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CSCW
2002
ACM

The character, functions, and styles of instant messaging in the workplace

13 years 5 months ago
The character, functions, and styles of instant messaging in the workplace
Current perceptions of Instant Messaging (IM) use are based primarily on self-report studies. We logged thousands of (mostly) workplace IM conversations and evaluated their conversational characteristics and functions. Contrary to prior research, we found that the primary use of workplace IM was for complex work discussions. Only 28% of conversations were simple, single-purpose interactions and only 31% were about scheduling or coordination. Moreover, people rarely switched from IM to another medium when the conversation got complex. We found evidence of two distinct styles of use. Heavy IM users and frequent IM partners mainly used it to work together: to discuss a broad range of topics via many fastpaced interactions per day, each with many short turns and much threading and multitasking. Light users and infrequent pairs mainly used IM to coordinate: for scheduling, via fewer conversations per day that were shorter, slower-paced with less threading and multitasking.
Ellen Isaacs, Alan Walendowski, Steve Whittaker, D
Added 18 Dec 2010
Updated 18 Dec 2010
Type Journal
Year 2002
Where CSCW
Authors Ellen Isaacs, Alan Walendowski, Steve Whittaker, Diane J. Schiano, Candace A. Kamm
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