Anchored Conversations. Chatting in the Context of a Document.


This paper describes an application-independent tool called Anchored Conversations that brings together text-based conversations and documents. The design of Anchored Conversations is based on our observations of the use of documents and text chats in collaborative settings. We observed that chat spaces support work conversations, but they do not allow the close integration of conversations with work documents that can be seen when people are working together face-to-face. Anchored Conversations directly addresses this problem by allowing text chats to be anchored into documents. Anchored Conversations also facilitates document sharing; accepting an invitation to an anchored conversation results in the document being automatically uploaded. In addition, Anchored Conversations provides support for review, catch-up and asynchronous communications through a database. In this paper we describe motivating fieldwork, the design of Anchored Conversations, a scenario of use, and some preliminary results from a user study.