[SIGCIS-Members] EMAIL and group communications

Murray Turoff murray.turoff at gmail.com
Mon Mar 24 20:26:53 PDT 2014

Email has a fascinating real history.   EMISARI at OEP in 1971 had
synchronous and asynchronous conferencing, it had a written chat sysetm and
it had email, it also had notebooks that allowed collaborative writers and
also readers who could not write.  A manual is on the NJIT library website
i gave in my past message.
Email existed at that time on the ARPA net and they refused to give me any
data on its use.  It was apparent they did not want any data to reach
congress that showed that email was the single biggest applications on the
ARPA net since congress might think that all the money would go for
replacing the 10 cent telephone.
Scientific Timesharing was the first company that claimed they used email
to run their company.   Some of us would use a GE timehsaring Basic system
to talk to each other between different countries.   You could leave a
message by creating a program named for who you were sending to and what
number the message was and using REMARK statements to contain the message.
We could deal with discussions of 3-7 fairly well.
Message systems spread because technical people added them and there was no
conscious upper management policy or guidelines.  At least two major
computer companies almost tore out their message system when a diverse
group of their best professionals wrote an anti management document
countering a policy decision about use of technology in their products that
the professional group disagreed with after the decision was made pubic.
There was up to six months of investigation in one company before they
decided not to pull out the existing message systems.  Then some months
later in both cases management reversed their original policy and adopted
what the professionals wanted in the plans for future products.
   The Delphi Method book, which Linstone and I  did in 1975 had a final
chapter on online group communication efforts and the potential for online
Delphis in 1975 (it is free on my website http://is.njit.edu/turoff )
In 2011 a special issue of TFSC on Delphi had an article on the evolution
of Delphi as part of a special issue on Delphi

Linstone, Harold & Turoff, Murray, Delphi: A brief look backward and
forward, Technological Forecasting and social Change, (2011), 2010.09.011
(prediction markets is a delphi system but the people doing it never
figured that out).   We observed that currently the WEB has brought about
"the age of participation" (social networks and things like amazon, ebay),
however, what is needed is to strive for is an "age of collaboration"
which is really what Delphi is about.   Currently a group of us have been
creating a Delphi system that allows a group of professionals to
collaboratively build dynamic scenario models for planning in Emergency
Management.  But it can be used in any planning situation.  Can send anyone
interested a recent paper to be published in May.


*please send messages to murray.turoff at gmail.com <murray.turoff at gmail.com>
do not use @njit.edu <http://njit.edu> addressDistinguished Professor
EmeritusInformation Systems, NJIThomepage: http://is.njit.edu/turoff
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