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Tom Erickson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Tom Erickson <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 15 Feb 2007 09:12:16 -0600
text/plain (91 lines)
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.

- Fri, March 15, 2007: Abstract submission
- Fri, March 30, 2007: Feedback on abstracts 
- Fri, June 15, 2007: Paper submission [instructions will be 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 
* 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 above.

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

Tom Erickson
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Email: [log in to unmask] (preferred); [log in to unmask](IBM confidential)

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