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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Instant Messaging as a Hypermedium in the Making

Instant Messaging as a Hypermedium in the Making
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Author(s): Kalev Leetaru (University of Illinois, USA)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 14
Source title: Handbook of Research on Computer Mediated Communication
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Sigrid Kelsey (Louisiana State University, USA)and Kirk St.Amant (East Carolina University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch062


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The recent rise of Instant Messaging systems as a centerpiece of online communication has brought with it many questions about the role this new medium will play in the communicative sphere. As the medium has evolved, it has grown to subsume many traditional communication technologies, merging their individual capabilities. In this chapter, a cross-section of popular and established technologies is examined and a strata of affordances introduced, describing the media’s capacity for tasks enabled through their message transport. Through this framework the modern medium of Instant Messaging is compared against these other technologies in terms of the affordances offered by each and the argument presented that IM is evolving to subsume many of the traditional communicative mediums into a single communications hub, or hypermedium.

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