'Is the Time Right Now?' Journal Article uri icon



  • Temporal coordination endures as a central topic in computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) because information systems still struggle to adequately support varying representations of time in the context of collaborations that areboth temporally and geographically dispersed. Moreover, the adaptive practices of these broadly dispersed groups are still not well understood. We ask:How do globally distributed teams temporally coordinate to accomplish their work? We examine an extreme case of online temporal coordination: high-tempo information curation about the urgent humanitarian crisis following the 2017 Hurricane Maria landfall in Puerto Rico. Our analysis of synchronous chat transcripts and data artifacts produced by The Standby Task Force reveals how this digital humanitarian group establishes temporal coordination through different shared understandings of time relative to the crisis, the globally distributed work, and the collaborative information technologies. We make four contributions from our analysis: First, we developed a pluritemporal analytical framework that describes different forms of socially constructed time and disambiguates their meaning in talk. Next, we present empirical evidence of how this distributed team establishes shared temporal orders to collectively orient their work in time. Then, we describe how they reconcile multiple and conflicting instances of sociotemporal "disorder'' to enable productive work. Last, we reflect on the design implications for collaborative information systems informed by this work.

publication date

  • November 7, 2019

has restriction

  • bronze

Date in CU Experts

  • January 16, 2020 10:20 AM

Full Author List

  • Norris W; Voida A; Palen L; Voida S

author count

  • 4

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2573-0142

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 29


  • 3


  • CSCW