Social Spaces Group


Published Materials
Short Paper at INTERACT2005, Italy (pdf)
Talk given at INTERACT2005, Italy (OpenOffice file)
Poster presented at IDCSA2005, Illinois (png)

TextTone IM client


Ankur Kalra
Karrie Karahalios

An increasingly large part of online communication is inherently social in nature. This social interaction is limited by the modalities of online communication, which do not convey tone or emotion well. Although some solutions have evolved or have been proposed, they are inherently ambiguous. We present a system, TextTone, for the explicit expression of emotion in online textual communication. TextTone incorporates reader-specific preferences for the visualization of tone and emotion. We describe social interaction and visualization scenarios that TextTone can be meaningfully used for and discuss an initial implementation. Finally, we present the results of a preliminary evaluation of this implementation of TextTone.

When talking about attitudes and feelings, Albert Mehrabian identified the significant components of perception to be:

Albert Mehrabian's components of perception

In social CMC, both tone and body language get filtered out, and no good analogues are provided to the users. This project aims to help better convey tone in online CMC situations, to foster a better sense of communication between the users in a computer mediated communication.

Instead of trying to enforce a standard on everybody, our approach lets everyone pick their own preferred representation, and does the translation between representations transparently in the back-end, so that every user sees the representation that makes the most sense to them.

Different people see the same text different ways
For details on the implementation and the evaluation, please refer to the paper. pdf