Yasuo Ishihara




It has become important today to gView not from an individual who belongs to an organization, but view from where an individual could gparticipateh on his own free will in a number of organizationsh as what Professor Thomas Malone of Massachusetts Institute of Technology stated in "Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century".

Internet has progressed and became the foundation for information system.  The fact is, however, the same old system of belonging to one organization remains.  For example, providers who provide broadband are monopolizing the contents and service.  In order to enjoy other services, one has to belong to onefs own organization.  These strategies are very familiar. 

Again, in general, the groupware is made in the form so that it can be shared within the organization.  Basically, however, it does not function on its own outside the organization.  It is as if an individual is a gresourceh.  An ASP type groupware responds to various groups but when relating to other ASP service, it would become unavailable.  In this point, everything is still the same.

The economy has indeed played a part in the growth but even what we call "Web service" can at its best only able to search and provide information-sharing where companies are the core.  It is rare to find information system that centers on the gindividualh.

Our daily lives move with a schedule.  The schedule is based on our work and private lives, which exist on the same time axis.  Again, we belong to various kinds of groups according to our work and private time.  From now onwards, we would need a tool to confirm cross-sectional various groups for an individual to rank onefs priorities.  Especially, layer them cross-sectional in the schedule, so one can manage time, which will become a very important factor.

I do not think it is right where services can only be enjoyed from organizations that one belongs to.  In this sense and in many senses, gopennessh has a very important point. As how e-mails are, if we can have such interface where we can exchange information, we can enjoy whatever any company that could provide their services, anywhere and using any device.  This would be an important factor. 

I foresee that this would be used by many people from the very beginning and would be constructed in such a way.  For example, Yahoo!Calenderfs time guide, eGroups, and Yahoo!US are already in the market.  They exist through synchronization with Outlook function on the part of the user interface to make a relation with ASP business people.  This may be the short cut.

With the above knowledge, I hope, that for example, the calendar function of the mailing list service usage can be broadened as what is written in this paper.

Here are my ideas

One can bring in onefs various group of mailing list and groupware schedule into onefs own calendar, and be shared. The schedule will not be publicized.

With the starting of Yahoo!BB services, the internet is diffused to every home at a high speed in an galways connectedh method.  Every time the Internet is connected, we do not have to worry about the telephone bill.  This means that our daily lives and Internet are connected in a seamless new form.  PHS set price service and the diffusion of hot spot has allowed an environment where we do not have to worry about how much it would cost, even when connected through mobile phones.

Recent broadband seems not to appeal strongly that users do not have to worry so much on the cost of the communication expenses.  Providers and Contents-based companies are concentrating more on delivering large quantity moving images.  There are on demand services but there seems to be not many differences where the service of fully showing information and quality is no different to that of the gbroadcastingh era.

However, with the reason of the diffusion of the internet, the important factor of gone to oneh, gone to allh, gall to allh where possibility in the flexibility of exchanging information is not considered very important.  In fact, basic services such as net-auction, notice board services, and mailing list diffusion had broadened the contents in the distribution market.  And this has changed our lives.

We are forgetting something in all this.  That is gThe unification of schedule information on all groups that involves ush.  All kinds of groups involves us, such as our communities, hospital, schools, companies, clubs, becoming members of shopping centers, etc. 

Within the company the groupware is everywhere, allowing the application of e-mails, schedules, and notice board.  One step outside the company, however, such application to satisfy these needs is not there.  A part of ASP exists to serve such purpose but then it comes down to the same conclusion that the ASP service cannot connect to other applications.

On the other hand, now it is possible to make a free-style group such as eGroups, etc., mailing list.  It is possible to publicise onefs own schedule on Yahoo! Calender. It has also become possible to enjoy services such as calendar information through services.  However, these services are inconsistent and a service that supports this unification is unavailable. 

