Microsoft 's NetGen Lab Offers Internet Insight:

"Tammy Morrison, who heads the NetGen Strategy Team, observed for example, two twenty-something workers conduct a business meeting:"Although they were sitting an arm's length apart, they flipped open their laptops and began trading instant messages. The two twenty-somethings told Morrison that instant messaging allowed them to communicate more thoughtfully and productively. When they're online, they can complete other tasks while waiting for a response or considering their answer. And when they're done, they have a written record."

Back when I worked at ALS-TDF, me and my three co-workers all shared an office and more often than not would IM each other rather than talk. The first few times it seemed odd, but it became the standard for non-urgent communication between the four of us. As with the NetGenners, I think IMing between my co-workers thrived because it enabled us to multitask and think through our responses before committing them to a public forum.

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Hi, I'm Kareem Mayan. I co-founded eduFire, an online video tutoring company.

I've done time at ESPN and FIM.

I advise WorldBlu, helping them build democratic companies.

I moderated a council for Creative Good.

And, I helped bring Barcamp, a technology un-conference, to LA, which is where I live. I am now living and working in cool cities around the world.

More about me.

Opinions stated here are mine alone.

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