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Paper w78-1995-40:
World wide web as a coordination technology for knowledge work

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Elvekrok D R, Johansen B W, Syvertsen T G, Totland T

World wide web as a coordination technology for knowledge work

Abstract: This paper will bring some understanding of the World Wide Web as an information and coordination technology, and suggest some principles and metaphors for Web working. The suggestions will be underpinned by recent experiences from a collective Web-working project, and a transformation of a technical standard into hypertext format. Some ideas and visions for future developments based on the new medium are presented. World Wide Web is more than a tool or a technology, it is a new medium based on a set of very simple principles that enable us to cope with a vast Ocean of information and knowledge. The basics of World Wide Web and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) will be explained. A small-scale experiment in collective writing in Web will be reported. The task was development of the PAKT Yearbook of 1994, where a dozen of contributors worked concurrently on individual pieces around a shared Yearbook structure. This small project may in some sense resemble an engineering project, where many discipline experts are performing individual tasks around a shared goal and work breakdown structure. The experiment was based on use of Microsoft Internet Assistant which provides a simple add-on that makes Microsoft Word a combined Web reader and writer. Using this interface to the Web, working there is as simple as traditional word-processing. This mode of working can easily be expanded with any kind of tool based on the same concepts of process linking. There is, however, no support for the work processes associated with creating the product (in our case a Yearbook), or the organization of the processes. Based on our experiences, we suggest some metaphors and practical approaches to efficient Web working. Another experiment has been in the domain of technical standards. A couple of existing, paper- based standards from the petroleum industry have been converted to HTML, with cross-references transferred to active hyper-links. Using WWW as a one-way information server and as a shared working space will be illustrated. We see at least three future aspects of Web development; active objects replace static information, information structures will be supplemented by knowledge processes (enterprise modelling), and the information economy will evolve based on integrated flow of transactions.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,745,393 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1995 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.roadmaps (0.065275) class.collaboration (0.038981) class.economic (0.022244)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Stanford University, USA. The support of the editors, particularly Prof. Fischer is gratefully appreciated.

 

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