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Figure 4: Compose message screen

To send a message, the user opens the compose message screen (Figure 4) by selecting “New Message” either from the application home screen or from the group conversation screen. After keying in the message, clicking “Send” sends the message to all members of the group. Photos are also sent through the compose message screen. The user adds optional text, then either attaches a photo from the device’s storage or takes a photo that will then automatically get attached to the message.

Secondary functionality includes the following:

User Profiles: All users have a profile, with modifiable ‘About Me’ statement and photo. When viewing a profile, users see the intersection of content between themselves and that other user, such as groups and events in common.

Events: Users can send events to Slam groups. The event system in Slam is fairly simple, targeting everyday usage scenarios, such as a Friday night movie, rather than larger, more formal events. Event messages contain descriptive text along with a date and time, and are displayed on the application home screen until the event has passed.

SMS backwards compatibility: The Slam system can send and receive SMS text messages, so non-Smartphone users can participate at least in the group-based text messaging.

Home screen plugin: The arrival of new Slam content is communicated to the user through a plugin for the Smartphone home screen that reports the number of new messages. While not novel from the user perspective, this is critical functionality for engaging the user with Slam content.

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