Since long ago, as we live, we belong to various organizations and groups.  These groups such as home, community, work, school, clubs, work-related, member of a CD rental shop, increase and decrease like amoeba.  Each group is not connected to each other.  The only factor that connects these different groups is none other than us. 

We are the one to rank our priorities in all these organizations.  The most important factor in ranking these schedules is where we put the weight and that is on gtimeh.  We would want to know where we belong and find where our interests are without going through a hassle.  In such times, we do not want to publicize our schedule.  However, to my knowledge, such information system that can process the schedule is yet available. 

A mailing list service where gAn individual can change the quantity and quality of the group flexibilityh and by doing this, gThe individual can see schedules of various groups where he belongs to in a cross-sectional wayh.  If this function were added, it would make solidarity of information that goes beyond the limit of the organization, making it very useful.  This ggrouph is not only a working team, but can also function in community, family, and hobby mates. 

 This is the gScheduleLayerh.

ScheduleLayer Screen Image & User Interface

Calender View

Project View

Show an overlapped schedule of onefs various groups of mailing list on onefs own schedule.

When managing a project, use the gProject Viewh.
The schedule is shown chronographically, making it easy to grasp visually.

The number of groups and schedules, mainly to be used at work or privately, by freelance or factory workers, managers or employees, students, housewives, the number of user interface, can be many.  Each screen image differs according to the user-environment; the overlapped schedule is shown in different ways.   The heavy user group and light user group, types of user interfaces, usage and cost applied, all varies.  Sometimes, heavy user pays.  The present PDA users and people who use the software for project management apply to such people.  It is quite unthinkable that light user would pay for such application.

The glight userh mentioned here are presently not using the application in such a category.  A pocket diary would serve the purpose. Light user may start using ScheduleLayer when introduced by heavy user.  By accepting the schedule from companyfs advertisement may lead them to enter, free of charge. Those who have been using it and becoming heavy user, can continue to use the ScheduleLayer by using whichever interface and service that a company can offer.

I think this epocket diaryh is the best-repeated contents.  An individual gpocket diaryh is a shortcut to an advertisement.  The more entries to the gadvertisementh, the more they will make an important factor to the diffusion of the ScheduleLayer. 

The important thing in user interface is the group schedule differs according to the user.  One groupfs schedule priority will differ accordingly to the user.  This controlled, can be labeled gHigh Functionsh, and where the control is less strict is glow functionsh.  In order to show a congested schedule, a heavy user utilizes the service (interface) where there is function to categorize the groups.  By showing the schedule by layer groups, categorizing the groups, showing by layers can tell the user to have a calendar view that matches the userfs present situation. 



Image of User Interface

Belonging to No. of Groups and Types


Heavy User

High Function

Eg) MicrosoftProject
ECorrespond to large scale projects.

Belonging to various groups, congested schedule.

User Pays

Medium User

Middle Function

Eg) OutlookAPalmAPocketPC
EFor elementary school use. 

Belonging to various groups, where they are categorized accordingly.

Advertisement Revenue
User Pays

Light (Entry) User

Low Function

Eg)Yahoo!Calender  (Time Guide)
ECharacter stuff. 

Minor groups.  Few categories.  Few schedules. 

Advertisement Revenue by showing Schedule

The user may be given the choice of added functions and design.  It is most important to choose the best ScheduleLayer server depending on how many group schedules one have, the frequency, confidentiality, and added functions.

In order to start using the ScheduleLayer, it is an important fact that the user does not have to change the clientfs software and the computer tools.  For example, Outlook such as Agendus and Palmfs Parasite Ware (Software that functions on the existing software used to broadened the user interface) may become necessary.  

ScheduleLayer Implementation Image

¦It is necessary to decide on actual detailed methods.
¦Please refer to Masato Nomurafs homepage for explanation on iCa‚Œender in Japanese.


  1. The user must first decide on the server for the ScheduleLayer.  Set a back up ScheduleLayer server is there is one.

  2. If the calendar of the mailing list can exchange information through the ScheduleLayer method, set the mailing list calendar information to the ScheduleLayer server, that you have decided on.

