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How Ibm's Sprucing ­p Its 'social' Side

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IBM researchers are exploring ways of using social computing to encourage greater collaboration among enterprise users in an effort to make it easier for businesses to share data. "Our perspective comes from business," says IBM computer scientist Rod Smith, who heads the emerging Internet technologies research effort. "There are many ecosystems inside the enterprise and we're seeing how they want to expand those connections." At IBM's recent Smarter Web Open House, researchers described a variety of collaborative Web technologies in development. Play-by-Play is a collaborative Web browsing tool that enables users to communicate through instant messaging. Multiple users can connect to each others' browsers and co-browse. The tool features a re-sync feature that enables one user to replay the sequence of Web pages the other user visited. CoScripter uses the same back-end technologies as Play-by-Play to put an encrypted chronological history of the computing tasks run over the course of the day. Privacy-aware MarketPlace can be used on social networking sites to determine the privacy scores, similar to credit scores, of others on the site to let users know who is trustworthy and who to avoid. The Social Networks and Discovery project aims to bring together documents, tags, and other relevant pieces of information to find relationships between people, which could be helpful when building a framework for applications such as recommendation and personalization systems. Lastly, the Blue Spruce project aims to turn the Web browser into a collaborative platform that will allow people to interact in real time and work together and change the page they are viewing.

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