Backchannel Persistence and Collaborative Meaning-Making

Last week I had the pleasure of delivering a paper relatively close to home, at the 27th ACM International Conference on Design of Communication (SIGDOC), at Indiana University in Bloomington. I was especially excited to be on a panel with Shaun Slattery of DePaul University, and Jason Swarts of North Carolina State University--two scholars that I hold in high esteem.

Our panel explored the traces of literate activity that are surfaced and archived in new media writing environments, and which lead to the construction of "fact" on Wikipedia, and the development of provisional knowledge in microblogging platforms. All three papers called on Actor Network Theory and/or Cultural Historical Activity Theory as a way to frame and trace computer supported collaborative work.

I added some theoretical frameworks that are likely too much for a 6,000 word manuscript. I like what I have here, but it's meant to be the start of something much more substantial. In short, my paper amounts to a longish position piece which aims to establish a theoretical framework for tracing meaning-making in persistent backchannel platforms (such as Twitter).

The official published version, should you be able to navigate behind the paywall, is available through the ACM portal. The full proceedings--which include excellent papers from Shaun, Jason, and a number of other fantastic researchers--can also be accessed through ACM. I've uploaded a pre-publication version of the paper to Scribd, and it's available below:

Finally, I've embedded the slides for my presentation as well. If you've seen me present in the past, you'll know that I take a minimalist approach to slidedecks, favoring images over alphabetic text. So, if you'd like the script that accompanies the slides, let me know!


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