Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Adam M. Fass
In order to achieve these goals I have created MessyBoard, a communication medium based on the metaphor of a two-dimensional bulletin board. This medium allows people to easily use mixed media and spatial relationships to communicate their ideas. I use large public displays and screen savers to ensure that people see it naturally without being interrupted unexpectedly or having to explicitly set aside time. MessyBoard runs as a Java applet in a web browser so that people can begin using it immediately with any computer.
I have observed 191 MessyBoard spaces used by groups at Carnegie Mellon University and by anonymous users over on the Internet. I collected observations through a combination of automatic logging, interviews and ethnographic observation. I have observed that larger groups (25 or more members) are more likely to adopt MessyBoard than smaller groups (15 or fewer members). Larger groups use MessyBoard for a mixture of playful and goal-directed activities. The small groups that use MessyBoard the most tend to use it as a file sharing tool.