Your place or mine? Learning from long-term use of Audio-Video communication

Abstract

Workstations and personal computers are increasingly being delivered with the ability to handle multimedia data; more and more of us are linked by high-speed digital networks. With multimedia communication environments becoming more commonplace, what have we learned from earlier experiences with prototype media environments? This paper reports on some of our experiences as developers, researchers and users of flexible, networked, multimedia computer environments, or “media spaces”. It focusses on the lessons we can learn from extended, long-term use of media spaces, with connections that last not hours or days, but months or years. We take as our starting point a set of assumptions which differ from traditional analytical perspectives. In particular, we begin from the position that that real-world baseline is not always an appropriate point of comparison for new media technologies; that a set of complex and intricate communicative behaviours arise over time; and that media spaces connect not only individuals, but the wider social groups of which they form part. We outline a framework based on four perspectives — individual, interactional, communal and societal — from which to view the behaviour of individuals and groups linked by multimedia environments. On the basis of our long-term findings, we argue for a view of media spaces which, first, focuses on a wider interpretation of media space interaction than the traditional view of person-to-person connections, and, second, emphasises emergent communicative practices, rather than looking for the transfer of face-to-face behaviours.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Adler, A. and A. Henderson (1994): A Room of Our Own: Experiences from a Direct Office-Share. In Proc. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI'94, eds. Adelson, Dumais and Olson. New York: ACM Press, pp. 138–144.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bellotti, V and A. Sellen (1993): Designing for Privacy in Ubiquitous Computing Environments. In Proc. European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work ECSCW'93, eds. de Michaelis, Simone and Schmidt. Amsterdam: Kluwer, pp. 77–92.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Blomberg, J. (1988): Social Aspects of Operability: Ethnography of Photocopiers. AAAS Symposium on Cognitive Ethnography of Industrial Society, Boston, Mass.

  4. Bly, S., S. Harrison and S. Irwin (1993): Media Spaces: Bringing People Together in a Video, Audio and Computing Environment. Communications of the ACM, vol. 36, no. 11, pp. 28–47.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bowers, J. and T. Rodden (1993): Exploding the Interface: Experiences of a CSCW Network. In Proc. of InterCHI 93, eds. Ashlund et al. New York: ACM Press, pp. 255–262.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Buxton, W. and T. Moran (1990): EuroPARCs Integrated Interactive Intermedia Facility (IIIF): Early Experiences. Proc. IFIP Conference on Multi-User Interfaces and Applications, Herakleion, Crete.

  7. Casner, S. and S. Deering (1992): First IETF Internet Audiocast. ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communications Review, vol. 22, no. 37.

  8. Cool, C., R. Fish, R. Kraut and C. Lowery (1992): Iterative Design of Video Communication Systems. In Proc. ACM Conference Computer-Supported Cooperative Work CSCW'92, eds. Turner and Kraut. New York: ACM Press, pp. 25–32.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Curtis, P. and D. Nichols (1993): MUDs Grow Up: Social Virtual Reality in the Real World. Proc. Third International Conference on Cyberspace.

  10. Dourish, P. (1991): Godard: A Flexible Architecture for A/V Services in a Media Space. EuroPARC Technical Report EPC-91-134, Rank Xerox EuroPARC, Cambridge, UK.

  11. Dourish, P. (1993): Culture and Control in a Media Space. In Proc. European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work ECSCW'93, eds. de Michaelis, Simone and Schmidt. Amsterdam: Kluwer, pp. 125–173.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Dourish, P. and S. Bly (1992): Portholes: Supporting Awareness in Distributed Work Groups. In Proc. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI'92, eds. Bauersfeld, Bennett and Lynch. New York: ACM Press, pp. 541–548.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Dykstra-Eriksson, E., C. Rudman, C. Marshall, R. Hertz, K. Mithal and J. Schmidt (1995): Supporting Adaptation to Multimedia Desktop Conferencing. Proc. International Conference on Human Factors in Telecommunications, Melbourne, Australia, March.

