Computer Conference in Information Service
This document describes the development of computer conferencing (CC) and its role within information service communities, particularly in Finland and Sweden. CC is defined as a computer-based messaging (CBM) system providing an asynchronous communications structure for group work. It is noted that CC differs from electronic mail and that CC software additionally supports text processing, collaborative electronic publishing, information retrieval, and personal documentation. Following introductory material, sections describe: (1) the use of CC as a tool for knowledge workers, with subsections providing definitions of basic telematic concepts, information on CC systems configurations, such as the Electronic Information Exchange System (EIES) and the Computer Conferencing System (COM) developed in the United States and Sweden respectively, a description of knowledge workshops, and information on CC systems in use; (2) possible ways of combining CC with information services; and (3) CC experiments at the Technical Research Centre of Finland testing the practicality of offering online bibliographic retrieval services to CC communities in Finland and Sweden, which contain mainly data processing (adp) experts. It is concluded that information services should be offered via CC systems, but that the importance of personal contacts in accessing information must be realized. A list of 27 references and related appendices are also provided. (ESR)
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