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Augmenting the workaday world with Elvin

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Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands


This paper addresses the problem of providing effective, computer-based support for awareness and interaction in the distributed workaday world We report the story of how our content-based pure notification service, called Elvin, became widely adopted in our organisation and elsewhere, augmenting the virtual work environment, and providing perceptual resources for awareness. Examples of its uses include' support for interaction via bi-directional chat-like facilities as well as support for uni-directional notifications, for example push-based information from services such as WWW and email, and notifications of the activities of others through rooms bookings, version control changes, and so on. These uses have had a significant impact on the way people interact with information sources and on social cohesion within the organisation. The attraction of Elvin lies in its conceptual simplicity, absence of built-in policy, expressive power and multilingual range of simple APIs. Its uptake is largely a result of the Tickertape Elvin client, which provides a simple, compelling interface usable in numerous different situations. We contend that even though it does not try to be a collaboration-friendly notification service, Elvin is paradoxically very useful for collaborative awareness and interaction support


Fitzpatrick, Geraldine; Mansfield, Tim; Kaplan, Simon M.; Arnold, David; Phelps, Ted; Segall, Bill (1999): Augmenting the workaday world with Elvin. ECSCW 1999: Proceedings of the Sixth European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. DOI: 10.1007/0-306-47316-X_23. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. ISBN: 978-0-306-47316-6. pp. 431-450. Full Papers. Copenhagen, Denmark. 12–16 September 1999