  3. Set your ScheduleLayer server to your mailing list service calendar to exchange information.  This includes the companyfs groupware (if the company allows). 

  4. Solidarity between onefs main ScheduleLayer server and back up server, and each group calendar becomes possible. 

  5. If the ScheduleLayer server can be set to synchronize each devices and calendar information, solidarity with PDA is possible too.

It is better for the mailing list service, calendar service, ScheduleLayer service to be connected seamlessly by one password.  This is because the setting is a bit troublesome. It would be user-friendlier for Internet beginners.  It would also be easier to enter by consolidating various mailing lists or provide one stop service such as eGroups.

Implementation Image 

ScheduleLayer  & Groupware

Comparison between the present groupware and ScheduleLayer. 


ScheduleLayer (Mailing List Included)

Groupware (ASP Included)


  • Possible to place the starting point on the individual, allow a seamless solidarity within and outside the work place, official and private, etc.

  • The project gsuddenlyh takes off, onefs own company not only becomes gopenh but also becomes a group, and the transition is gflowingh.  The changes need only be known by the members of the structure.  These gcollaborationh are very useful. 

  • Not only for mailing lists, but sharing folders, etc, useful functions exists. 

  • Uses Web, e-mail, etc; Internet standard technology therefore does not require specifications on clientfs computerfs types and performance. 

  • Security is in consideration. 

  • The tools are prepared for the management side when managing the contents. 

  • Customization is possible.

  • Possible to implement the functions of workflow, organization system, post pecking order at work, etc., structure of company organization, and sanction.


  • Relatively weak on the security side.

  • Necessary to do something to understand the contents of the gcompanyh as a whole. 

  • Basically impossible to customize each company. 


gAmoebaE UNITh will absorb the demerits. 

  • The concept of one organization is basically the fixed receptacle.  gEmployees are one of the companyfs resourcesh is evaluated strongly. 

  • If proposing solidarity with other organizations information, the cooperation from the Systems Department to set or release would be necessary because the system restructuring and confirmation between servers may be a hassle.

  • Other than the key type all ginformation typeh is fixed, therefore the systems are very complicated.

  • After implementation, customization is possible but customization itself requires high skills.

  • The clientfs software may be limited.  If the OS or computers are different they may cause a limitation to the exchange of information.  It is necessary to consider the clientfs side structure. 

¦ScheduleLayer is a tool to put a number of people and groups schedule together.  For this, as what is represented by Palm for PDA and PIM represented by Outlook, these substances are an extension on the idea of showing onefs schedule of a pocket diary by the user interface.  Therefore, I have evaded the comparison.  Next, I will explain on AmoebaE UNIT.

AmoebaE UNIT---Dividing the Functions as Modules

ScheduleLayer is one unit of an AmoebaE UNIT concept.

AmoebaE UNIT 

It is important to not only use a single function but also necessary to unify various functions in order to establish communication over the Internet.  For example, connecting to the Internet, mail server, mailing list, WWW server, notice board, storage server, and major general companiesf ISP and ASP companies are now all trying to provide these functions on their own.  However, have these companies ever thought of using various services provided by many other companies in a cross-sectional way?  One might prefer a mailing list from one company and prefer storage service from other company, etc.  If seen from the companyfs point of view, other than turning good ideas into products and services, for example, the recognition system, disk capacity, fee charging, these services can be consigned to others and therefore would speed up the work and hold cost down.

Many service providers are increasing like amoeba to compete in single functions. Users can choose from these amoebas, try them out and pay the reasonable price for the good service.  Naturally, in order for these services to run smoothly, the statutes, security for the modules interface and the technology conditions, support, etc for these modules, there seem to be endless problems.  However as written in this paper, many services such as gmailing listh and gScheduleLayerh can be cut off.  Service providers can offer various services freely and users can choose.

