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Contact management: identifying contacts to support long term communication

Whittaker, S., Jones, Q. and Terveen, L. (2002) Contact management: identifying contacts to support long term communication. In: Proceedings of Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), November 16 - 20, 2002, New Orleans, LA. New York: ACM Press .

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Much of our daily communication activity involves managing interpersonal communications and relationships. Despite its importance, this activity of contact management is poorly understood. We report on field and lab studies that begin to illuminate it.A field study of business professionals confirmed the importance of contact management and revealed a major difficulty: selecting important contacts from the large set of people with whom one communicates. These interviews also showed that communication history is a key resource for this task. Informants identified several history-based criteria that they considered useful.We conducted a lab study to test how well these criteria predict contact importance. Subjects identified important contacts from their email archives. We then analyzed their email to extract features for all contacts. Reciprocity, recency and longevity of email interaction proved to be strong predictors of contact importance. The experiment also identified another contact management problem: removing 'stale' contacts from long term archives. We discuss the design and theoretical implications of these results.

Item Type: Proceedings Paper
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Information Studies
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2009 12:02
Last Modified: 19 May 2009 16:52
Published Version: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/587078.587109
Status: Published
Publisher: New York: ACM Press
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8387

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