Note: The following article was written as a project for SLS 760, instructed by Professor Gabriele Kasper of the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Please pardon any errors or omissions. Refer to the References section for additional information on the topic.
“*** lurker has been removed by moderator ***”:
Negotiating Entry into Internet Video Chat
SLS 760: Misunderstanding Talk
Spring 2004 – Professor Kasper
Course Final Paper
With the rapid development of computer technology and the Internet over the past decade, language researchers have begun to study the area of computer-mediated communication (CMC). The earliest studies in this area looked at the language of e-mail, focusing on the structural and textual features of e-mail messages in first language (L1) settings (see Crystal, 2001, for a review) and in second language (L2) settings (Warschauer, 1995; Hartford & Bardovi-Harlig, 1996; Inglis, 1998; Gaines, 1999). Additional early studies examined the discourse of discussion boards, also referred to as asynchronous chat (Crystal, 2001), focusing on the structural and textual features of message postings (see Crystal, 2001, for a review), the socialization of new members into discussion communities (Surratt, 1996; Wellman & Gullia, 1999), and comparisons between discussion board communication and other mediums of communication (Etzione & Etzione, 1999; Herring, 1999; Burnett, 2000; Burnett & Buerkle, 2004; Crystal, 2001; Rosen, Woelfel, Krikorian, & Barnett, 2003). More recently, language researchers have directed attention to synchronous CMC, in particular Internet relay chat (IRC) and Web-chat, examining features such as chat management (Crystal, 2001), information exchange within chat groups (Burnett, 2000), gender differences (Soukup, 1999; Bowker & Liu, 2001), language variation (Paolillo, 1999, 2001), native and non-native speaker interaction (Freiermuth, 2001), repair (Schönfeldt & Golata, 2003), and chat openings (Rintel, Mulholland, & Pittam, 2001).
Although there is a growing body of research of various linguistic features of synchronous CMC, there is currently very little, if any, research into the most newly developed type of synchronous CMC: that of Internet video chat (IVC). This study hopes to contribute to this fledgling area of CMC research by examining openings in IVC. Specifically, this study examines how new members negotiate entry with current chat room participants into ongoing chat sessions. In doing so, this study examines factors that contribute to successful and unsuccessful entry into IVC.
The theoretical framework of this study is centered in Linell’s theory of understanding and misunderstanding in discourse. Additionally, the study draws on Coupland et al.’s ‘integrative model of levels of analysis of “miscommunication”’ (1991, pp. 11ff., as cited in House, Kasper, & Ross, 2003, pp. 8-9). In the sections that follow, these notions are briefly discussed in turn.
According to Linell (1995), “Understanding and misunderstanding (in discourse) concern degrees of intersubjectivity and are therefore pertinent to mutualities in dialogue” (p. 177). Linell further explains that intersubjectivity refers to shared and mutual understanding (p. 183), and that “’[m]utuality’ is most often used about relevant assumptions, background knowledge and premises for communication which are taken to be mutually known” (p. 179). In addition, Linell states that “[a]ll understanding is situated and activity-specific, which means that it is subject to premises, purposes, and rationalities tied to social activities and situations” (p. 181, emphasis in original). Following from these explanations, understanding or misunderstanding can be seen as a function of interactive participants’ collaborative understanding of a particular contribution in a given speech activity and their mutual reasonings for engaging in that speech activity at that particular time. With this sociological view of communication, it is possible to identify and explain instances in interaction where understanding and misunderstanding might occur.
As provided by House, Kasper, and Ross (2003, pp. 8-9), Coupland et al. proposed their integrative model for analyzing miscommunication, which consists of six levels of analysis. Each level represents a classification of miscommunication, increasing in complexity and contextualization from 1 to 6: at Level 1, miscommunication is seen as an inherent aspect of communication and, as such, unproblematic; at Level 6, miscommunication is idealogically considered problematic in that it disadvantages the targeted social groups. At Level 5, which seems most appropriate for the current study, miscommunication is seen as
resid[ing] in group and cultural phenomena, and may be accountable in terms of code-based or other cultural differences in behaviors, beliefs, or construals. Culture is seen as having communicative consequences for participants… Social group membership may be defined as ingroup/outgroup membership, giving rise to observable communication difficulties based on lack of understanding of differences, suspicion or fear of the outgroup, or threatened social identity.” (Coupland et al., p. 15, as cited in House, Kasper, & Ross, 2003, p. 9)
In this view, miscommunication is socially situated and results in social consequences, ranging from positive to negative. As such, this level of analysis of miscommunication seems to fit well with Linell’s theory of understanding and misunderstanding in discourse (1995), which together may help answer the research questions of this study.
