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Facilitating networking

Tensed Networks: Balancing and focusing network dynamics in response to networking diseases (Part #7)

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The communication frameworks (see above) used by networks do not lend themselves readily to containing and balancing network dynamics within new configurations - as suggested by the preceding sections. One form of communication which is ideal for this purpose is computer conferencing. Its relevance to a research network has been described elsewhere (6), together with the importance of, intermediate communication interfaces - where computer technology is not appropriate. A study should be made to compare the costs and advantages of using this approach with those of assembling individuals at a meeting.

However, even when individuals are physically assembled at a meeting there are many problems of ensuring the best utilization of the intellectual resources so mobilized. Such meetings deteriorate only too easily into communication frameworks characterized by leakage, fragmentation and lack of focus of logical units. The possibility of using computer conferencing to enhance face-to-face meetings has been explored elsewhere (7). The technique was used in this way in 1976 at a Congress of the International Society for Technology Assessment (8).