ten hours used (36,000 seconds / 3,600 seconds/hour = 10 
hours). If the article uses up an average of four seconds, then the 
total time expenditure is 40 hours, the equivalent of a work week. This 
is probably the minimum time expenditure on any article that is even 
selected for scanning. So, if you spend a week preparing an article and 
then post it to comp.groupware, there will be a balance between your 
time investment and that used by readers, even if they only scan your 
article and make no response. The lack of a separate feedback channel is 
an unfortunate deficiency in the Network News system as it is currently 
structured.

The above analysis should not discourage anyone from posting a simple 
question to comp.groupware. Some of the most interesting and valuable 
exchanges in comp.groupware have resulted from such questions. However, 
authors must not make such requests unnecessarily. On the other hand, a 
carefully prepared article or a report of an extensive project may not 
receive any comment at all. This could mean that the article is clear 
and error free. It could also mean it was not of sufficient interest to 
anyone to be read in detail. What can be assumed is that it was 
seriously considered. This is a result of the currently low traffic 
level in comp.groupware and high quality of articles posted. Please read 
this FAQ list completely so you can help maintain the high quality of 
this group.

Many people have to pay for their news feed *by the byte*. Be 
considerate, be brief, and *think* before you post.

1d) Should comp.groupware be used as a class activity?
------------------------------------------------------
Teachers should not make use of comp.groupware a class activity. If a 
class is made aware of comp.groupware, this FAQ list should be made 
required reading, so inappropriate use is minimized. Instructional use 
of the news system is best practised in a local newsgroup established 
for that purpose. This also permits establishment of a better 
environment for instructional purposes. See the article "Protecting 
expression in teleconferencing: Pseudonym-based peer review journals" 
{Stodolsky, D. S. (1990).  _Canadian Journal of Educational 
Communication_, 19, 41-51. ([1989, May 9]. _Communication Research and 
Theory Network [CRTNET]_, No. 175 [Semi-final draft available by 
electronic mail from LISTSERV@PSUVM.BITNET at University Park, PA: The 
Pennsylvania State University, Department of Speech Communication and 
COMSERVE@Vm.ecs.rpi.edu at Troy, NY: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 
Department of Language, Literature, and Communication.])} This article 
also available in compressed format as file "prot.express.tele" on 
ftp.EU.net in
 ~documents/authors/Stodolsky.

Retrieve and examine the file by typing, for example
(characters before and including ":" or ">" indicate machine's prompting 
for input):

        > ftp ftp.EU.net
        login:ftp
        password:<your e-mail address here>
        ftp> bin
        ftp> cd documents/authors/Stodolsky
        ftp> get prot.express.tele.Z
        ftp> bye
        > uncompress prot.express.tele.Z
        > view prot.express.tele

URL: ftp://ftp.eu.net/documents/authors/Stodolsky/prot.express.tele.Z

1e) What do I do if an e-mail reply to an author fails?
-------------------------------------------------------
If your e-mail reply to an author fails, try again using information in 
the signature lines. A directory information server can be consulted to 
find a person's e-mail address. Read the informational article, "How to 
find people's e-mail addresses" (in the newsgroup "news.answers"), so 
you know to contact the postmaster at the site of the person you are 
trying to reach, and so on. Do not post a reply until you have tried to 
reach the author by telephone, facsimile, or paper mail. If these fail, 
ask yourself if getting the reply through is worth ten hours of readers' 
time. If so, post the message. Do not post a message asking a person to 
send you an e-mail address, unless your letter must be kept private (If 
this is true, consider using encryption). If it is not of general 
interest, use only the person's name as the subject (e.g., "To: Foo 
Bar"). If other readers might find it interesting, also give full 
subject information. 

1f) How do I get information about a specific book or product?
--------------------------------------------------------------
Do not broadcast requests for information you can obtain from a known 
source. Requests such as, "What are the contents of book Foo published 
by Bar" are not appropriate. This information can normally be obtained 
by a short telephone call and a few minutes of work by someone being 
paid to provide that service. Let's not deprive someone of a job and at 
the same time get comp.groupware readers fired because they are wasting 
all their time reading unnecessary articles :-).

