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Tom Erickson <[log in to unmask]>
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Tom Erickson <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 29 Mar 2007 15:22:04 -0500
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Persistent Conversation Minitrack
Digital Media and Content Track at HICSS 41
January 7-10, 2008
Hilton Waikoloa Village, the Big Island, Hawai'i

See for an online version
and further information.

- Mon, April 16, 2007: Abstract submission
- Tue, May 1, 2007: Feedback on abstracts
- Fri, June 15, 2007: Paper submission [instructions on the HICSS site]
- Wed, August 15, 2007: Accept/Conditional Accept/Reject notice

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.

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.

Examples of appropriate topics include, but are not limited to:
- 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

Submit a 250 to 500 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

- About the minitrack, see
or contact: Thomas Erickson (snowfall at and Susan Herring
(herring at
- About previous years' papers (including pdf's) and participants, see:
- About the HICSS conference, see:
Tom Erickson and Susan Herring
Chairs, Persistent Conversation minitrack and workshop, HICSS 41

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