The proliferation of personal information devices such as home computers, mobile phones and digital organizers coupled with the rise of new mediums such as e‐mail and the World wide web have forever altered the way in which information consumers work and play. These fragmented information channels often result in inefficient working patterns as users switch from device to device and between media. The convergence of the analog and digital infrastructure has facilitated the introduction of new technologies and information products. Loosely termed “unified communications” or “unified messaging”, these new information technologies begin to address the technical challenges of convergence. However, in a nascent state, the introduction of new technology can create new challenges as information consumers must change the way they work and potentially break bad information‐seeking habits. This article details the conceptual and technical issues around integrated communications. For the forward thinking researcher or practitioner these challenges can create significant opportunity.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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