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History of CSCW

The term CSCW was coined by the computer scientists Irene Greif of MIT (now at Lotus) and Paul Cashman of Digital in the early eighties. They organised a workshop concerning the development of computer systems that would support people in their work activities. It was in trying to describe what the focus of the workshop was that Cashman and Greif came up with the term Computer-Supported Cooperative Work to describe their object of interest. The birth of the "movement" can thus be dated to this small Invited Workshop (34 people) at Endicott House, Massachusetts, in August, 1984. It brought together a number of people from somewhat disparate areas, e.g., office information systems, hypertext, and computer-mediated communication to name a few. In terms of names, it included people like Doug Engelbart, who had in the 1960’s pioneered interactive computing and team support in his NLS/AUGMENT system, Clarence "Skip" Ellis, then at Xerox PARC, well-known in the office automation area, Tom Malone, at MIT, who was developing his ideas on organisational interfaces, Randy Trigg, author of one of the first Ph.D. theses on hypertext (TEXTNET), Carl Hewitt, working on conceptions of office information systems as open systems, Murray Turoff, developer of the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s EIES computer conferencing system, and others. Although most of these individuals were already well known within specific research areas, they had not been brought together before to discuss common concerns of developing software to support distributed ensembles of people in their work.

Taken from 'The Context of CSCW' by Liam J. Bannon and John A. Hughes
Topic revision: r5 - 15 Nov 2007, SaqibSaeed
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