I have been reading this paper of G. Stahl on group cognition in chat and methods for analyzing the interaction. One of the most interesting ideas is that of use threading between the messages to indicate the connections and implicit continuity within the sequence of contributions made by an individual. At the author notice:
In fact, the way that a response is taken is also part of the interaction itself. In discussing the building of “common ground,” Clark argues that shared understanding by A and B of A’s utterance involves not only B believing that he understands A, but also A believing that B understands (Clark & Brennan, 1991). This requires an interaction spanning at least multiple utterances. Thus, for instance, the most prevalent interaction in classroom discourse is when a teacher poses a question, a student provides an answer demonstrating understanding and then the teacher acknowledges the student response as such an understanding (Lemke, 1990). Here, the elemental cell of interactional meaning making is a sequence of contributions by at least two different people. It is clear that the meaning is constructed through the interaction of multiple people, and is not a simple expression of pre-existing mental representations in any one individual’s head.