On 29/08/11 03:32, Martin Mueller wrote:
> My hunch is that human communication benefits from an "Antaeus principle":
> return to the earth or face to face from time to time and more rather than
> less often. Virtual many-to-many communication, whether video chat,
> teleconferencing, or whatever other technology there may, is a dicey
> enterprise even for people who speak the same language unless it is
> grounded in a habit of quite literally staying in touch.

My hunch is different.

My hunch is that what is needed is out-of-band communication, so that 
when one person 'has the floor' (whether physically, by audio 
conference, video conference or text chat) they have feedback from the 
other participants as to how their message is being received (and to all 
for graceful interjections).

Body language is a highly evolved and natural form of feedback, but 
other forms are possible. Use of twitter in conferences is a topical 

Additionally, I frequently find technical meetings more productive when 
some participants have access to a web browser (to follow references, 
check facts etc).

Stuart Yeates
Library Technology Services