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Mood indicators on electronic meeting tools

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000011711D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Mar-12
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Mar-12
Document File: 1 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Electronic meeting software often has a window that shows a list of the people that are online and participating in the meeting. This disclosure introduces a mood indicator alongside the name of the participant, in order to provide constant feedback on the mood of the participants. Each particpant will have the possibility to change the status of the mood indicator by right-clicking on it and choosing the appropriate mood from the drop-down menu.

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Mood indicators on electronic meeting tools

In large companies it is often necessary to hold meetings or give presentations to people in one or more remote sites. This was traditionally achieved using 'conference calls' to allow voice communication between the participants while they viewed presentation material or documents that were distributed by e-mail prior to the meeting. Electronic meeting tools, such as the Sametime meeting software used internally by IBM, provide great advantages over the conference call, as documents and presentations can be shared over the Internet (or Intranet) and the visual aspect of a presentation is added to the audio aspect. In addition, these tools often provide a chat facility, where text comments can be exchanged in a window.

     Despite this progress, electronic meetings still lack the direct contact that makes traditional meetings, where all participants are in the same room, more productive. Sharing a picture and describing its content over the phone doesn't allow a presenter to understand if the audience has fully understood the concept, as he/she can't see the puzzled faces or frowns. Similarly, direct feedback from body language which would allow a presenter to realise that the audience has understood and that he/she should continue with the next topic is not possible, and long-winded explanations of topics that the audience is already bored with are often the case. In addition, such meetings are often punctuated with phrases like "any questions on that?" or "is that clear?" followed by awkward silences.

     This lack of direct feedba...