For an example of visual telefacilitation, let's look
at the live text
graphic coverage of a call in TV
show. The format of the show was a moderated
discussion during which viewers called in and asked
questions of a panel.
In one sense the call
in show was actually an audio
teleconference between the callers and the panelists,
with live video of the panelists added. The panelists
and TV audience together were the telegroup being
The content of the discussion was captured on a Web
page in real
time as the panel members responded to
the questions that were phoned in. The Web page,
serving as a live meeting map, was continuously
updated throughout the show to reflect the latest
comments by panelists, moderator and callers.
At the beginning of the show, the Web page was
initially blank except for the title with phone number
this was the initial frame of the meeting map.
And then text and graphics were added in real time as
the event continued to represent the flow of ideas as
the panelists responded to questions from the callers.
Text and graphics accumulated throughout the show,
culminating in the final frame.
During the hour and one half show, the meeting map was
updated 89 times. We call this leisurely streaming
graphics, with a frame rate of approximately
once every 60 seconds.
The visual representation was very useful for catching
up if a viewer tuned in late, and also for keeping
track of complex issues, allowing viewers to go back
check what panelists had said earlier. This
meant that the phoned in questions could be more
relevant because the callers did not have to rely
solely on their verbal memory of the panelists'
It should be mentioned the video accompaniment of the
show was the classic "talking heads" used in many
audio+video teleconferences, which certainly enriched
the communication and let the audience see "who"
they were talking to when they called in
what the panelists looked like. It should also be
mentioned that the persistent high resolution
text graphics of the meeting map added a whole other
dimension to the panel discussion, in addition letting
the audience see "what" the panelists were saying
and had said during the course of the show.
And finally, the fact that the text
carrying the meeting map was successfully paired in
real time with the audio+video channel carrying the
TV show should help the reader to visualize the
immediacy of live text graphics on the Web.
© 1997, 1999 PGC