Publication: OpenMessenger: Gradual Initiation of Interaction for Distributed Workgroups

The initiation of interaction in face-to-face environments is a gradual process, and takes place in a rich information landscape of awareness, attention, and social signals. One of the main benefits of this process is that people can be more sensitive to issues of privacy and interruption while they are moving towards interaction. However, on-line communication tools do not provide this subtlety, and often lead to unwanted interruptions. We have developed a prototype message system called OpenMessenger (OM) that adds the idea of gradual initiation of interaction to online communication. OpenMessenger provides multiple levels of awareness about people, and provides notification to those about whom information is being gathered. OpenMessenger allows people to negotiate interaction in a richer fashion than is possible with any other current messaging system. Preliminary evaluation data suggest the utility of the approach, but also shows that there are a number of issues yet to be resolved in this area.

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Participants

Jeremy Birnholtz
Cornell University
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Gonzalo Ramos
University of Toronto
Mark Watson
Institute Without Boundaries

Citation

Birnholtz, J., Gutwin, C., Ramos, G., Watson, M. 2008. OpenMessenger: Gradual Initiation of Interaction for Distributed Workgroups. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2008), 1661-1664. DOI=10.1145/1357054.1357313.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {p1661-birnholtz,
author= {Jeremy Birnholtz and Carl Gutwin and Gonzalo Ramos and Mark Watson},
title= {OpenMessenger: Gradual Initiation of Interaction for Distributed Workgroups},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2008)},
year= {2008},
pages= {1661-1664}
}