Enhancing on-line information sharing systems
Abstract: This thesis presents working methods for developing andmaintaining publishing services for various purposes overIP-based computer networks. Many companies and organizationsthat plan to host an on-line service on the Internet or on acorporate intranet already have much of the required apparatusand in-house knowledge in their existing infrastructure. Animportant task is to identify the common denominators withinthe corporate task structures and what tools and techniquesneed to be developed in order to launch an on-line informationservice. In this study, a number of methods are developed andapplied in a series of field tests, covering variousapplications and information flows both on the Internet and oncorporate intranets. The focus lies on publishing andinformation sharing for all users in an organization regardlessof level of their technical skills, shifting away from atechnical viewpoint towards more content-oriented aspects. Themain topics addressed in this thesis are:- Model construction, method development and deploymentof basic publishing services, allowing information to be sharedby information publishers and consumers who are geographicallyseparated.- Development of methods for adding multimedia contentsuitable for the platform of a typical end-user, allowing amore qualitative on-line experience by utilizing animation,video and audio techniques.- Defining a developer's common nomenclature for usewhen managing a publishing framework and when developingpublishing schemes involving media on-line services.- Field tests using the developed methods on a fullscale, giving working groups of employees with varying levelsof expertise - many with little orno prior knowledge ofon-line publishing, computer-based training or education -these newly developed methods to use.A key to enhanced information sharing is to think in termsof simplicity every step of the way. Strict usage of publishingtemplates for the user's role as a publisher, in combinationwith other transparent and scalable system components, giveseven a new user in an organization quick access to theinformation systems. Storing information in a neutral and richformat allows content according to preferences and locality inany number of proprietary media channels.By offering the remote user a smorgasbord of media options,the service can be easily adapted to the user's platform,location and technical skill level. Rather than serving userswith composite media packages, they are given the tools thatallow them to take more responsibility for their informationflows. Using a combination of concurrently available mediatechniques rather than any single media format adds to thequality of the end-user's on-line real-time experience.Keywords: workflow, news, concurrent, electronicpublishing, newspaper, on-line, scripting, automation,multi-channel publishing, IP-based networks, Internet,intranet, distributed education, e-learning
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