Best Brainstorming Tool: Instant Messaging

Instant messaging tools like messenger, google talk or similar are apparently better tools for brainstorming than for instance email or wikis.

According to a paper in the latest edition of the journal Computer Standards & Interfaces, the answer is yes. It seems that teams that collaborate using a instant messageing [sic] software like MSN messenger or GoogleTalk generate more ideas than those who reply on email instead.

Unfortunately I was not able to find a direct link to the referred article. Let me know if you find it, as I really like to have a complete reference here on the blog.

For some reason the paper doesn’t say how long the tests latest. But, on average, the IM teams produced one more idea than those using email. The researchers suggests this may be due to the speed of IM compared to email. Perhaps it also shows that, when it comes to generating ideas, it’s better not to spend to long thinking over your reply, as can happen with email.

More info New Scientist Technology blog “Is IM better for brainstorming?” (via Megite)

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3 Responses to “Best Brainstorming Tool: Instant Messaging”

  1. Thomas Baekdal Says:

    Sound about right, I have had a few IM brainstorming sessions – and all of them was more productive than other forms (including for me – face-to-face brainstorming meetings).

    I think the key is the speed of interaction, and feedback – with the ability to be alone to think.

    One thing missing for me is a good visualization. Sure you can send images via IM, but you cannot sketch something out as you present the idea.

  2. Claus Says:

    Totally buying it – it’s not even coworker dependent. Chances are coworkers you don’t click with on IM won’t click with you over email. In that case – whiteboards and handwaving is the only option.

  3. Dan Says:

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