By applying Linell’s notions of understanding and misunderstanding in discourse and Coupland et al.’s integrative model to an examination of openings in IVC, the following research questions are investigated:
At this point in time, very few, if any, studies have been conducted that look into linguistic features of IVC. In my extensive literature search, I have not been able to locate even one study of IVC per se, although several studies do make mention of IVC as a future research area. For example, Crystal (2001), in the most comprehensive work to date on the language of the Internet, briefly discusses the research possibilities of IVC in his concluding chapter “The linguistic future of the Internet.” Needless to say, there is a huge gap in the literature at this time.
The closest studies relevant to the current study include the huge body of literature on face-to-face conversation openings (for review and references, see Taleghani-Nikazm, 2002), and telephone conversation openings (for reviews, see Hopper & Chen, 1996; Hopper, 1998; Taleghani-Nikazm, 2002). The majority of these studies focus primarily on the text-linguistic resources employed by interlocutors as they negotiate successful conversation openings, although ramifications of linguistic choices and problem points are also discussed by some researchers.
Of the most relevance to the current study is one paper by Rintel, Mulholland, and Pittam (2001) on IRC openings. Examining openings immediately following a new member’s “Channel Entry Phase” (their term for chat room entry), the researchers found that successful entry into IRC is highly dependent on strategic turn coordination by new and existing members, which, in contrast, has high potential for breaking down chat room communication if entry goes awry. While these researchers were interested in the text-linguistic resources that members employed in IRC openings, they also seem to have been equally interested in the technological features of the IRC program that regulate openings, and the ways in which members utilized these features in conjunction with their text-linguistic resources to negotiate entries.
Of additional relevance to the current study is a paper by Surratt (1996) that looked into the socialization of participants into online communities, including IRC communities. Taking a participant-observation approach, Surratt found that participants in these communities worked collaboratively to create social systems for appropriate interaction among members, social control of members, socialization of new members, and social stratification of members. This study highlights the social nature of IRC, which allows for a social-analytic perspective of IRC data.
The IVC session that generated this data took place by means of a popular software program, freely available for download via the Internet. Like most IVC platforms, the domain is organized thematically at the top level, and within each theme, it is organized by chat rooms that follow that theme. Within each chat room, a maximum of 9 participants can join at any one time. On each participant’s computer screen, there are windows for the main program menu, the chat dialog, the menu showing a video image of each chat room participant, and the participant’s own video image. The IVC platform allows for real-time video and audio streaming, and text messaging. IVC is real time in so far as each individual participant’s Internet connection speed allows. Interestingly, even though audio streaming is a feature of this IVC platform, it has been observed repeatedly that participants in chat rooms prefer to use text messaging, and audio chat is very rarely heard.
The particular chat room from which the data comes is located within the “adults only” section of the IVC platform. The data for this study is from one IVC session of approximately one hour and 15 minutes in length, gathered during the spring of 2004, and consisting of a total of 20 participants who contributed approximately 1000 turns in all.
The IVC program used for gathering this data is similar to other IRC programs in that it records all interaction in the chat room onto a chat log visible to all participants. However, the chat log is not saved permanently. Therefore, before I logged out of the chat room, I copied the entire interaction and pasted it into a word processing document for permanent storage and later analysis.
Due to the logistical difficulties of obtaining consent from each chat room participant, it was decided instead to obtain permission from the chat room “owner”, that is, the person who established and maintains the chat room. Permission was granted on the condition that the chat room and its participants remain anonymous; therefore, there will be no further discussion of the IVC platform, the chat room per se, or identities or descriptions of the participants.
Following previous researchers who have investigated openings in IRC (Rintel, Mulholland, & Pittam, 2001), “Conversation Analysis-informed Discourse Analysis” methods are used to examine the data. Since the focus of this study is to examine how participants negotiate entry into a computer-mediated domain, discourse analytic (DA) methods are useful for “producing descriptions of social action through investigating the interrelation of interaction and technology” (Rintel, Mulholland, & Pittam, 2001). In addition, as a regular participant of the chat room from which the data is drawn, I provide further analysis as a participant-observer where appropriate.
