Supporting collaborative help for individualized use


In this paper, we seek to advance the research around utilizing collaborative help for supporting individualized use of technologies. We do this by shedding light on the ways that users of MythTV, a highly flexible open-source software system for home entertainment enthusiasts, collaboratively help one another in maintaining their individualized MythTV systems. By analyzing the MythTV user community's mailing list archive, documentation, and wiki, coupled with user interviews we discuss how the community utilizes configuration artifacts as proxies to easily mobilize and exchange knowledge. While exchanging concrete artifacts such as scripts and configuration files was seen to sometimes increase the efficiency of knowledge transfer, it also presented several challenges. Negotiating the transparency of configuration artifacts, navigating the customization and appropriation gulfs, and aligning usage trajectories all emerged as problematic areas. We discuss design implications that address these challenges. Our findings provide a crucial understanding for how to support users in their individualized use of systems.

DOI: 10.1145/1978942.1979408

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@inproceedings{Huh2011SupportingCH, title={Supporting collaborative help for individualized use}, author={Jina Huh and Mark W. Newman and Mark S. Ackerman}, booktitle={CHI}, year={2011} }