Persistent Conversation (Hawaii)


Seventh Annual Minitrack on Persistent Conversation
Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science (HICSS 39)
Hyatt Regency, Kauai, Hawaii
January 4-7, 2006

New changes:
– Abstract deadline extended to March 31st
– A half-day workshop will precede the minitrack

=== AT A GLANCE ===

= Summary of Topic =
Persistent conversations occur via instant messaging, chat, email,
blogs, bulletin boards, MOOs, graphical VR environments, document
annotation systems, text messaging on mobile phones, etc. Such forms
of conversation play a crucial role in domains such as online communities,
the sharing and management of knowledge, and the support of
e-commerce, e-learning and other network mediated interactions. The
persistence of digitally mediated conversation affords new uses (e.g.
searching, replaying, restructuring) and raises new problems. This
multi-disciplinary minitrack seeks contributions from researchers and
designers that improve our ability to understand, analyze, and/or
design persistent conversation systems.

= Who =
Researchers and designers from fields such as anthropology,
computer-mediated communication, HCI, interaction design,
linguistics, management, psychology, rhetoric, sociology, and so forth.
We also welcome submissions from graduate students.

= Chairs =
Thomas Erickson, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center (
Susan Herring, School of Library and Information Science,
Indiana University (

= Important Dates* =
Abstract submission:** Thursday, March 31, 2005
Abstract feedback: Thursday, April 15, 2005
Paper submission: Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Accept/Reject notice: Monday, August 15, 2005
Final papers due: Thursday, September 15, 2005
One author must register: Thursday, September 15, 2005

* For other dates. such as end of early registration and hotel deadlines
see the official HICSS conference site
** Abstracts are optional but strongly recommended; to submit a paper
without an abstract, please contact the chairs

= For More Information =
* This call for participation:
* History (papers and participants in previous minitracks):
* About the minitrack, contact:,
* About the HICSS conference, see:

=== DETAILS ===

= 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, web logs, 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, management, psychology, rhetoric, sociology, 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
*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 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
For other examples see the list of previous years’ papers:

= The Workshop =
The minitrack will be preceded by a half-day workshop open to all
minitrack authors, as well as those who will form the core audience
for the minitrack. See the online version of this call for more

= Instructions for Abstract Submission =
Submit a 250 word abstract of your proposed paper via email to the
chairs: Tom Erickson , Susan Herring
by the deadline noted above.

= Instructions for Paper Submission =
* HICSS papers must contain original material not previously
published, or currently submitted elsewhere. All papers will be
submitted in double column publication format and limited to 10 pages
including diagrams and references. Papers undergo a double-blind
* 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.
* Submit your full paper according to the instructions found on the
HICSS web site: