Write here, write now!: an experimental study of group maintenance in collaborative writing

Jeremy Birnholtz
Stephanie Steinhardt
Antonella Pavese
CHI '13 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, New York, NY, USA(2013), pp. 961-970


Writing documents together using collaborative editing tools has become extremely common with the widespread availability of tools such as Google Docs. The design of such tools, rooted in early CSCW research, has historically been focused on providing awareness of the presence and activities of one's collaborators. Evidence from a recent qualitative study, however, suggests that people are also concerned about how their behaviors -- and they themselves -- will be perceived by others; and take steps to mitigate possible negative perceptions. We present an experimental study of dyads composing documents together, focusing in particular on group maintenance, impression management and relationship-focused behavior. Results suggest that communication is positively related to social relations, but only for synchronous writing in a shared space; the reverse can be true in asynchronous commenting and editing