Ellis Auditorium: The Design of a Scalable, Fun and Beautiful, Socializing Webcast Experience

John Kruper, Carlos Olguin

ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work


Today’s commercial webcast applications are largely designed as virtual lecture halls optimized to support a speaker’s need to present information such as speaker audio, supporting slides and to receive audience questions. This focus on information delivery ignores the many additional reasons why people attend real-world events as well as the social dynamics at these events.

We believe that socialization, both casual (running into an old friend or making a new acquaintance) and formal (coordinating or meeting up with a friend, group, or class) is a critical part of realworld, live events. Believing that webcast counterparts should be no different, we created the Ellis Auditorium, a webcast application that includes innovative design elements such as Cosmo, a “scalable socializer”.

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