1g) How do I post long articles?
--------------------------------
Post long articles as a single unit if they are less than 30,000 
characters. Otherwise, post separate sections as follow-ups to the 
first, breaking at meaningful places. This permits the sections to be 
treated as a single unit, thus minimizing expenditure of attention on 
the article. The cost of transmitting articles is negligible, so long 
posts that take one second to delete "cost" the same as short ones.

1h) What if I don't follow the guidelines for posting to comp.groupware?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disregarding the guidelines or a lack of self discipline in following 
them will result in defensive attention management. That is, certain 
authors will not be read at all by many readers or valuable discussions 
will take place by e-mail instead of being posted. This would have the 
unfortunate effect of fractionating the joint awareness that permits the 
comp.groupware readership to function as a group. Thus, it is 
recommended that authors who prefer entertainment to rigor in their news 
reading, post to other newsgroups.

Inexperienced users who, for example, post replies instead of using 
e-mail to reach an author are typically labelled "Newbies" and not taken 
very seriously. Make sure you know how to use your newsreading program 
well enough to avoid this mistake. Continuing abuse results in the 
person being regarded as inconsiderate. Most newsreading software 
permits you to enter names of such persons in a "kill" file, thus 
automatically suppressing display of their posts. This is one mechanism 
for defensive attention management.

When many inappropriate posts appear in a group, people unsubscribe and 
authors loose their potential audience. Typically, it is the more 
professional people unsubscribe first. The group then becomes much less 
useful, even for new people with simple questions.


2a) What should I do before posting to comp.groupware?
======================================================
New readers would be wise to examine the archives to get an idea of type 
of articles normally posted to comp.groupware. Notice which articles are 
responded to and which are ignored (see archive information).

Read "Welcome to news.newusers.questions" in that newsgroup before 
posting for the first time. This helps to avoid common mistakes and 
inadvertent abusive behavior that can cause your articles to be ignored. 
Be careful which keys you hit when reading news -- you could be posting 
a follow-up instead of replying directly to the author.

Authors should refer to "Guidelines for posting on Usenet" in the 
newsgroup "news.announce.newusers" to make sure they know to spell check 
their articles, etc. "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions", 
"Introduction to news.announce", "Hints on writing style for Usenet" 
available in the same newsgroup also contain information for new users. 

2b) How do I ask a question?
----------------------------
If you ask a question, your subject line should include "question", 
"query", "(Q)" or should end with a "?". Questions should clearly 
explain your problem and surrounding issues. Otherwise, you will simply 
waste the time of those who want to help you. Tell people the kind of 
work you are doing or contemplating doing. This helps them provide the 
information you need. Indicate what efforts, if any, you have made thus 
far, and what information was found.

Indicate that you will summarize and post the information you receive, 
and only do so if you receive useful information. Do not post saying you 
did not receive any useful information.

2c) How do I get the answer to a question someone else posted?
--------------------------------------------------------------
If that person did not indicate they would post the information they 
received, send mail asking for a summary. If enough people ask, the 
author will likely post the summary. Never post a follow-up to an 
article saying only that you are also interested in the answer to their 
question.

2d) What should I use as a subject for my post?
-----------------------------------------------
Always use your Subject line to state the *topic* of your article as 
completely as possible (e.g., "Macintosh II voice-mail based real-time 
meeting software ready.", rather than "Meeting software"). Summary lines 
should indicate *what* your message says about the topic (e.g., "New 
meeting coordination software available via anonymous FTP"). Statements 
should always end with periods, questions with question marks 
(typically), and high energy, high impact declarations with exclamation 
points. These rules makes articles much easier for recipients to handle 
appropriately. 

2e) Why should I bother with Subject, Summary, and Keyword headers?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Subject, Summary, and Keyword headers are scanned by many news reading 
programs, thus permitting readers to find your article easily. You will 
have your articles read more often if you select these carefully.

