1. Exploring the gap between
interaction and institutional orders
in Pragmatic Web Design
Department of Communication
Ever more designed support for communication
Increasing capacity to design support
Yet, the tacit dimension of communication still plays a role
With what consequence?
With what design opportunities?
Illustrate ways tacit, often unintentional aspects
of interaction & communication shape what
Map the pragmatic terrain between intentional
design of communication support and
4. Orienting Concept
Institutional Talk = ‐> Interest of pragmatic web practice
. . . to improve “the quality and legitimacy
Goal Orientation for Interaction
of collaborative, goal oriented
Constraints on Interaction discourses in communities” through
design and use of web‐based
Preferred Patterns for Reasoningg
Evident in . . .
Turn Taking Procedures
The interaction order is not easily or
Turn Types readily tamed
Discourse typically takes on a life of
Institutions for talk aim to put ordinary its own
interaction and reasoning to some
purposeful, productive end
5. Airline Crew Decision‐Making
6. Example 2.1 Indirectness in Airline Crews
Copilot: Look how the ice is just hanging on his, ah, back, back there, see
Captain: Side there
Copilot: See all those icicles on the back there and everything?
Copilot: Boy this is a this is a losing battle here on trying to de‐ice those
things, it (gives) you a false feeling of security, that’s all that does.
Examples taken from Tannen 1994
7. Example 2.1 Indirectness in Airline Crews
Copilot: Let’s check these tops again since we been setting here
Captain: I think we get to go here in a minute.
Copilot: That don’t seem right, does it? (3 second pause). Ah,
that’s not right. (2 second‐pause) (Well). . .
Captain: Yes, it is, there’s eighty.
Copilot: Naw, I don’t think that’s right. (7 second pause). Ah,
p , g( p ) ,
maybe it is.
Captain: Hundred and twenty.
Copilot: I don’t know
Examples taken from Tannen 1994
8. Example 2.1 Indirectness in Airline Crews
• Prevalence of Indirection
e a e ce o d ect o
– Easier to be misunderstood or ignored
• ‘Be Direct’ is no solution
– Recognized and interpreted differently
– Safest rated crews, rated highest in indirection
• Indirection is a Relational Issue
– Cockpit not just about representing a state of affairs
– Moves must be situated within ongoing context of
relational expectations and activity
Despite intensive information & communication
environment the pilots’ attention to the
relational dimension shaped the possibilities
for expressing and managing differences of
10. Dispute Mediation
i di i
11. Example 2.2 Digression in Dispute Mediation
p g p
398 W: I still have my basic feelings, that maybe at some point, something like this
could be worked out but I don’t, feel at this time
[ Isn’t this kind of a method, uh I‐aren’t you basic
399 H: , y
feelings ((Pause)) basically trying to punish me, as opposed to what the
children ((Pause)) (that’s all)
[ No it’s not trying to punish ]
400 W: not
you ((Pause)) I am not trying to punish y at all I, think you, I’d be punishing
)) yg p you , y, p g
myself by going with something like this at this time=
402 W: Number one I know your involvement with the children ((Pause)) and how
you have stated in the past you would be involved and you would do certain
things and then you do not
403 H: Like what
404 W: Like homework schoolwork ((Pause)) Also too, I do not feel that you’re
mentally stable at this point in your life
405 H: I don’t feel you’re mentally stable either
406 W: Okay ((Pause)) um, so maybe we should go for the psychiatric
examinations ((Pause)) I’m more inclined to do that I’ve asked John to go to
counseling f years, and h ’ refused I h
l for d he’s f d have b been in counseling
12. 414 W: =No, we went to Dr. H( ) for Michael
[That’s not what I’m talking about, I’m talking about I’m talking about
the psychiatrist on ( ) Boulevard who we went to on two occasions and you just said I don’t
Boulevard, to, said, don t
agree with what this guy is saying so we’re not going back
[Oh okay] I know who you’re talking about sure
417 H: Okay
418 W: Then, I went to a different one, and I wanted to go to=
420 W: =a different one
[Yeah]because he didn’t agree with you that’ why
you didn’t want to go there, that’s the whole problem=
422 W: =No, no I’ve got other feedback from other
[How about Dr.
424 W: How ‘bout Dr. Frankel
[We stopped] going to Dr. Frankel because you didn’t like what he was saying to us
426 W: John, we, you were the one who stopped going, you were the one who said that we should
stop Michael from going to Dr Frankel because you saw no progress being made
427 H: That’s right, I saw no progress being made but you didn’t want to go to him because he started
asking about your background and you thought that was irrelevant 12
428 W: No I didn’t (Example taken from Jacobs & Jackson 1992)
Despite procedures and specialized roles,
disputants abandoned the development of the
argumentative potential of their contributions
in their responses to each other
14. Relational & Actional
Institutional aims for interaction are undermined by
Relational shapes possibilities for expressing and
managing differences of opinion s
Actional shapes possibilities for finding
15. Technological Designs for Communication
Generic Tools (e.g., threaded discussion, chat)
Neutral to interaction
Form of interactivity and communication quality left to users
Yet implicit design for interaction –
Tools highlight some aspects of making moves in interaction and
leave other aspects unmarked
Technologically Institutionalized Interaction Formats
Clash: Implicit designs for communication and community use
Results: Invisible, unanticipated, and at times perverse
consequences for discourse quality
16. The Danger of Cell Phones
Investigative News Story Report
Online Threaded Discussion
17. Example 3.1 Threaded Discussion
Message Type Example + ‐
Supportive (thanks, Thanks for this interesting report. Although, I don’t plan to stop using 5
acknowledges reports’s my cellular phone, I appreciate your explaining how to use it more
truth value safely.
