Thursday, March 16, 2006


Sack poses the question: “If I want to participate in one of these huge discussions, my problem is this: How can I listen to thousands of others?” “How can my words be hard by the thousands of other who might be participating in the same conversation?”

I would like to look at a popular means to these conversations that is used widely right now… message boards. Why are people able to use these message boards?

It is important to note that, as Sack previously states, “The boundaries of these spaces and the communities they support are not geographic boundaries.” I think that is a key factor when dealing with the design of these “VLSC’s.”

The design must be able to be understood by everybody who uses it. A system of categories is the best way to do this to be able to be understood by everybody who uses it. Message boards categorize messages into categories of their own (threads), and conversations are held in the topics of those threads. Multiple threads are part of larger groups called forums. When messages are posted by users, they appear hierarchically depending on the time the message was posted.

When geographies of users are not important, it is important to design the “VLSC’s” based on categories rather than geographies.

By this means of categorizing conversations, users are able to quickly find where they are in the conversations and where the conversations left off.


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