2f) How do I post test messages?
--------------------------------
Do not post test messages to comp.groupware. There are special groups 
for testing. And tests should be as limited in their distribution as 
possible. This is basic information from "Guidelines for posting on 
Usenet". Posting of test messages inappropriately is considered abusive 
and will cause a loss of readership for your articles.

2g) What is the best way to post a follow-up message?
-----------------------------------------------------
When you reply to a message, do not change the subject line or redirect 
follow-ups (unless you are changing the subject). Such changes make it 
harder for some news readers to follow the threads in a discussion. 
Include a "Summary" line which indicates specifically what your message 
says. This permits your article to be found even if it is a follow-up to 
an article with poorly chosen subject and keyword information. If a 
follow-up you post is also of interest to users of other newsgroups, add 
them to the Newsgroups (and Follow-ups To) header. Similarly, if these 
headers include newsgroups you are sure would not be interested in your 
follow-up, remove them from the headers.

Never post a "me too" message or one that says you "agree" or "disagree" 
with the original post. Use e-mail for this type of response. Posted 
articles should contain information of interest to all readers, not just 
the original author.

2h) What should I do about inappropriate articles?
--------------------------------------------------
Please, do not post responses to articles you feel are inappropriate or 
abusive. (If you can not resist, consider alt.flame as an alternative 
newsgroup for your article [it has greater readership than 
comp.groupware]). If the author is not saying anything worth reading, 
enter the name in your "kill" file, and then no more of your time will 
be wasted by that person. If you feel that the author is saying 
something worth reading, but in an inappropriate way, respond by mail. 
Tell the author what you think is incorrect about the article. If 
possible, suggest how to accomplish the objective in an appropriate way 
(e. g., post to another newsgroup). If you have responded to a person by 
mail a few times without the desired effect, and you feel that the group 
as a whole could benefit by a solution to the problem, only then should 
you post an article. The nature of your article should be a suggestion, 
if possible, of how such problems can be avoided in the future.

3a) Can more than one person use an account name for posting?
=============================================================
Each name should have one and only one user. If an article is a joint 
product, indicate this at the beginning and end of the article. Some 
news reading programs allow certain names to be to be automatically 
selected. Help the reader by using the same name at all times. This will 
improve the chances that people will read your articles.

3b) What is the best way to sign an article?
--------------------------------------------
The signature should include complete name, address, and telephone 
number (this allows quick verification in case forgery is suspected). 
E-mail addresses ought to be included in the signature in case headers 
get munged. Another nice feature is geographical coordinates, so the 
time zone can be determined (useful in telephoning). The signature 
should be limited to four lines as is suggested practice on Usenet.


4a) What is the proper setting for my distribution header?
==========================================================
Set your distribution to world by leaving the "Distribution" header 
blank. Comp.groupware is delivered to all continents. Do not limit your 
chances for feedback by restricting distribution. Restricted 
distribution can cause confusion when people read responses to articles 
they have not seen. If you notice an article has a restricted 
distribution, inform the poster by mail.

4b) What if my distribution is restricted?
------------------------------------------
If you are restricted from posting to "world" by your administrator, 
request a change in your privileges, at least for this newsgroup. If 
refused, determine what your rights are in terms of appeal, based upon 
information available at your site. An alternative is to use the Net to 
find information and persons to contact concerning your rights. 
Try the newsgroups:

comp.org.eff.news
comp.org.eff.talk
misc.legal.computing
alt.society.civil-liberty
alt.comp.acad-freedom.news
alt.society.cu-digest

Information about the rights of network users is available from the 
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Information about the Electronic 
Frontier Foundation  can be requested from eff@eff.org. You can also 
retrieve information about EFF and its projects via anonymous FTP from 
ftp.eff.org.

