Edward Powell – Reflection 9

The authors of this paper are affiliated with the University of Washington. This paper was published in CHI during 2012. They provided a framework for listening, created a system that helped utilize this framework, and then they tested their system through a few different scenarios.

I believe one major improvement to the system would be to add the emoticons which the authors did reference as a possible option when they were creating their system. I think this should be used in conjunction with their current implementation. There is a famous stat based on Professor Mehrabian’s study that suggests approximately 93% of communication is nonverbal. Emoticons are similar in sentiment to an in-person nonverbal gesture and could help provide better context, tone, and attitude for a person’s content.

One difficult thing with the system is gauging the effectiveness of a user’s comment about a section. The system had the functionality to “like” a comment which the original user could utilize to approve or disapprove the comment. This would be based on if the user feels that the feedback correctly represents their original intent. Here, there is a certain level of empathy that is required for users to properly assess sections written by the original author. An even better aspect of this functionality is that an original comment can be augmented and expanded even if it is not from the original author. The author can just the same approve of the new ideals that a second layer users suggests. This can lead to synergy and a brainstorming session. For larger projects, this can speed up the process of mapping out and blueprinting the future of such projects. It is important to judge this scenario by scenario, having a reasonable proportion of users that does not lead to a bottleneck. Analogously, this could be like having too many threads in a parallel computing program for the load that is available. This leads to ineffectiveness and less threads could prove to be more useful.

This was an interesting read that made me think about text-based conversations at large. Active listening is depreciated and changes the way conversations ensue. One important thing to consider is if talking with feedback is the ultimate and only means which we want to communicate. Although text based conversations have their drawbacks, there are also many benefits and reasons why people like its current state. I do believe certain text based conversations or environments can benefit from the paper, but I do not think it should be applied to all online environments.