Method of Managing Open Chat Conversations With Context
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-31
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Disclosed is a method to manage the lifecycle of chat discussions with context. It enables a user to keep track of chat discussion topics, status of discussion topics, and chat participants associated with specific topics. A chat context is used to associate discussion topics with chat participants and can be persisted over time.
Instant messaging is designed to deliver messages instantly from sender to receiver, and the existing technology works well when messages are short and to the point. However, as conversations become more involved, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of what you have discussed with whom and which conversations are still active and/or might require some set of actions by one or more participants. The "open forum" nature of instant messaging adds to the difficulty because participants can discuss whatever comes to mind, and there is no means of keeping track of specific topics being discussed. There is also no means of keeping track of topics that might require further discussion.
Disclosed is a means to add scope and structure to chat discussions through the use of chat contexts. A chat context provides a way of establishing relationships among conversations based on a common conversation topic or other attribute. Users can associate chat conversations with an existing context or they can create a new context from within a given chat window. For example, one embodiment might have a user interface similar to that shown in Figure 1.
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The following information will be stored when a discussion is associated with a context:
Discussion participants (in addition to owner)
Looking for DB2* experts
12, 2009 3:01pm
John has no experts
Looking for DB2* experts
13, 2009 12:00pm
Peter may know someone
In this example, Mary has associated 2 conversations with the same context "Looking for DB2* experts". Mary created this context, and she is the owner. Mary can add comments about the conversation, and the comments are stored with the chat context. The context allows Mary to track which conversations are still active, who is involved in the conversations, and when the conversations took place. The status of the context "Looking for DB2* experts" is open because Mary has not found an expert yet. Once Mary finds a DB2* expert, the status is set to "closed".
If Mary transfers the context to another user (in terms of ownership), the context status changes from "open" to "transferred". When working with "open" contexts, Mary can decide when the associated conversations have ended and she can manually change the con...