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Method for Improved Visibility and Effectiveness of Collaborative Instant Messaging Text Editing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202199D
Publication Date: 2010-Dec-08
Document File: 5 page(s) / 112K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a method to enable collaborative text editing between two or more participants in an instant messaging chat session. The method incorporates the launch of a satellite chat window in order to allow both editing and text communications to simultaneously occur. The system also records all edits with time stamps to maintain a history for later reference.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 42% of the total text.

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Method for Improved Visibility and Effectiveness of Collaborative Instant Messaging Text Editing

Instant messaging (IM) has become a preferred business communication method and tool. As such, it is often used for quick consultations. One frequent type of consultation is regarding the best text to use for a specific purpose. For example, Fred receives an email asking him to work with Susie to create four lines of compelling introductory text for a new web page. The new text is needed as soon as possible. Fred is currently chatting, via his IM client, with Susie about a new project that they will be kicking off next week; he uses the same chat to explain the urgent assignment on which they need to collaborate, and sends her his proposed headline text. Susie likes some of the text but has a few edits and comments. They would like to come to agreement via several rapid rounds of editing and comments on IM and send out the final text. They need an effective system for collaborative editing in the IM context which allows for making edits to selected text within the chat, having a discussion about the edits (and other side topics), while keeping the text being edited from scrolling off the visible screen (which makes commenting and editing difficult).

Using known solutions, Susie can try to explain her edits (e.g., Can you change the 3rd word in the second line to "fantastic"?"). She can copy the block of text and make her edits then send them back to Fred (Fred can then try to see what was changed and repeat the process), or she can use an application that allows for in chat editing of the original text, which often forces her to look at current comments and then scroll up to find the text being edited since it frequently scrolls off the visible screen in a lively chat. None of these methods result in an effective environment for collaborative text editing.

The same type of situation can occur during a group chat when participants are trying to solve an issue. Once the chat participants have come to an agreement, one user writes: "I can send an email to the client explaining our solution... Does this text sound okay? [PROPOSED TEXT]". The first user then sends the text and several awkward rounds of "editing" happen between group chat members to end up with a complete solution text that satisfies all chat participants. In this group scenario, the chat participants have the same ineffective options that are described above for Susie and Fred. The scrolling issue is magnified in this case since the larger the group of participants, the more quickly that chat moves and past comments and text being edited scroll off the visible screen.

Although some current systems address the need for collaborative editing functions and user interfaces or panes, the prior art does not cover:
• Editing in the context of IM
• Discussing edits in the context of IM
• Rapid informal editing
• Editing by multiple participants
• Quick editing plus commentin...