Book Chapter

Tackling Acceptability Issues in Communities of Practice by Providing a Lightweight Email-Based Interface to Social Software

In the framework of the PALETTE European research project, the Swiss federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) is designing and experimenting with eLogbook, a Web-based collaborative environment designed for communities of practice. It enables users to manage joint activities, share related assets and get contextual awareness. In addition to the original Web-based access, an email-based eLogbook interface is developed. The purpose of this lightweight interface is twofold. First, it eases eLogbook access when using smart phones or PDA. Second, it eases eLogbook acceptance for community members hesitating to learn an additional Web environment. Thanks to the proposed interface, members of a community can benefit from the ease of use of an email client combined with the power of an activity and asset management system without burden. The Web-based eLogbook access can be kept for supporting further community evolutions, when participation becomes more regular and activities become more complex. This chapter presents the motivation, the design and the incentives of the email-based eLogbook interface.


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