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An idea for collaboration among virologists

Stephan Spencer sspencer at rhino.bocklabs.wisc.edu
Tue Feb 6 01:34:58 EST 1996

Hello. I'm the webmaster of the WWW Server for Virology at the Univ. of
Wisconsin-Madison (http://www.bocklabs.wisc.edu/Welcome.html). It just
occurred to me that perhaps we could somehow provide a mechanism for
virologists to collaborate real-time utilizing our web server? I thought
of several different ways of doing this:

1 - have some software installed on the web server that acts like a
discussion group (like bionet-virology) and have a set time each week that
virologists come to the site and post messages and respond to postings.

2 - utilize BioMOO via a telnet connection

3 - utilize a graphical interface like Worlds Chat (http://www.worlds.net)

4 - utilize streaming audio technology to have real-time conference calls
by voice instead of typing

Choice 1 is easy for the participant to figure out, but not as interactive
as real-time chat.

Choice 2 is probably more difficult to learn than the busy virologist is
willing to spend. It also feels like a computer game.

Choice 3 is IBM/Windows only. (I don't know about you guys, but I wouldn't
give up my Mac for anything!)

Choice 4 requires special software and configuration beforehand. It's
bandwith intensive. And probably most of the software available is
IBM/Windows or Mac but not both.

Any thoughts on this? Does anyone have any specific software or solutions
they would recommend?

It would be really spectacular to try this out as a small pilot on Feb. 8.
The reason I suggest a pilot in just a couple of days is because that is
the day of "24 Hours in Cyberspace" (http://www.cyber24.com/). We could
probably get some good publicity by riding on the coat-tails of this
high-profile project that takes place on Feb. 8. 

Feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks...

Stephan Spencer
sspencer at rhino.bocklabs.wisc.edu

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