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System and method for visualizing and managing contact list by adopting sociogram into communication tools

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000191297D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Dec-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Dec-28
Document File: 6 page(s) / 169K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a new sociogram (social network diagram) view model to visualize the contacts list in communication tools such as Email client, Instant Messenger, mobile phone, etc. Under the umbrella of sociogram view model, we can derive several useful view styles and elements that will improve the communication products’ business value and user experience.

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System and method for visualizing and managing contact list by adopting sociogram into communicationtools

Disclosed is a new sociogram (social network diagram) view model to visualize the contacts list in communication tools such as Email client,

Instant Messenger, mobile phone, etc.

All kinds of communication tools provide a general function called contact list. Most of communicationtools display the contact list in list or

tree view. But the traditional view style has some limitations:


Firstly, a lot of useful information is missing or not clear for users from the traditional list or tree view:

Users are not able to find those with whom they frequently communicate by giving the list view a glance. Even if the communication tool

provides the sorting function, it only reflects therelative ranking (i.e. You are not able to judge whether those top contacts are really frequent

contacts. It is possible that you chat with the rank 2 person only two times while chatting with otherlower ranked contacts one or zero time

by now);

It is very hard or impossible for users to observe those important contacts who connect a lot of your contacts from the list view. In a word, the

traditional view can't show users their Social Capital;

It is not obvious for users to observe their contacts' diversity, i.e. distribution in geography or business unit.

Secondly, the list or tree view requires users extra effort to conduct some operations, for example, it is hard to manage the contact list if the user

has a lot of contacts and contact groups. It is also difficult to select multiple contacts in a long contact list or across multiple groups.

There have been a few publications discussion how to represent the contact list with some 2D/3D graphic model [1] . Social Network Analysis

and methods to generate/render sociogram from communication data have been a research area and there have been a few publications[2]. But

this disclosure focuses on applying the sociogram rather than normal graphic model into communicationtools/platforms as a new view model of

contact list to restore the missing relationship information among contacts from contact list. It will solve all the problems stated above. By adopting the sociogram view model into the contact list, there are following benefits for users:

Users could observe their communication proximity clearly from the diagram. They can find those close contacts far more quickly and easily.

Users could observe acquaintanceship ties among their contacts (i.e. who knows who) and identify thosekey or central contacts from the

1

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diagram.

Users could learn their communication diversity or healthy status by observing contacts' geography or business unit distributions obviously

from the diagram.

Users could accomplish some complex operations which normally require multi-steps actions in the tradit...