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A chatroom ethnography: Evolution of community, norms, nonverbal communication
Unformatted Document Text:  A Chatroom Ethnography 16 discussion for the majority of the participants. The follow up information seeking behaviors included requests for different types of information (e.g., jobs, education, schools attended, and location most commonly) and requests for photographs of particular people. It seemed very clear that virtually no participant knew the others and that each had their own agenda for seeking particular types of interactions. It was also evident in the flow of the conversation that people were highly concerned with the relative looks of others. Accordingly, there were many more markers on race and ethnicity made in this room than in any of the others. Location identifications (e.g., 25/f/North City) were also relatively important here. The second observation in this category demonstrated similar patterns of interaction. Here, there were a few conversations, yet was heavily influenced by the introduction dance. When there were lags in the interactions, series of introductions took over. After one person in the room had requested an “age/sex/location” check, the following conversation took place, which typifies these types of information seeking conversations after people introduce themselves. Interwoven are fragments of other conversations (to give the feel of the chat room), but Lokn4daSun and RrayRay69 are the two of interest here: Lokn4daSUN: 25/f Vamp vavoom: 27/sex please RRayRay69: WHATS UP LOKN CYGOR98: 21/m/pic here Lokn4daSUN: nada...just hangin’ out, u? Babilove83: being an ass RRayRay69: CHILLEEN Lokn4daSUN: groovy RRayRay69: SO WHERE U FROM Lokn4daSUN: n city, u? Babilove83: hell RRayRay69: ANY PIC Essentially, number of people carried on small simultaneous conversations, many people seeking personal information about others, and inquiries as to whether people would be interested in ‘getting together.’ These individual conversations were typically demarked by the

Authors: Diers, Audra.
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A Chatroom Ethnography
16
discussion for the majority of the participants. The follow up information seeking behaviors
included requests for different types of information (e.g., jobs, education, schools attended, and
location most commonly) and requests for photographs of particular people. It seemed very clear
that virtually no participant knew the others and that each had their own agenda for seeking
particular types of interactions. It was also evident in the flow of the conversation that people
were highly concerned with the relative looks of others. Accordingly, there were many more
markers on race and ethnicity made in this room than in any of the others. Location
identifications (e.g., 25/f/North City) were also relatively important here.
The second observation in this category demonstrated similar patterns of interaction.
Here, there were a few conversations, yet was heavily influenced by the introduction dance.
When there were lags in the interactions, series of introductions took over. After one person in
the room had requested an “age/sex/location” check, the following conversation took place,
which typifies these types of information seeking conversations after people introduce
themselves. Interwoven are fragments of other conversations (to give the feel of the chat room),
but Lokn4daSun and RrayRay69 are the two of interest here:
Lokn4daSUN: 25/f
Vamp vavoom: 27/sex please
RRayRay69:
WHATS UP LOKN
CYGOR98:
21/m/pic here
Lokn4daSUN: nada...just hangin’ out, u?
Babilove83:
being an ass
RRayRay69:
CHILLEEN
Lokn4daSUN: groovy
RRayRay69:
SO WHERE U FROM
Lokn4daSUN: n city, u?
Babilove83:
hell
RRayRay69:
ANY PIC
Essentially, number of people carried on small simultaneous conversations, many people
seeking personal information about others, and inquiries as to whether people would be
interested in ‘getting together.’ These individual conversations were typically demarked by the


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