ECSCW ’99 pp 139-158 | Cite as

The Adoption and Use of ‘BABBLE’: A Field Study of Chat in the Workplace

  • Erin Bradner
  • Wendy A. Kellogg
  • Thomas Erickson


One way to gain a principled understanding of computer-mediated communication (CMC) use in the wild is to consider the properties of the communication medium, the usage practices, and the social context in which practices are situated. We describe the adoption and use of a novel, chat-like system called BABBLE. Drawing on interviews and conversation logs from a 6-month field study of six different groups at IBM Corporation (USA), we examine the ways in which the technical properties of the system enable particular types of communicative practices such as waylaying and unobtrusive broadcast. We then consider how these practices influence (positively or negatively) the adoption trajectories of the six deployments.


Critical Mass Communicative Practice Technical Property Computer Support Cooperative Work Summer Intern 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erin Bradner
    • 1
  • Wendy A. Kellogg
    • 2
  • Thomas Erickson
    • 2
  1. 1.University of California at IrvineUSA
  2. 2.IBM T.J. Watson Research CenterUSA

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