CafeCommons: An Exploratory Study of Public Commenting in a University Café

Honglu Du, Mary Beth Rosson, and John M. Carroll


Third places, public display, community


We report the implementation experiences of a text-based interactive public commenting system, CafeCommons, which was used in a university café for 4 weeks. Our results demonstrated that a) café patrons showed considerable interest in this system, and b) carefully designed prompts could encourage patrons’ participation in posting messages. The content analysis of the messages contributed to the literature by showing how people would use this tool in public settings. We discuss some lessons learned from this initial deployment in the hope to inform future studies along this line of research.

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