Given the automaticity of transcript generation by the chat program and the nature of the written dialog, standard DA transcription conventions are not followed; this study’s transcription conventions are provided in Appendix I. The transcript that follows is reproduced in its entirety, without modification, except to change names to pseudonyms in order to protect participant identities and to add line numbers to aid in the analysis.
My objective in this study is to better understand entry into IVC; therefore, the focus of my analysis will be those points in the data where this occurs. That understood, many interesting features of IVC not directly associated with entry (e.g.: turn-taking, topic-change, overlapping speech, gender roles, leave-taking, to name just a few) will not be addressed, at least not thoroughly, in this study. However, it will be necessary to address certain features of IVC indirectly associated with the act of entry as these acts naturally occur in the data, in order to provide a thorough analysis. In this section, then, I will provide analysis and discussion of nine extracts from the data in order to answer my research questions.
Through an analysis of the data collected for this study, two primary means for successful entry into IVC have been found:
1 a chat room participant acknowledges a new member who responds with a greeting
2 a new member announces entry into chat room and is acknowledged by a participant
Within these two primary means for successful entry, five variant examples were found in the data set:
Š chat room participants acknowledge a new member with repeated greetings
An extract for each example will be provided, analyzed, and discussed in turn.
In the first extract, two chat room participants acknowledge the entrance of a new member with repeated greetings. This provides an example of chat room participants acknowledging the new member as the new member announces entrance, and is one method of gaining successful entry into IVC.
Extract 1.1: Chat room participants acknowledge new
member with repeated greetings
In extract 1.1, the new chat room member gr8m has entered the room and is acknowledged by the existing chat room participant gina in line 1 with the intimacy-marked greeting token “hey” (Hopper & Chen, 1996), which shows that gina is familiar with gr8m. In line 2, gr8m announces his entrance to the entire chat room with the non-standard greeting token “aloha”. gr8m’s entrance greeting should be interpreted as addressed to the entire chat room, instead of as a response to gina’s greeting, for reasons discussed below. Afterwards, in line 7, mona greets gr8m using the exact wording as gina in line 1. Note that both gina and mona address the new participant with the shortened handle “gr8” instead of the complete handle “gr8m”. This type of ‘handle shortening’, as I will call it, is a common feature of chat room discourse that is employed to facilitate interaction or promote camaraderie (see also Crystal, 2001).
In line 10, gr8m replies directly to mona and gina, which indicates that his greeting in line 2 was not directed at gina. Therefore, the most likely conclusion is that gina and gr8m constructed and sent their greetings in lines 1 and 2 at the same time, resulting in the chat room equivalent of overlapping speech (see discussion in Crystal, 2001, pp. 30-34; Herring, 1999). ‘Overlapping chat’ of this nature can often lead to miscommunication, although in this case miscommunication is avoided through the use of the directed greeting reply plus handle “aloha gina” found in line 10.
gr8m’s greeting in line 10 also includes a greeting to the other participants of the chat room, which is not returned. This also is a feature common to chat room discourse (Crystal, 2001). It seems that this is considered acceptable practice because gr8m has already been acknowledged by room participants; it is not necessary that the other participants acknowledge his presence in the chat room. And in fact, if all of the participants acknowledged each new member into the chat room, this could cause frequent confusion and communication breakdowns (see Crystal, 2001). Somewhat related, in line 12, mona directs the question “how are you” at gr8m, who does not reply. There are probably two reasons for this. First of all, given the fact that the chat room software supports live video, gr8m returns the greeting visually by waving, making a written response unnecessary. Additionally, a continued exchange of pleasantries at this point would be in competition with the current topic of conversation in which mona is currently engaged.
gr8m’s turn in line 10 also includes a repetition of his non-standard greeting token “aloha” from line 2, frequently used by this participant in this chat room. This greeting is repeated again by gina in line 16. It is not clear why this is done, although perhaps it is due to the uniqueness of the greeting in this chat room.
Also noteworthy regarding this extract is the fact that gr8m is known to be a regular participant in this particular chat room, therefore, he is familiar to several of the chat room participants, especially gina and mona. This might have an influence on the greeting sequence seen in this example. That is to say, since gr8m is known to some of the chat room participants, he is acknowledged before announcing his entrance. Although this feature of IVC entry is not well-understood, it will be addressed in further sections of this paper in comparison to other types of entry.