  14. Eriksson, H. (1994): MBONE: The Multicast Backbone. Communications of the ACM, vol. 37, no. 8, pp. 54–60.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Fish, R., R. Kraut and B. Chalfonte (1990): The Video Window System in Informal Communication. In: Proc. ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Work CSCW'90. New York: ACM Press, pp. 1–11.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Fish, R., R. Kraut, R. Root and R. Rice (1993): Video as a Technology for Informal Communication. Communications of the ACM, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 48–61.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Gaver, W. (1992): The Affordances of Media Spaces for Collaboration. In Proc. ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work CSCW'92, eds. Turner and Kraut. New York: ACM Press, pp. 17–24.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Gaver, W., T. Moran, A. MacLean, L. Lovstrand, P. Dourish, K. Carter and B. Buxton (1992): Realising a Video Environment: EuroPARC's RAVE System. In Proc. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI'92, eds. Bauersfeld, Bennett and Lynch. New York: ACM Press, pp. 27–35.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Gaver, W., A. Sellen, C. Heath and P. Luff (1993): One Is Not Enough: Multiple Views in a Media Space. In Proc. InterCHI'93, eds. Ashlund et al. New York: ACM Press, pp. 335–341.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Gaver, W., G. Smets and K. Overbeeke (1995): A Virtual Window on Media Space. In Proc. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI'95, eds. Katz, Mack and Marks. New York: ACM Press, pp. 257–264.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Grudin, J. (1990): Interface. In Proc. ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work CSCW'90. New York: ACM Press, pp. 269–278.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Harper, R. and K. Carter (1994): Keeping People Apart: A Research Note. Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 199–207.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Harrison, S. (1992): Making a Place in Media Space. Technical Report SSL-92–42, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Palo Alto, California.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Heath, C. and P. Luff (1991): Disembodied Conduct: Communication through Video in a Multi-Media Environment. In Proc. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI'91, eds. Robertson, Olson and Olson. New York: ACM Press, pp. 99–103.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Heath, C. and P. Luff (1992a): Media Space and Communicative Asymmetries: Preliminary Observations of Video-Mediated Interaction. Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 315–346.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Heath C. and P. Luff (1992b): Collaboration and Control: Crisis Management and Multimedia Technology in London Underground Line Control Rooms. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, vol. 1, nos. 1–2, pp. 69–95.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Hollan, J. and S. Stornetta (1992): Beyond Being There. In Proc. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI'92, eds. Bauersfeld, Bennett and Lynch. New York: ACM Press, pp. 119–126.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Ishii, H., M. Kobayashi and J. Grudin (1992): Integration of Inter-Personal Space and Shared Workspace: ClearBoard Design and Experiments. In Proc. ACM Conference on ComputerSupported Cooperative Work CSCW'92, eds. Turner and Kraut. New York: ACM Press, pp. 33–42.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Louie, G., A. Sellen and M. Mantei (1991): Making Contact in a Multi-Media Environment, Unpublished Report, Computer Science Research Institute, University of Toronto.

  30. Mantei, M., R. Baecker, A. Sellen, W. Buxton, T. Milligan and B. Wellman (1991): Experiences in the Use of a Media Space. In Proc. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI'91, eds. Robertson, Olson and Olson. New York: ACM Press, pp. 203–208.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Nardi, B., H. Schwartz, A. Kuchinsky, R. Leichner, S. Whittaker and R. Sclabassi (1993): Turning Away from Talking Heads: The User of Video-as-Data in Neurosurgery. In Proc. InterCHI'93, eds. Ashlund et al. New York: ACM Press, pp. 327–334.

    Google Scholar 

  32. O'Conaill, B., S. Whittaker and S. Wilburt (1993): Conversations over Video Conferences: An Evaluation of the Spoken Aspects of Video-Mediated Communication. Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 389–428.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Olson, M. and S. Bly (1991): The Portland Experience: A Report on a Distributed Research Group. Intl. Journal of Man-Machine Studies, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 211–228.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Pagani, D. and W. Mackay (1993): Bringing Media Spaces into the Real World. In Proc. Third European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work ECSCW'93, eds. de Michaelis, Simone and Schmidt. Amsterdam: Kluwer, pp. 341–356.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Root, R. (1988): Design of a Multi-Media Vehicle for Social Browsing. In Proc. ACM Conference on Computer Support for Cooperative Work CSCW '88. New York: ACM Press, pp. 25–38.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Sellen, A. (1992): Speech Patterns in Video-Mediated Conversations. In Proc. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI'92, eds. Bauersfeld, Bennett and Lynch. New York: ACM Press, pp. 49–59.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Spears, R. and M. Lea (1993): Social Influence and the Influence of the ‘Social’ in Computer-Mediated Communication. In Contexts of Computer-Mediated Communication, ed. M. Lea. Harvester Wheatsheaf, pp. 30–65.

  38. Stults, R. (1989): The Experimental Use of Video to Support Design Activity. Xerox PARC Technical Report SSL-89-19, Palo Alto, California.

  39. Tang, J. and E. Isaacs (1993): Why Do Users Like Video? Studies of Multimedia-Supported Collaboration. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 163–196.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Tyson, P. (1992): The Desk as a Social Institution. EuroPARC Technical Report EPC-92–130, Rank Xerox EuroPARC, Cambridge, UK.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Yamaashi, K., Y. Kawamata and M. Tani (1995): User-Centered Video: Transmitting Video Images Based on the User's Interest. In Proc. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI'95, eds. Katz, Mack and Marks. New York: ACM Press, pp. 325–330.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Dourish, P., Adler, A., Bellotti, V. et al. Your place or mine? Learning from long-term use of Audio-Video communication. Comput Supported Coop Work 5, 33–62 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00141935

Download citation

Key words

  • desktop videoconferencing
  • emergent behaviours
  • long-term use
  • media space
  • videomediated interaction