Anchored conversations: chatting in the context of a document

E. F. Churchill, J. Trevor, S. Bly, L. Nelson, and D. Cubranic. Anchored conversations: chatting in the context of a document. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, pages 454 – 461, The Hague, The Netherlands, 2000. Association for Computing Machinery. [pdf]


This paper describes an application-independent tool called Anchored Conversations that brings together text-based conversations and documents. The design of Anchored Conversations is based on our observations of the use of documents and text chats in collaborative settings. We observed that chat spaces support work conversations, but they do not allow the close integration of conversations with work documents that can be seen when people are working together face-to-face. Anchored Conversations directly addresses this problem by allowing text chats to be anchored into documents. Anchored Conversations also facilitates document sharing; accepting an invitation to an anchored conversation results in the document being automatically uploaded. In addition, Anchored Conversations provides support for review, catch-up and asynchronous communications through a database. In this paper we describe motivating fieldwork, the design of Anchored Conversations, a scenario of use, and some preliminary results from a user study.

Pierre told me about this work today. I was a bit surprised that he slipped over this important reference till this moment. I think this paper is extremely important for my research as focusing on making links to between specific points of the document where the discussion concentrates. In this sense the document can be seen as a map on top of which the chat has been anchored. Can we find an asynchronous alternative to this?

Anchored Chat Churchill

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