Extract 1.2 is another example of successful entry into IVC. In this particular example, as with the previous, a chat room participant acknowledges the entrance of a new member first, before the new member announces entrance.
In this extract, the chat room participant mona acknowledges in line 140 the entrance of the new member mercury with the canonical greeting token “hello…” (Hopper & Chen, 1996), which in this case may be used to mark formality, distance, and unfamiliarity. Also note that mona does not employ handle shortening in her greeting, which further indicates that the two interlocutors do not know one another. In line 142, mercury responds with a question greeting directed at the entire chat room. Although mercury’s greeting could be interpreted as directed only at mona, as in “are you all well” in response to her greeting, this seems not to be the case due to the fact that mercury follows up the question greeting with a greeting in line 144 directed explicitly at mona, who replies with a second greeting. Again, as in Extract 1.1, the new member’s greeting to the other participants in the chat room is not taken up probably because he has already been acknowledged by at least one chat room participant. Additional acknowledgements are therefore unnecessary.
Also worthy of note is the fact that mona is one of the moderators of this particular chat room, and as such, she has the power to accept new members or reject them by either removing them from the room temporarily or banning them from the room for periods of several days to several months. Chat room moderators are responsible for, among other things, making sure that participants follow the chat room rules, which are usually posted outside chat room entrances, and generally facilitating interaction within the chat room (for further discussion, please see Paolillo, 1999, and Crystal, 2001). This is probably the reason why mona is usually one of the first chat room participants to greet new members. As chat room moderator, mona is a high position of power within this particular online community.
The next extract shows two of the chat room participants acknowledging a new member who responds with a greeting in French. Although this new member’s greeting is in a language other than the dominant language of the room at the time – in fact, French is rarely used in this particular chat room –, Extract 1.3 is an example of a successful entry into IVC.
In line 230, chat room participant mona acknowledges the entrance of new member fine_st_denise, with the canonical greeting token “hello…” followed by the shortened handle “fsd”. In this extract, it seems that mona employs handle shortening not to promote camaraderie, as was the case in Extract 1.1, but rather to facilitate interaction. This conclusion is based on mona’s use of the distance-marked greeting combined with handle shortening. Had mona known fine_st_denise, we would expect a more intimate greeting such as “hey” followed by the shortened handle.
In line 231, gina also greets fine_st_denise using handle shortening, presumably for the same reason as mona, although it is not clear why she chooses the more casual yet neutral greeting token “hi” instead of the formal, distance-marked greeting token “hello”. Perhaps her choice of greeting has to do with her position as a regular, and one of the relatively few, female participants in this chat room. She is known to be a friendly, assertive, and active participant, and although she is in no explicit position of authority, such as the chat room moderator that mona is, she has an almost de-facto position of power due to her gender in this majority-male, adult-content section of the Internet. It may be that this implicit power relation allows gina to be comfortable enough with her position to regularly employ casual greetings in the chat room.
fine_st_denise responds in line 233 to mona and gina with “bonjour a tous”, a French greeting meaning “hello to all”, which seems to be directed at the entire chat room. This greeting is repeated partially by mona in line 240, who responds with “bonjour” (hello), indicating acceptance of the new member with the non-standard language into the chat room. This exchange highlights findings by numerous researchers of the increasing multilingualism of the Internet and of the promotion and acceptance of languages other than English in computer-mediated communication (Crystal, 2001).
It should be noted that fine_st_denise is not a recognized, regular participant in this particular chat room. Also, after gaining entrance, he does not contribute further to the conversation and exits the chat room in less than one minute for reasons unknown.
Extract 1.4 provides an example of two new members gaining entrance into the chat room in close succession. In this extract, the new members announce their entrances and are acknowledged by the same chat room participant.
In line 835, Dv announces his entrance into the chat room with the formal greeting token “hello”. This greeting seems to be directed at the entire chat room since no chat room participant is specified. mona responds in line 841 with the same greeting, however, she also supplies the new member’s handle, thus acknowledging Dv’s entrance. In line 844, Dv greets mona directly with the addition of the question “…how are you?” In the following line, mona also asks Dv the question “got a face dv?” immediately followed by the reply “im good thanks” in response to Dv’s question from line 844.