As a final resort, send a summary of your case to:

Electronic Frontier Foundation
155 Second Street
Cambridge, MA 02141, USA
Tel.: +1 (617) 864-0665
Fax: +1 (617) 864-0866
URL: mailto: ask@eff.org


4c) How can I post if I have read only access to comp.groupware?
----------------------------------------------------------------
If you can send e-mail off-site, you can post using a Usenet-news mail 
server. E-mail to "comp-groupware@cs.utexas.edu" is posted with the 
subject line of your letter becoming the subject line of the article. 
(Note: "." in the newsgroup name is written as "-".) This allows you to 
post to a newsgroup even if you have read-only access to Network News. 
Other servers
that use the normal period "." in the group name are:

group.name.usenet@decwrl.dec.com
group.name@news.demon.co.uk
group.name@news.cs.indiana.edu

E-mail to "comp.groupware@anon.penet.fi" will post your article 
anonymously (but see the information on using a single user name and 
signing your articles). Send a message to "help@anon.penet.fi" for more 
information on this service.

4d) Can I get comp.groupware by mail?
-------------------------------------
You may be able to arrange this with a local administrator, but there is 
no central mailing list maintainer. There is a Group Support Systems 
List you can subscribe to by sending mail to LISTSERV@uga.cc.uga.edu 
with the message "SUBSCRIBE GSS-L <your full name here>".

5) What is groupware?
=====================
Groupware is software and hardware for shared interactive environments.

The term "environment" includes software and hardware that sets the 
context for interaction. Hardware can include specially designed 
furnishings and architectural spaces that are considered integral to 
correct utilization of a given software application. A groupware 
application may require a specific organizational environment to 
function as expected. More powerful applications can adapt to, or 
overcome limitations of, their environments.

The term "interactive" is used to indicate that time constraints are 
managed by the system. Many groupware applications appear to support 
real-time interaction. Others merely enforce deadlines that can span 
weeks. In either case, the technical limitations on the pace of 
interaction are made (to appear) negligible in terms of the objectives 
of the application. Systems that exclude reference to real time are not 
groupware applications.

The term "shared" indicates that two or more participants interact with 
one another in such a manner that each person influences and is 
influenced by each other person. No upper limit in the number of 
participants is indicated, because mediated groups, as opposed to 
natural ones, can maintain joint awareness with very large numbers of 
persons. (Joint awareness is one way that "group" is defined.) An 
objective of some groupware applications is to increase the number of 
persons that can interact "as a group".

Some definitions of groupware include the notion of a common goal. While 
all systems require some agreement among participants (at minimum that 
they should be jointly used), interactions can be predominately 
conflictual. Management of conflict is often a crucial feature of a 
groupware system. Vote collecting systems are an example.

Definitions:
------------
Group - Two or more persons who are interacting
with one another in such a manner that each person
influences and is influenced by each other person
(Shaw, M. E. _Group dynamics: The psychology of
small group behaviour_. 1976, p. 11).

Ware - 1 a) manufactured articles, products of art
or craft.... b) an article of merchandise.... 3) an
intangible item (as a service) that is a marketable
commodity. (_Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary_,
1976, p. 1319).

Related terms:
    CMC  -> Computer Mediated Communication
    CSCW -> Computer Supported Cooperative Work
    EIS  -> Executive Information Systems
    EMS  -> Electronic Meeting Systems
    ESS  -> Executive Support Systems
    GCSS -> Group Communication Support Systems
    GDSS -> Group Decision Support Systems
    GSS  -> Group Support Systems
    Orgware


Origin of the term "Groupware"
------------------------------
Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz coined the term `Groupware' in 1978,
they defined it as a whole system `of intentional group processes 
plus supporting software'. 


Software meant to help group interaction
----------------------------------------
In Quarterman's (, John. S. [1990]. The matrix: Computer networks 
and conferencing systems worldwide. Bedford, MA: Digital Press) 
discussion of conferencing systems history and future (pp. 155-
156), groupware is placed under the "Mature, 1990-1995" period: 

"There also seems to be increasing emphasis on _groupware_ -- i.e., 
software meant to help group interaction (refs deleted). This is a 
rather general term and is used to refer to anything from 
electronic mail to distributed databases that facilitates groups 
working together (ref deleted). In other words, it includes both 
CMC and resource sharing. Perhaps this is a sign of eventual better 
communication between the conferencing and networking communities."

