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Working together inside an emailbox

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Springer, London


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 inboxes 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.


Muller, Michael J.; Gruen, Daniel M. (2005): Working together inside an emailbox. ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. DOI: 10.1007/1-4020-4023-7_6. Springer, London. ISBN: 978-1-4020-4023-8. pp. 103-122. Full Papers. Paris, France. 18–22 September 2005