Several things are happening here in this extract. First of all, it appears that Dv and mona have constructed and sent questions at the same time, resulting in overlapping speech. This phenomenon is indicated by the position of mona’s response turn in line 846 located immediately after her question in line 845. Had mona seen Dv’s question first, we would expect mona’s question and response in lines 845–846 to be reversed, resulting in the adjacency pairing of question-answer, question-answer, a phenomenon common in both face-to-face and computer-mediated communication, but more problematic in the latter (Herring, 1999; Crystal, 2001; Rintel, Mulholland, & Pittam, 2001).
Another interesting feature of this part of Extract 1.4 is mona’s question “got a face dv?” in line 845. This question is based on the visual nature of IVC and is in reference to the posted rules of this particular chat room that state that participants must have their video cameras on at all times and identify themselves by face. As Dv enters the chat room and begins greeting participants, he has his video camera pointed away from himself. Therefore, the indirect illocution of mona’s question to Dv is a command to follow the chat room rules and identify himself by pointing his video camera at his face. In response, in line 854, Dv apologizes and explains that he is eating; he assumes that the proper behavior is to hide his eating from the chat room participants. However, he is informed that participants do not mind seeing him eat, so he moves his video camera to point at his face, he is accepted into the chat room as a participant, and the conversation quickly moves to a new topic that centers around Dv eating his ice-cream.
As Dv is negotiating entrance into the chat room, another new member, george35, also attempts to gain entrance by supplying a greeting in line 848 to the entire chat room. mona acknowledges george35 in line 852 with the greeting “hello” combined with the shortened handle “george”. Since george35 is not a recognized, regular participant of this chat room, it is assumed that mona employs this greeting form for the same reasons as found in Extract 1.3; that is, she supplies a formal greeting to mark distance and unfamiliarity and uses handle shortening to facilitate interaction. Once george35 is accepted into the chat room by mona, he makes no contributions to the conversation and exits within one minute for reasons unknown.
In Extract 1.5, two new members successfully gain entry into the chat room in close succession by different means: the first new member gains entrance through self-announcement, and the second new member gains entrance after being acknowledged by a chat room participant. Since these two examples naturally occur together in this extract, it provides an opportunity to compare and contrast the two primary means for successful entry into IVC.
In line 447, the new member Astronaut announces his entrance to the entire chat room with the intimate greeting “hey people”, although he is not a recognized, regular participant in this chat room. mona is the first participant to acknowledge the new member, supplying the formal, distance-marked greeting token “hello” plus Astronaut’s complete handle in line 450. As was the case in Extract 1.2, mona's greeting indicates that she is not familiar with the new member; also, it is not clear here either why mona does not employ handle shortening in her greeting, although it is possible that by assuming a formal tone, she is positioning herself as an authoritative figure in response to Astronaut’s informal entrance announcement. gr8m also greets the new member in line 451 with his non-standard greeting token “aloha”, but his greeting is not taken up, possibly because he does not supply Astronaut’s handle in the greeting. Instead, Astronaut responds only to mona in line 453 with the highly informal greeting “hiya mona”, probably to express his desire to enter the chat room and engage in conversation with her. The two immediately exchange “initial inquiries” (Hopper, 1998), and, consequently, the new member successfully gains entry into the chat room.
As mona and Astronaut exchange initial inquiries, another new, unrecognized member enters the chat room and is acknowledged by gina in line 458 with the neutral greeting “hi ravis”, which also employs handle shortening. Based on two extracts (1.3 and 1.5) from this data set, it seems that gina’s preferred initial greeting token is “hi”, presumably for the reasons indicated previously. In line 461, it appears that Ravis64 responds to gina with the formal greeting token “hello”; however, this is probably not the case for the reasons discussed below. mona also acknowledges Ravis64 in line 463 with the formal greeting “hello ravis”. In contrast to the previous new member entrance, note that with this new member, mona supplies the same shortened handle as gina. Several lines later, Ravis64 responds first to mona in line 468 with the informal greeting “hey there mona”, and next, several lines later still, to gina in line 472 with the addition to his greeting “and gina”. This indicates that Ravis64’s initial greeting was not directed at gina but was directed at the entire chat room. It is probable that Ravis64 formulated and sent his announcement greeting before receiving gina’s acknowledgement greeting. Although it seems that Ravis64 has successfully gained entrance into the chat room, he does not engage in the conversation and leaves within a few minutes.
