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This paper discusses the relationships between computer-mediated communications and other forms of communication and describes a particular computer conferencing system in use within IBM. The system described is quite large, with over three thousand contributors and over twenty thousand readers. We discuss the structure of the system, the actions that users can take, and the ways in which the system is being used. Neither the definitions presented nor the system described are intended to be the last, or only, word on the subject; as computer-mediated communications and distribution become more and more important in the business and professional communities, we will need more ways of thinking about communication systems and about information distribution in general.
Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.