About the Minitrack
- This interdisciplinary minitrack and workshop brings designers
and researchers together to explore persistent conversation, the
transposition of ordinarily ephemeral conversation into the potentially
persistent digital medium. Persistent conversations occur via instant messaging, text and voice chat, email, blogs, web boards, MOOs, graphical and 3D virtual environments, gaming systems, video sharing sites, document annotation systems, mobile phone texting, etc. Such communication is persistent in that it leaves a digital trace, and the trace in turn affords new uses. It permits conversations to be saved, visualized, browsed, searched, replayed, and restructured. Persistence also means that conversations need not be synchronous: they can be asynchronous (stretching out over hours or days) or supersynchronous (with multiple parties 'talking' at the same time). Finally, the creation of persistent and potentially permanent records from what was once an ephemeral process raises a variety of social and ethical issues.
The particular aim of the minitrack and workshop is to bring
together researchers who analyze existing computer-mediated conversational
practices and sites, with designers who propose, implement, or
deploy new types of conversational systems. By bringing together
participants from such diverse areas as anthropology, computer-mediated
communication, HCI, interaction design, linguistics, management,
psychology, rhetoric, sociology, and the like, we hope that the
work of each may inform the others, suggesting new questions,
methods, perspectives, and design approaches.
About Paper Topics
- We are seeking papers that address one or both of the following
two general areas:
- Understanding Practice. The burgeoning popularity of
the internet (and intranets) provides an opportunity to study
and characterize new forms of conversational practice. Questions
of interest range from how various features of conversations (e.g.,
turn-taking, topic organization, expression of paralinguistic
information) have adapted in response to the digital medium, to
new roles played by persistent conversation in domains such as
education, business, and entertainment.
- Design. Digital systems do not currently support conversation
well: it is difficult to converse with grace, clarity, depth and
coherence over networks. But this need not remain the case. Toward
this end, we welcome analyses of existing systems as well as designs
for new systems which better support conversation. Also of interest
are inquiries into how participants design their own conversations
within the digital medium -- that is, how they make use of system
features to create, structure, and regulate their discourse.
Turn-taking, threading and other structural features of CMC
The dynamics of large scale conversation systems (e.g. blog networks)
Methods for summarizing or visualizing conversation archives
Studies of virtual communities or other sites of digital conversation
The roles of mediated conversation in knowledge management
Studies of the use of instant messaging in large organizations
Novel designs for computer-mediated conversation systems
Analyses of or designs for distance learning systems
- Examples of appropriate topics include, but are not limited
- For other examples of appropriate topics see the list of previous
years' papers: http://www.visi.com/~snowfall/HICSS_PC_History.html
Instructions for Abstract Submission
- Submit a 300 word abstract of your proposed paper via email
to the chairs: Tom Erickson (snowfall at acm dot org), Susan Herring
(herring at indiana dot edu) by the deadline noted above.
- We will send you feedback on the suitability of your abstract
by the deadline noted above.
Instructions for Paper Submission
- HICSS papers must contain original material not previously published,
or currently submitted elsewhere. All papers will be submitted
in double column publication format and limited to 10 pages including
diagrams and references. Papers undergo a double-blind review.
- Do not submit the manuscript to more than one Minitrack Chair.
If unsure which Minitrack is appropriate, submit the abstract
to the Track Chair for guidance.
- Submit your full paper according to detailed instructions found
- The minitrack is preceded by a half-day workshop the first day of HICSS. This workshop sets the stage for the minitrack, and is intended to promote dialog between those who design persistent conversation systems, and those who study them. Iin late November we select a CMC site that each workshop member will be asked to analyze, critique, redesign, or otherwise examine using their disciplinary tools and techniques before the workshop convenes. The workshop will include presentations and discussions of the participants' examinations of the site and its content.
The workshop is open to anyone willing to do the pre-workshop activity. Typically it includes all minitrack authors, as well as to those who will form the core audience for the minitrack. To participate in the workshop you need to either check that option when registering for HICSS, or contact Tom Erickson (snowfall at acm dot org) and Susan Herring
(herring at indiana dot edu).
Thomas Erickson is a Research Staff Member and an interaction designer and researcher at IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center in New York. He is interested in understanding how large groups of people interact via networks, and in designing systems that support deep, productive, coherent, network-mediated conversation. Originally trained as a cognitive psychologist, Erickson has evolved into an interaction designer and researcher via work at a start up, Apple Computer, and IBM Research. Erickson is co-editor of HCI Remixed: Essays on Works that have Influenced the HCI Community (MIT Press, 2008).
Susan Herring is a Professor of Information Science and Linguistics at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her research applies language-focused methods of analysis to digital conversations in order to identify their recurrent properties and social effects. She is the editor of Computer-Mediated Communication: Linguistic, Social and Cross-Cultural Perspectives (Benjamins, 1996), Computer-Mediated Conversation (Hampton, in press), co-editor of The Multicultural Internet: Language, Culture, and Communication Online (Oxford, 2007), and Editor of the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication.
For More Information
What the Minitrack is like
The Persistent Conversation minitrack at HICSS is halfway
been a conference and a workshop. The minitrack includes a broad
range of papers, and makes an effort to bring together researchers
and designers from many disciplinary backgrounds. Authors and a
core of interested participants from multiple disciplines spend
a day together presenting and discussing papers on the topic of
Papers range from those that describe innovative system designs
to analyses of existing systems and practices. The pictures below
provide a glimpse of the minitrack.
Fernanda Viegas presents "Newsgroup Crowds and AuthorLines:
Visualizing the Activity of Individuals in Conversational Cyberspaces..."
by Ferndana Viegas (MIT Media Lab) and Marc Smith (Microsoft Research).
Sheri Condon presents"Temporal Properties of Turn-Taking
and Turn-Packaging in Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication"
by Claude Cech (University of Louisianna at Lafayette) and Sherri
Condon (The MITRE Corporation).
David McDonald (Univeristy of Washington) challenges his audience to "analyze this" in his presentation of his paper "Visual Conversation Styles in Web Communities."
HICSS also strives to provide time for quality discussion, with
a format that reserves plenty of time for discussion. The conference also provides ample opportunities and beautiful settings in which to continue discussions after the sessions.
Below, minitrack authors Lori Kendall (University of Illinois), Stephanie Woerner (MIT) and Therese Örnberg Berglund (Umeå University)
talk at a reception.