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Call for Papers

Sixth Annual Minitrack
on Persistent Conversation

at the Hawai'i International Conference on Systems Science
on the Big Island of Hawaii, January 3-6, 2005


At a Glance

Topic Area
Conversation via digital media such as email, chat, IM, texting, web boards, blogs, wikis, mailing lists, 3-D VR, multimedia computer-mediated communication, etc. The focus of work may range from the analysis of structural characteristics of conversation such as turn-taking and threading, to the use of digital conversation in domains such as distance learning, knowledge management, and workplace collaboration.
For an overview of the previous Persistent Conversation minitracks see: http://www.pliant.org/personal/Tom_Erickson/HICSS_PC_History.html
Researchers and designers from fields such as anthropology, computer-mediated communication, HCI, interaction design, linguistics, psychology, rhetoric, sociology, and so forth.
Thomas Erickson, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
Susan Herring, School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University
Important Dates
Abstract submission - Monday, March 15, 2004
[Note: Abstracts are optional but strongly recommended; to submit a paper without an abstract, please contact the chairs.]
Abstract feedback - by Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Paper submission - Tuesday, June 15, 2004 [Instructions on the HICSS site]
Accept/Conditinal Accept/Reject notice - Sunday, August 15, 2004
Resubmission of Conditional Accept papers - *
Final publication-ready papers due - Sunday - *
One author must register for HICSS - *
Deadline for conference-negotiated hotel rates - *
* Some of these dates seem to keep changing, so you you should refer to the official HICSS site: http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/Hicss38/apahome38.html
For More Information
About the minitrack, contact: snowfall@acm.org, herring@indiana.edu
About previous years' papers (including pdf's) and participants, see: http://www.pliant.org/personal/Tom_Erickson/HICSS_PC_History.html
About the HICSS conference, see: http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/


About the Minitrack

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. The phenomena of interest include human-to-human interactions carried out using chat, instant messaging, text messaging, email, weblogs, mailing lists, news groups, bulletin board systems, multi-authored Web documents, structured conversation systems, textual and graphical virtual worlds, etc. Computer-mediated conversations blend characteristics of oral conversation with those of written text: they may be synchronous or asynchronous; their audience may be small or vast; they may be highly structured or almost amorphous; etc. The persistence of such conversations gives them the potential to be searched, browsed, replayed, annotated, visualized, restructured, and recontextualized, thus opening the door to a variety of new uses and practices.
The particular aim of the minitrack and workshop is to bring together researchers who analyze existing computer-mediated conversational practices and sites, with designers who propose, implement, or deploy new types of conversational systems. By bringing together participants from such diverse areas as anthropology, computer-mediated communication, HCI, interaction design, linguistics, psychology, rhetoric, sociology, managment, and the like, we hope that the work of each may inform the others, suggesting new questions, methods, perspectives, and design approaches.

About Paper Topics

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. USENET)
  • Methods for summarizing or visualizing conversation archives
  • Studies of virtual communities or other sites of digital talk
  • 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
  • For other examples of appropriate topics see the list of previous years' papers: http://www.pliant.org/personal/Tom_Erickson/HICSS_PC_History.html

    The Workshop [tentative -> now confirmed!]

    For the past four years the minitrack has been preceded by a half-day workshop; we hope this will be continued for 2005, but will not know for sure until April. The intent of the the workshop is as follows:
    The workshop will provide a background for the sessions and set the stage for a dialog between researchers and designers that will continue during the minitrack. The minitrack co-chairs will select in advance a publicly accessible CMC site, which each author will be asked to analyze, critique, redesign, or otherwise examine using their disciplinary tools and techniques before the workshop convenes; the workshop will include presentations and discussions of the participants' examinations of the site and its content. The workshop is primarily intended for minitrack authors, although other participants are welcome provided they are willing to prepare for it as described above.

    Instructions for Abstract Submission

    1. Submit a 250 word abstract of your proposed paper via email to the chairs: Tom Erickson <snowfall@acm.org>, Susan Herring <herring@indiana.edu> by the deadline noted above.
    2. We will send you feedback on the suitability of your abstract shortly thereafter.

    Instructions for Paper Submission

    1. HICSS papers must contain original material not previously published, or currently submitted elsewhere
    2. Do not submit the manuscript to more than one Minitrack Chair. If unsure which Minitrack is appropriate, submit the abstract to the Track Chair for guidance.
    3. Submit your full paper according to the detailed formatting and submission instructions found on the HICSS website. Note: All papers will be submitted in double column publication format and limited to 10 pages including diagrams and references.

    What the Minitrack is like

     The Persistent Conversation minitrack at HICSS is halfway been a conference and a workshop. The minitrack includes a broad range of papers, and makes an effort to bring together researchers and designers from many disciplinary backgrounds. Authors and a core of interested participants,from multiple disciplines, spend a day together, presenting and discussing papers on the topic of persistent conversation.

    Papers range from those that describe innovative system designs to analyses of existing systems and practices. The pictures below provide a glimpse of the minitrack.


    Fernanda Viegas presents "Newsgroup Crowds and AuthorLines: Visualizing the Activity of Individuals in Conversational Cyberspaces..." by Ferndana Viegas (MIT Media Lab) and Marc Smith (Microsoft Research).


    Sheri Condon presents"Temporal Properties of Turn-Taking and Turn-Packaging in Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication" by Claude Cech (University of Louisianna at Lafayette) and Sherri Condon (The MITRE Corporation).


    HICSS also strives to provide time for quality discussion, with a format that reserves 30 to 50 percent of a paper's slot for discussion. Above John Paolillo holds forth as Susan Herring and other minitrack participants listen. Below, Tom Erickson, Sherri Condon, Claude Cech and Fernanda Viegas listen intently.

    About HICSS

    Since 1968 the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) has become a respected a forum for the substantive interchange of ideas in all areas of information systems and technology. The objective of HICSS is to provide a unique environment in which researchers and practitioners in the information, computer and system sciences can frankly exchange and discuss their research ideas, techniques and applications. Comments and feedback from each HICSS conference indicate that the conference format continues to be professionally rewarding and stimulating to everyone who attends. More information about the HICSS conference can be found at http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/.

    Conference Administration:

    Ralph Sprague, Conference Chair, sprague@hawaii.edu
    Sandra Laney, Conference Administrator, hicss@hawaii.edu
    Eileen Dennis, Track Administrator, eidennis@indiana.edu

    2005 Conference Venue

    Hilton Waikoloa Village (on the Big Island of Hawaii)
    425 Waikoloa Beach Drive
    Waikoloa, Hawaii 96738
    Tel: 1-808-886-1234
    Fax: 1-808-886-2900



    [Tom's Home Page]
    Professional] [Life, Fun, &c] [Tell Me...]
    Bookmarks] [Publications List] <and many papers and essays>

    Of more general interest: [Apple HI Alumni page] [Interaction Design Patterns page] [Social Computing]