Teleconferencing is difficult. It's hard to fit complex ideas over little wires, even when you add talking heads (video), so therefore telegroups need all the help they can get for their communication process. VTF offers key benefits for telegroups.
Most importantly, the meeting map serves as an "explicit group memory" [Ball71]. The map is a live, persistent, and easily scanned record of the essential details of the discussion that provides a common frame of reference for the group. Because the map can be quickly comprehended, it can be used on the fly during the meeting by the group itself, helping the group to navigate through the issues.
In fact, the meeting map can become a focus of the conversation, letting the group members see where the discussion has been, where it is now, and where it is going. In this way the meeting map serves the working group in accomplishing its task by making sure all participants are "on the same page."
Another benefit of VTF is that it allows all members
of the group to be heard. In most group discussions,
A final benefit of VTF is the archival function of the
meeting map. When the telemeeting is over, each
participant already has comprehensive high
© 1997, 1999 PGC