The Virtual Collaboration Environment: New Media for Crisis Response

Gerhard Wickler, Austin Tate, Stephen Potter, Jeffrey Hansberger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper concerns the use of new media technologies, including virtual worlds and web 2.0, for on-line collaborative activities, and specifically for the provision of expert advice about the response to large-scale crises. Internet technologies in general offer rich possibilities for interactions involving remote experts; however, the diversity, novelty and power of these technologies are such that to introduce them into problem-solving episodes without first developing a model of the nature of those episodes and the type of collaborative support they require, risks confusing and discouraging users. After a brief discussion of the nature of distributed collaboration and the implications this has for any technical support, we describe a virtual collaboration environment that has been developed to foster task-focused communities and support them through specific problem-solving episodes, and present some of the results of evaluation experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM 2011)
Subtitle of host publicationLisbon, Portugal, May 2011
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


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