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Glossary » awareness


the sense of what other people are doing, even when you’re not communicating with them directly.

Awareness is useful for coordinating with others in collaborative tasks where direct communication is not always necessary. Awareness also refers to indirect forms of communication even while involved in a direct conversation, such as making inferences about what someone is doing based on the position of their chair or the lighting of their room.

Awareness mechanisms in groupware include systems that let you track whether people are in their offices and what tasks they’re working on (e.g. “what file is my co-author working on right now?”).