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Glossary » snapshot


(groupware) a quick photo of another person that updates periodically to provide a basic awareness of their presence. (Also called a “porthole”.)

Snapshots are vaguely similar to a videoconference, except that no audio is provided, the frame rate is intentionally quite slow (so the person’s movement is not distracting), and the idea is not to be looking at the person and conversing with them, but to just have a general sense, as if they were working in the same room as you, of whether they are there, what they might be working on, and whether they are busy or they can be interrupted.

Snapshots are potentially quite useful for closely-knit workgroups who wish to coordinate even though they aren’t co-located.