Socially Translucent Systems: Social Proxies, Persistent Conversation, and the Design of “Babble"

Thomas Erickson, David N. Smith, Wendy A. Kellogg, Mark Laff, John T. Richards, Erin Bradner

ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systemsp


We take as our premise that it is possible and desirable to design systems that support social processes. We describe Loops, a project which takes this approach to supporting computer-mediated communication (CMC) through structural and intemctive properties such as persistence and a minimalist graphical representation of users and their activities that we call a social proxy. We discuss a prototype called Babble that has been used by our group for over a year, and has been deployed to six other groups at the Watson labs for about two months. We describe usage experiences, lessons learned, and next steps.


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