What it means to be "present"?
Mike Gotta in his blog Collaborative Thinking brought up an interesting topic on "Presence" in his blog Social Presence: We Need To Push The Reset Button. Most people know presence by way of instant messaging. They log-in to their instant messenger or chat application and their "presence" appears to all other users in their "buddy list". For the most part this is where it ends. However, it need not end there.
Why not have your presence appear throughout your networked existence. A person's presence might appear on social networking sites as available for text messaging or only available by Internet phone. Perhaps a professional photographer could appear "present" at their blog AND at flickr as available for instant messaging.
At VisualShare we are working toward this goal within our VisualShare Web application platform by presenting a logged-in user as present and available in different collaborative contexts. At a high-level a user is available for IM by all users. In addition, each image series or record is automatically created as a virtual room. A team member reviewing a specific set of images is able to see who is present, available and authorized for a multi-media conference/collaboration.
The multi-context presencing of VisualShare allows dispersed workers to take advantage of another worker's availability and increase workplace efficiency beyond the limited and bounded world of IM.