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We may expect that we will encounter many phenomena that have become familiar to us, and that we will be able to use many of the same concepts.But we will probably also see that people have developed new technical variations of familiar themes as they adapt the technology of conversation to the possibilities and limitations of this new technology of communicative mediation.In so doing, they will make the new technology 'at home in the world that has whatever organisation it already has.' Space does not allow a full discussion of the properties of text-based CMC as instantiated in 'chat' environments, but comparing CMC with face-to-face communication and telephone conversations, it is obvious that the means to convey meanings are severely restricted.Where what happens is that the object is made at home in the world that has whatever organisation it already has. 2., 548-9)Chatting, or having a conversation, has long been a favourite activity for people.It seemed so ordinary, if not to say trivial, that it has for almost equally long not been studied in any dedicated way. Inspired by Harold Garfinkel, the perspective chosen was a procedural one: they wanted to analyse how conversations are organised on the spot.But new ways to deal with both general and setting-specific problems, such as mutual identification, were also developed.Now that an increasing number of people spend various amounts of their time 'online', chatting with friends or whoever is available, it is time to study Computer-Mediated Conversation (CMC), as we previously studied face-to-face conversation and Telephone (Mediated) Conversation, using the same procedural perspective.Most of the phenomena that the research on telephone conversation unearthed could also be found in face-to-face data.
It was only when Harvey Sacks and his early collaborators started using the tape recorder to study telephone conversations that 'conversation' as a topic has become established (cf. As Sacks once said: The gross aim of the work I am doing is to see how finely the details of actual, naturally occurring conversation can be subjected to analysis that will yield the technology of conversation.
(Sacks, "On Doing 'Being Ordinary'" 411)Later, Sacks also started using data from audio-recorded face-to-face encounters.
But with video-based research, as initiated by Charles Goodwin in the 1970s, one was later able to demonstrate that visual exchanges did play an essential role the actual organisation of face-to-face conduct.
When using telephone technology, people seemed to rely on a restricted set of the interactional procedures used in face-to-face settings.
The technical apparatus is, then, being made at home with the rest of our world.And that's a thing that's routinely being done, and it's the source of the failure of technocratic dreams that if only we introduced some fantastic new communication machine, the world will be transformed.