In his first substantive chapter, Quarterman (1990, p. 12) presents 
an overview of the area that categorizes services along a resource 
sharing versus CMC dimension (the other dimension is batch vs 
interactive). Thus, according to his analysis, groupware, is a 
concept uniting the different technologies for supporting group 
work. It makes sense that the as the area matures, the focus will 
move from technologies to the services they support, since this is 
what is important to the users. This analysis suggests that 
groupware will play an increasingly important role.


Computer supported cooperative work (CSCW)
------------------------------------------
CSCW takes as its starting point the fact that many of the working 
activities we take part in are collective. Its focus on the work 
environment makes it a subset of groupware, as does its focus on 
cooperation (often expressed as a common task or goal). However, 
some CSCW application are outside the scope of groupware, in that 
the environment they create is not totally "shared." For instance, 
an enterprise wide workflow management system may compartmentalize 
the environment of a unit so it is not directly shared with other 
work units. Similarly, interactivity may be weaker in CSCW than in 
groupware. For instance, e-mail is considered to be CSCW below, 
while it may not qualify as groupware given the above definition. 
However, Kling sees CSCW to include products (groupware) and a 
related social movement.
--------------

Cooperation and Control in Computer Supported Work

 Rob Kling
 Information and Computer Science
 University of California,
 Irvine, Ca 92717
 714-856-5955
 Draft 3.0
 April 19, 1991

Sidebar for an article in a special issue of Communications of the 
ACM devoted to CSCW. "Cooperation, Coodination and Control in 
Computer Supported Work." Communications of the ACM 34(12)(Dec, 
1991):83-88.


 A. The Technologies for Computer Supported Cooperative Work
The term "CSCW" was publicly launched in 1986 as the title of a 
conference jointly sponsored by Xerox-PARC and MCC. Like other important 
computing terms, such as artificial intelligence, it was coined as a 
galvanizing catch-phrase, and later given more substance through a 
lively stream of research. A community of interest formed around the 
research programs and conferences identified with the term and advanced 
prototype systems, studies of their use, key theories, and debates about 
them. CSCW is best characterized as an arena rather than a "field" since 
most of the active participants maintain primary identities in other 
fields, such as human-computer interaction, information systems, and 
social impact studies. Even though most CSCW researchers participate in 
multiple research communities, CSCW offers special excitement: it is a 
term in the making and a way of conceiving of fundamentally new 
possibilities of computer support for work.

CSCW denotes at least two kinds of things: special products (groupware), 
and a movement by computer scientists who want to provide better 
computer support for people, primarily professionals, to enhance the 
ease of collaborating. The earliest groupware focussed on products which 
were enriched forms of electronic mail or systems to help people 
schedule meetings more efficiently by having access to their colleagues' 
calendar.

But the CSCW movement (Kling & Iacono, 1988) has rapidly advanced new 
technological visions. Today, a group of professionals can use 
sophisticated text processors, graphics displays, spreadsheets and other 
analytical programs, and software development systems, to develop 
software or a complex report on workstations in their private offices. 
However, if they hold a meeting to discuss their work, their underlying 
technological support is much weaker. When they walk into a typical 
seminar room, they leave their computers behind. They pick up ruled pads 
and meet in rooms which provide, perhaps, whiteboards and and overhead 
projectors. If two or more group members wish to discuss documents or 
programs, they also have to meet face to face in one of their offices if 
they want to use their best computer tools. Today's computer tools are 
designed for one person's work at a time. Even shared systems like 
electronic mail or databases, are based on models of one user at a time 
accessing certain information.

Some computer scientists feel that the speed and ease of intellectual 
teamwork would be enhanced if computerized systems could provide 
seamless platforms for people to use their best computerized tools 
regardless of the their locations (Ishii and Miyake, this issue). These 
applications would enable people to have the electronic equivalents of 
shared blackboards and notepads, with all the capabilities added by 
computer storage, retrieval, and manipulation, in their private offices 
and in their meeting rooms. Some system designers have gone further 
after noting that communication limited to telephone and computer is 
relatively low bandwidth. They have enhanced their shared computer 
systems with two-way interactive video channels so that participants 
could see each other or documents on each others' desks. Other CSCW 
researchers are interested in providing special software to make 
meetings more effective. These special systems help brainstorm, organize 
agendas, and provide computational support for group decision making 
strategies. Schrage's (1990) vivid book title, Shared Minds, captures 
some of the underlying sensibility, (although "sharing" misses the 
concerns for privacy of information in some systems).

