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IBM Cambridge Research Center

  Technical Report: Working Together Inside an Emailbox

Working Together Inside an Emailbox

Technical Report #:05-09
Author(s): Michael J. Muller, Daniel M. Gruen
Full Citation:Proceedings of ECSCW 2005, Paris, September 2005
Copyright 2005, IBM. All rights reserved.

Abstract

A Collaborative User Experience Technical Report: more about CUE...

In this paper we look at a situation in which email is not simply a channel for collaboration and communication but a site of collaboration itself, involving email in-boxes that are jointly accessed by more than one person. We conducted two studies of shared email usage. We learned about a diversity of shared email practices in 14 schools, museums, and support centers through semi-structured interviews and (where feasible) site visits. We also explored in depth one type of shared email usage: executives and assistants sharing an emailbox. We describe the strategies that people use today to meet their collaborative needs by exploiting mailbox structures they currently have. We close with a discussion of email as a site of reinvention – i.e., where users’ work practices have given existing technology new meanings.

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