The gAmoebaE UNITh allows communication over the Internet to evolve and become more effective. 

Example of AmoebaE UNIT

DeviseEbetween PIMEPDA Synchronization.

It is idealistic to gsynchronizeh many types of devices.  In this case, it is considered technically difficult to have smooth synchronization between these devices.  Prepare a pivot-like center server and synchronize information through the core server.  The center server will serve as storage for latest information for ScheduleLayer server at all times.  For example, each provider has that center server and the method is using onefs providerfs center server.  

The reason why I am particular about gsynchronizationh is because, for example, when inputting onefs schedule to PDA online, it is possible to write new schedules from outside onto the ScheduleLayer simultaneously.  To put together these two schedules, there is only  gsynchronizationh.  There are some ScheduleLayer server that synchronizes well with PDA and those that do not. 

Each user main ScheduleLayer server can synchronize information with each devise and other ScheduleLayer server.








For Palm, use the gcategoryh function to divide into groups.

Microsoft Outlook

Solidarity with companyfs Exchange Server with Outlook and synchronizes with the ScheduleLayer.

Mobile Phones


Contents Administration System

System Management: Specified domain (Eg. in regards to the group that the user created.

Automatic Indexer

To add a function of searching in cross-sectional ways by the members in terms of agreement with the specific domain (Eg., for groups created by the user.

A number of Mail Addresses

If one has a number of mail addresses for the purpose of private and office use, the office address (when the company has an agreement with gContents Administration Systemh) where the group was formed will stay as record in the company.  However, groups formed from private address remains purely private and cannot be touched by the company.  The schedule allows the function of gScheduleLayerh to see both in one glimpse.

Secure Suit

Set up security for each account.  Basically, the target would be corporate body, but if necessary it can be used by individuals.  The idea is to continue using the present service, and armor it with security.

Marketing System

The gathered people are segmented in a marketing-like way depending on the type of group.  If these groups are recognized, it is possible to do a survey.

Function Guarantee

The function guarantee itself is gserviceh.

Conclusion  --- The Background of the Idea

I presently work for a PR company.  The nature of my work is gto construct and operate a key systemh.

I have been working in this company for almost ten years.  I have experienced various types of work nature, such as sales, marketing, developing systems for internet-related projects, constructing information system within the company, etc. up to this day.

The word gcollaborationh has become a popular buzzword in the world since the past two years.  However, the PR industry has been using gcollaborationh as a way to carry out their work since long ago.

Based on what the advertiser seeks to achieve, we discuss how to solve issues and put them to action.  Sometimes we approach by having gan exhibitionh, at times gTV commercialsh, gadvertisement inserted to the newspapersh, or even gdistributing tissue paper advertisementh at stations.  Moreover, we make full use of all these methods by compounding them.  At times, we go back to the root in gbranding the advertiserh in which survey, proposals and enforcement would be required.

Sometimes, one person is given the task to be responsible for a number of jobs at the same time.  These jobfs objectives, project members, time, methods, companies, size (budget) differs.  From long ago, PR industry has been using the gcollaborationh method while carrying out several projects simultaneously.

Unfortunately, this industry took time to implement the computer system.

Since the word gcollaborationh came into this world, a lot of information system pops up to support this.  Up till now, we have not yet found the real support in this industry.

In so, I have come to think that in order for the project to progress, the real meaning of gcollaborationh supporting tools are yet to be found.

A year ago, I have created a group, geGroups (h, consisted of friends from my college days.  I have come to think that this mailing list is exactly the tool for the realization of gcollaborationh.

Each individual functions in the group, and the freedom to create and delete groups, decide the size, the clientfs computerfs platform is of generally used internet tools, etc., is exactly what I hope to achieve in the gcollaboration toolh.

To this, gA number of groups, especially to add the function of monitoring the schedule from a cross-sectional and birdfs eye viewh can be realized.  I believe this can be a tool for general business use.

23rd March, 2001