Questions seeking So, you move the phone away from your head. You are not getting 1
clarification of report or the maximum risk of radiation but, what about the cell phone 0
its implications emitting radiation to other parts of your body…while it is in your
p pocket, y
, your purse, sitting next to you on the car seat? Should
p , g y
this also be a consideration? Other than giving up the use of our
phones, is there a way to avoid this potential hazard?
Replies to others that I sort of agree and disagree with this posting. You can only cover so 1
support the reporting of much on the television. TV is not the media for extensive coverage. A 3
the news better choice is to ask Consumer Reports to do a thorough study of
all wireless devices, such as remote controls, pagers, Palm VII, GPS,
cordless phones, cellular phones, walkie‐talkies, etc., to see what
effect they have on human biology. Perhaps a new standard will be
developed to not just apply to Cellular phones, but to all wireless
devices that transmit and receive data.
Taken from Aakhus 2002
18. Example 3.1 Threaded Discussion
Message Type Example +‐
Challenge Come on…the “cell phones cause cancer” thing a‐GAIN? Get 42
’ real. If two‐way radios caused cancer I think we’d see an
l di d hi k ’d
conclusion or increase in the incidence among emergency service workers,
implications+ who have been using higher powered two‐way radios in
these frequencies for decades. Your microwave oven is
legally allowed to LEAK about 30,000 times the energy it
takes to power a cell phone.
Replies to others I guess the “news” industry had to go Hollywood to pay the 41
challenge the “reporters” the salaries they demand these days. A favorite
report quote of mine that perhaps the powers that be should heed
is “your standards are a reflection of what you allow” it is
clear to me that abc standards are not worth the paper they
are printed on. What a shame!
Taken from Aakhus 2002
Community of viewers could not use the
information rich environment to effectively
raise their objections and requests
‐ Relational (e.g., pilot situation)
Discourse appears disjointed, complaint riddled
Leaves important aspects of investigation
20. Example 3.2 Chat
01 Insolente: AUB…YOU SAID that she did not 14 Insolente: AUB..What do you mean by that?
know she was breaking the law and that’s 15 Insolente: AUB..what is the point you are
why she leaked the trying to make?
02 Insolente: the tapes 16 AUBldr: INSOL…How many things can that
03 AUBldr: INSOL….nope, not once… mean?
04 Insolente: AUB…I’m tired for your moronic 17 Insolente: If any?
laugh 18 Insolente: AUB…Is this how you do this?
05 Insolente: Oh really AUB? What did you say 19 AUBldr: INSOL…you are too childish to debate
then? with ….shoo…
06 Insolente: AUB..why are you lying? 20 Insolente: AUB…Your reasoning means shit so
07 Insolente: AUB.. what did you really say AUB? you don’t answer direct questions?
08 AUBldr: INSOL….I said in many states only 1 21 Insolente: AUB…Shoo?
person has to know tapes are being made, 22 Insolente: LMAO
23 AUBldr: INSOL…lol shoo
09 Insolente: I gotta hear this one
24 Insolente: AUB…Is this how you do this>?
10 Insolente: AUB..Meaning what?
25 AUBldr: INSOL…child
11 AUBldr: INSOL…but apparently you still can’t
12 Insolente: AUB…That she thought she was
13 AUBldr: INSOL….Nope…
Taken from Weger & Aakhus 2003
Participants express disagreement but could not
make productive argument
‐Actional, like dispute mediator
Discourse appears incoherent, underdeveloped
pp , p
Community o use s atte pts to handle
u ty of users attempts a de
differences through normatively good
But, thwarted by affordances of internet based
‐> The mediated interaction produces a poor quality
Audience pursued inquiry
Audience looked like they were quarreling
Participants tried to d
P ii i d draw each other i
h h in
Participants looked like they quarreling
24. Clash, so what?
It’s just a matter of momentary encounters, so a
j y ,
few instances of low interaction quality.
But, what if we are interested in the record
produced and its prospects for further
25. Earlier Internet technologies left communciation
to ad hoc management of participants
New Web‐based technologies provide more and
better communication support
Can discourse still take a life of its own?
26. Supporting online learning
27. Taken from Aakhus 2001
28. The design for interaction appears to realize the
preferred form of interactivity
The product of the interactivity is a corpus of
Corpus is shaped by relational and actional
assumptions alive at the time the micro move
29. Pragmatic Web Challenge
The tacit dimensions of communication – the
pragmatics – continue to play a role
Designs for communication and any clash
between affordances and communities may
b ff d d ii
have subtle if not profound effects on what
becomes explicit and available.
b li i d il bl
30. The Pragmatic Web Challenge
Develop procedures and techniques that help
render discourse production process transparent
detect interactional drift, emerging commitments
reframe content and direction of interaction
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