Browse Prior Art Database

Starting Collaborations based on Custom Thresholds of Group Member Availability

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000214360D
Publication Date: 2012-Jan-23
Document File: 3 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a status-monitoring feature to add to instant messaging/chat applications. The feature allows the sender/user to set specific parameters regarding participant availability for a message before sending it; the system sends the broadcast only after the application detects that the request meets the parameters. This allows a more efficient method for a single user to send a message to a group of recipients from whom they need timely responses.

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Starting Collaborations based on Custom Thresholds of Group Member Availability

An efficient method is needed to allow a user in an instant messaging (IM)/chat community to queue the delivery of a single message to multiple recipients, even when not all recipients are logged into the community. The system must allow a user to send a message when the recipients are most likely to respond in a real-time, simultaneous collaboration (i.e., when they are online).

Work in this area includes:


• Delay Sending IM Messages Until All Chat Participants Are Available. The disclosed solution differs from this prior art in that it enables the user to set a minimum number of required participants to be available before sending the chat or other real time collaboration activity such as a poll question. The prior art does not address this and only sends the message when all parties are available.


• Delayed send of a chat message until a condition is satisfied; delay for sending the message to an individual person; the system waits a few minutes to send a message in a queue, once the user comes online


• The ability for an IM/chat application to generate offline messages for instant messaging (i.e., the sender initiates a chat to a recipient that is offline, and they receive it when they become online)

Current IM/chat applications allow users to start real time collaborations (e.g., chats, instant polls, sending announcements) with a group of recipients who share a common interest and have "opted-in" to be members of a broadcast community created for the shared interest. Users may not even know who the members are, but they know they can send an invitation, or broadcast to members of these interest groups to start collaboration in real time. When sending the broadcast, all online members receive an on screen alert at the same time, and can then join the real time event, such as a chat. For example, a user could subscribe to a community called "Mobile Users", and if they have a question about their mobile device, can send a question to the community.

The disclosed invention adds a status monitor that sends the broadcast only after the application detects that the request meets specific parameters (e.g., the number of people online), and includes other controls for determining when to send the message. This invention provides a method for all members of a group to receive the sender's broadcast at the same. This encourages immediate collaboration from a larger number of people in the community.

Many IM tools also allow users set alerts to let them know when another user comes online, so that they can start a chat. This invention seeks to monitor the availability of arbitrary members from a predefined group and aggregate them to determine when to send a broadcast. It also takes into account availability based on filter rules set by members, and is non-obvious when compared

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