grass roots VTF = faxes + phones


Grass roots VTF is just FAXes and phones:
up to the minute FAXes spread out on a table during audio only teleconferencing can serve as "slow windows on a big desktop."

The technology at the grass roots level of Visual Telefacilitation is fairly primitive, but including it serves two important purposes. First, it shows that VTF is not about the Web; VTF is about generating meeting maps in real time and distributing them to members of the telegroup.

Second, grass roots VTF based on FAXcasting may well be the most significant form of VTF for years to come. Worldwide, people who can participate at this level of VTF right now      today      number in the hundreds of millions, while people having access to all other visual teleconferencing media combined number only in the tens of millions (at best).

Figure 3 depicts the classic VTF situation, only this time implemented using FAXes and phones. But it is essentially the same      again we have a distributed group communicating with each other via audio conference call, and again we have a visual telefacilitator who is continually generating a visual representation of the meeting and distributing it to the group. Since most meetings maps will occupy more than one piece of paper, the pages are numbered and spread out in front of the members of the telegroup so that participants can direct the group's attention to individual pages.

Figure 3. Visual Telefacilitation in action using FAXes + phones

© 1997, 1999 PGC