Monday, January 19, 2009
"So What Shall We Talk About": Openings and Closings in Chat-Based Virtual Meetings
Kris M. Markman
Using the framework of conversation analysis, the author examines the structure of interaction in computer-mediated team meetings, focusing on the openings and closings of the team's four virtual meetings. The author describes how the medium, quasisynchronous chat (QSC), disrupts the temporal flow of conversation and makes beginning and ending these informally structured meetings difficult. The author finds that the team, as a result, evolved a two-stage process for both opening and closing the meetings, which allowed them to make consistent use of certain linguistic and conversational devices to mark possible transition points for openings and closings. The author discusses how these virtual meetings compare to face-to-face interactions and some possible implications for the use of QSC for virtual team meetings.
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