OpenP2P.com: In-Room Chat as a Social Tool [Dec. 26, 2002] The in-room chat created a two-channel experience -- a live conversation in the room, and an overlapping real-time text conversation. The experiment was a strong net positive for the group. Most social software is designed as a replacement for face-to-face meetings, but the spread of permanet (connectivity like air) provides opportunities for social software to be used by groups who are already gathered in the same location. For us, the chat served as a kind of social whiteboard.
This is an interesting article by Clay Shirky. I often use instant messaging while in meetings. Believe it or not it is usually work related. Checking of facts or seeking clarifying information, but his idea of a digital whiteboard is something I would like to try.
I had the opportunity to see Clay Shirky speak at the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference last spring. He is a great speaker and has great insight into how tools such as blogging, instant messaging and ubiquitous network access are changing how people communicate.
Speaking of the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference, this may be a better venue for a blogging in education get together than the traditional venues such as NCTE, IRA or other such groups...