The slogans of this computer-based social movement help distinguish it 
from other movements: "cooperative work," "shared minds," "seamless 
systems," "collaborative systems," "intellectual teamwork" resonate with 
positive social imagery. Further, the computer scientists who build CSCW 
systems often focus on the fine grained organization of features, the 
design of interfaces, and the way that people could actually use their 
systems (see for example, Ellis, 1990; Kyng, this issue). There is an 
intimate quality to these concerns, with a focus on the practical 
activity of groups. Kyng (this issue), for example, coins the term 
"mutual learning" to denote a relationship of professional parity 
between system designers and system users. One of the striking features 
of the CSCW literature is the way that designers try to be respect the 
ways that people actually organize and use information. There is 
significant attention to the pragmatics of communication and information 
handling -- as in concerns over whether people prefer to point by hand 
or with a mouse. These concerns lead to "usability" being a preeminent 
concern of CSCW application designers.

In the past five years, participants in the CSCW movement has produced 
numerous prototypes and a few commercial systems. The prototypes have 
served as platforms for interesting technological experiments and for 
some systematic behavioral studies of how people can work while using 
these new systems (Kraemer and Pinsonneault, 1990). But many groupware 
applications have not taken off commercially. Much depends upon how one 
counts "groupware applications." Electronic mail has arguably been the 
most successful application, and the CSCW movement would have no 
unarguable successes if participants did not include electronic mail 
(Ellis, et. al., 1991). On the other hand, group calendaring systems, 
which are part of several widely adopted commercial "office automation" 
systems, are rarely used (Bullen and Bennett, 1991).

But CSCW researchers' ambitions reach far beyond the boundaries of 
communication with discrete messages. Many CSCW system advocates would 
like to transform the way that people work. After all, why invest time 
and money in new technologies, if they don't produce magnificent 
effects?

[...]

D. References

1. Bullen, Christine and John Bennett. 1991."Groupware in Practice: An 
Interpretation of Work Experiences." in Charles Dunlop & Rob Kling 
(Eds.) Computerization and Controversy: Value Conflicts and Social 
Choices. Boston, Academic Press.

2. Burgess-Yakemovic, K.C. and E. Jeffrey Conklin. 1990. Report on a 
Development Project Use of an Issue based Information System. CSCW'90 
Proceedings. (Oct.) pp. 105-118.

3. Dunlop, Charles and Rob Kling. 1991. "The Dreams of Technological 
Utopianism" pp. 14-30 in Charles Dunlop & Rob Kling (Eds.) 
Computerization and Controversy: Value Conflicts and Social Choices. 
Boston, Academic Press.

4. Ellis, Clarence, S.J. Gibbs, and G.L. Rein. 1991. Groupware: Some 
Issues and Experiences. CACM 34(1)(Jan):38-58

5. Grudin, Jonathan. 1989. "Why Groupware Applications Fail: problems in 
design and evaluation." Office: Technology and People, 4:3, pp. 245-264.

6. Ishii, Hiroshi and Naomi Miyake. TeamWorkStation. An Open Shared 
Workspace. CACM This issue.

7. Kling, R. 1987. "Defining the Boundaries of Computing Across Complex 
Organizations. in Critical Issues in Information Systems, R. Boland and 
R. Hirschheim (eds.). John-Wiley.

8. Kling, R. "Computerization and Social Transformations" Science, 
Technology and Human Values. 16 (in press).

9. Kling, R. and S. Iacono. 1988. "The Mobilization of Support for 
Computerization: The Role of Computerization Movements" Social Problems, 
35(3)(June):226-243.

