Disadvantages include slowness of typing, difficulty of role-taking and others.
One avenue I'd like to persue is research into how to best leverage (haha, I had to put that word in somewhere) the text-based medium to improve the chat experience by making it more similar to audio where necessary and less similar where it is advantageous.
papers on this subject include
-Alternative Interfaces for Chat [html]
-Trees and threaded chat [doc]
Posted by Gregory Dyke on Thursday 15 September 2005 at 13:39