|Author(s)||Wyke Stommel, Trena M. Paulus, David P. Atkins|
|Title||‘‘Here's the link’’: Hyperlinking in service-focused chat interaction|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Hyperlinking, Service encounters, Chat, Conversation Analysis, Institutional interaction, Multitasking|
|Journal||Journal of Pramatics|
Today, most service organizations offer their clients a range of communication modes, including text-based chat which affords including hyperlinks to relevant sources of information. No studies have yet explored how hyperlinks are used in these interactions. Conversation analysis provides a set of concepts that can be used to explore the actions for which hyperlinks are being employed. We analyzed the use of hyperlinks by professionals in two types of chat services -- 25 chat sessions from the Dutch national alcohol and drugs information service and 175 chats from an American university library chat service. We noted three types of hyperlinks: (1) hyperlinks as direct responses to the client's inquiry; (2) hyperlinks as proposed responses with a subset of cases in which parties are navigating to the linked website; (3) hyperlinks offered as supplemental resources. Providing links can influence the service encounter by ending the chat when it represents an acceptable response, by keeping the chat channel open when the client is not actively participating, or by launching a negotiation or collaborative navigation outside of the chat. Hyperlinking facilitates online service provision but may also jeopardize it when the link is treated as a proximate invitation.