10. Krasner, Herb, Bill Curtis, and Neil Iscoe. 1987. "Communication 
Breakdowns and Boundary Spanning Activities on large Programming 
Projects." in Empirical Studies of Programmers: Second Workshop Gary 
Olson, Sylvia Sheppard & Elliot Soloway (Ed.) Norwood, NJ: Ablex Pub Co.

11. Kyng, Morton "Designing for Cooperation" CACM This issue.

12. Kraemer, Kenneth L. and Alain Pinsonneault. 1990. "Technology and 
Groups: Assessments of Empirical Research" in Galegher, Jolene, Robert 
Kraut, and Carmen Egido (Ed.)Intellectual Teamwork: Social and 
Intellectual Foundations of Cooperative Work. Erlbaum.

13. Perin, Constance. Electronic Social Fields in Bureaucracies. CACM 
This issue.

14. Schrage, Michael. 1990. Shared Minds: New Technologies of 
Collaboration. New York, Random House.



6a) Where is comp.groupware archived?
=====================================
Archives of comp.groupware from 92.10.6 to 93.4 are available by 
anonymous FTP (File Transfer Protocol) from:
avs.ncsc.org

in the directory:
     ~newsgroups/comp.groupware

The archives are in mail folders named MONTH_YEAR.
For example, to peruse all of the postings in the month of
October, you could download the archive Oct_92, and execute

%       Mail -f Oct_92

Some more recent articles can be FTPed from gorm.ruc.dk. They are 
numbered sequentially in the directory:
     ~groupware/art/comp/groupware


6b) What is FTP?
----------------
FTP is a way of copying files between networked computers.  If you
need help in using or getting started with FTP, send e-mail to:
mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu 

with:
send usenet/news.answers/ftp-list/faq

in the body to find out how to do FTP.

Those without FTP access should send e-mail to:
mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu

with:
send usenet/news.answers/finding-sources

in the body to find out how to do FTP by e-mail.


What is needed to improve comp.groupware?
=========================================
An additional archive site, preferable in North America is needed. Also, 
a WAIS index would be a valuable addition. There are archives that 
currently are not publicly accessible that could be made available at a 
site that would like to maintain a more complete set of articles.


What is the easiest way to read this FAQ?
=========================================

Setext viewer
-------------
This text is wrapped as a setext. For more information send e-mail to:
setext@tidbits.com

A file will be returned shortly.


Network Information Retrieval Tools
-----------------------------------
The FAQ can be accessed with the following network information retrieval 
tools:

WWW
http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/comp-groupware-
faq/top.html

Gopher
The following gopher sites have FAQs:
    cc1.kuleuven.ac.be port 70
    jupiter.sun.csd.unb.ca port 70
    gopher.univ-lyon1.fr, port 70
    ftp.win.tue.nl, port 70
    gopher.win.tue.nl, port 70

WAIS
Periodic posting archives on rtfm.mit.edu are also accessible 
via WAIS (the database name is "usenet" on port 210).


What about Copyrights?
======================

How do I post copyrighted work?
-------------------------------
If you are posting someone else's copyrighted work, indicate at the 
beginning of the article whether permission has been obtained. If you do 
not want an article reproduced, indicate this (e.g., Copyright - Net 
distribution only). All original articles posted to comp.groupware 
remain copyrighted by their authors. 

This document's copyright.
--------------------------
Copyright 1990 - 1995 by David S. Stodolsky, PhD. All rights reserved.

Copyright for parts this document are held by others. 
Consult those authors directly for further information.
Publication, product, and company names may be registered trademarks.
 
Changing this FAQ?
==================

Additions.
----------
If you have a book or product list, etc., I will be glad to attach it to 
a this FAQ and post it regularly. Short additions can be send to me for 
integration into the FAQ list. Additions to yellow pages, article and 
book lists, etc., must be sent to their authors directly.


Corrections, comments, and suggestions.
---------------------------------------
This article compiled with assistance from numerous readers of 
comp.groupware.
Corrections, comments, and suggestions to:


David S. Stodolsky      Euromath Center     University of Copenhagen
david@euromath.dk   Tel.: +45 38 33 03 30   Fax: +45 38 33 88 80 (C)

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