background image
in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis'.
308
Such communities combine a `domain
of knowledge, which defines a set of issues; a community of people who care about this
domain; and the shared practice that they are developing to be effective in their domain'.
309
However, in order to function effectively and grow, such communities need a `shared work-
place' or `conversation space' where they can define and reinforce their domain, together
with tools that can facilitate the exchange of shared knowledge and the development of
relationships among its members.The MIRROR Knowledge Management System (MKMS)
is a tool that provides this required space, and a means for holding `conversations' to
support communities of geographically-distributed exhibition development teams. It
caters for all aspects of collaborative exhibition development and helps teams manage both
tacit and explicit knowledge produced at different phases of their work. Furthermore,
the MKMS can also be used as a virtual meeting place where specialist organisational
knowledge can be maintained and exchanged.
MIRROR is a Web-based application supporting and enhancing interaction and
synchronous/asynchronous communication between users. It does this through:
- An Exhibition Design Studio, a multi-user design studio environment which assists
collaborative visualisation and exchange of 3D scenes and models and ideas for
individual exhibits, as well as exhibition areas and the exhibition as a whole;
- Forum and Conference facilities, allowing for immediate exchange and feedback
(similar to IRC chat);
- Collecting and sharing digital content. A library gives the ability to collect and share
digital content, and to use it as a resource and knowledge-expanding tool in day-
to-day work;
- Project Management, which facilitates the organisation and management of everyday
teamwork.
In technical terms, MIRROR is a dis-
tributed platform which enables its sub-
systems to communicate through specific
network protocols. MIRROR subsystems
do not need to be installed in the same
geographical location; in fact the system
could be geographically distributed on the
server side between different sites that
communicate using different protocols.
The real goal was to have a centralised
system management and repository for all
MIRROR components, while at the
same time maintaining a common protocol through which all applications would be able
to communicate and exchange data. Interoperability is supported using a Web Services
framework, and MIRROR also enables real-time distribution and sharing that facilitate
functions such as instant chat and scene sharing.
Collaborative Mechanisms
and Technologies
165
308 E.Wenger, R. McDermott,W. M. Snyder, Cultivating Communities of Practice (Harvard Business School Press,
2002), p. 4.
309 Ibid, p. 27.
MIRROR
MIRROR project management
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