Having identified several examples of successful entry into IVC, I will now turn to identifying examples of unsuccessful entry into IVC. Analysis of the data shows that there are two primary factors that contribute to unsuccessful entry:
1 a chat room participant removes a new member from the chat room
2 a new member removes self from chat room
Within these two primary reasons for unsuccessful entry into IVC, three variant examples were found in the data set:
Š a chat room participant removes a “lurking” new member
Š a chat room participant removes a new member who violates the chat room rules
Š a chat room participant greets a new member who exits without responding
An extract for each example will next be provided, analyzed, and discussed in turn.
In Extract 2.1, a new member enters the chat room without an announcement (silently) and with his video camera pointed away from his face. As explained previously in discussions of successful entries into IVC, it is not necessarily problematic if a new member does not announce entrance into a chat room; often times a chat room participant will acknowledge the entrance of a new member, thereby facilitating a successful entry. However, also as explained previously in the discussion of Extract 1.4, one of the rules of this particular chat room requires that each participant transmits live facial video images so that all participants can view everyone in the chat room. The combination of these two behaviors – non-announcement (initial silence) of entry plus the lack of a facial video image – is known in IVC jargon as “lurking”, behavior which is considered inappropriate in this visual domain, and which leads to the Level 5 type of miscommunication from Coupland et al.’s model. This conceptualization of lurking contrasts with that found in IRC contexts, where lurking is defined simply as “read[ing] messages in a … chat room without ever posting or replying” (Jansen, 2004), and does not convey negative connotations. While lurking is actually encouraged in IRC contexts as a means for new members to become familiar with the “feel” of a chat room, which includes getting to know participants and their online personalities and the chat room topic of conversation before contributing (Crystal, 2001), it is definitely discouraged in IVC contexts. As a consequence, the behavior of the new member leads to a switch in the topic of conversation; chat room participants begin talking about the new member’s handle and video image instead of the previous topic, flatulence.
Extract 2.1: Chat room participant removes lurking new member
In the first portion of Extract 2.1, participants adict, mona, and Phil are talking about the handle of the new member who has just entered the chat room. Interestingly, their conversation does not seem to be directed at the new member; rather, it is directed at the active chat room participants. As was the case with previously discussed extracts, the chat room participants could acknowledge the new member, but this does not happen in this extract, probably due the deviant behavior of the new member mentioned earlier. Not until at least 16 lines (more than one minute) after the new member enters the chat room, mona asks in line 42 “are you there spermie?”, to which the new member finally provides the prompted, formal greeting “yes, hello” in line 45. mona’s question to spermie probably should not be considered an acknowledgement; instead, mona’s question seems to be an indirect request to greet the chat room and identify himself. However, afterwards, spermie’s greeting is not returned by mona or the other chat room participants, spermie does not move his video camera to identify himself, and he does not contribute to the chat room conversation. Finally, in line 82, more than two-and-a-half minutes later, mona exercises her moderator privileges and removes spermie from the chat room. This is indicated by the IVC program-generated message that reads “*** spermie has been removed by mona ***”, with the standard structure [member handle] + [action taken] + [ moderator handle]. After several more lines, in line 85, she explains “i hate lurkers!!” As a result, the new member does not successfully gain entrance to the chat room.
Also noteworthy regarding this extract is the fact that line 82 is the only explicit indication up to this point in the transcript that mona is a chat room moderator. Moderators are not identified in any way by this particular IVC program, and it has been observed that moderator status is usually not discussed in any way by chat room participants, except in those cases where the moderator is also the owner of the chat room. This aspect of IVC seems to help control the behavior of new chat room members and facilitate interpersonal interaction; new members should be careful about what they say and to whom they say it until they get a feel for the chat room and its participants, lest they risk offending someone and being removed from the chat room.
The next two extracts provide additional examples of a chat room participant removing a new member from the chat room; however, in these cases, the new members are removed because they violate posted chat room rules.
Extracts 2.2 & 2.3: Chat room participant removes new members who violate room rules
Extracts 2.2 and 2.3 are almost identical in structure. In both cases, an unrecognized new member has entered the chat room without an announcement and with his video camera pointed away from his face. In fact, both new members appear to be totally nude and have their video cameras pointed at their laps. This behavior is in violation of posted chat room rules that state that men should not enter the chat room with only their genitals showing and that “wanking” – “to masturbate” in IVC jargon – is not permitted unless permission is given by a chat room participant first. In Extract 2.2, several lines after the new member enters the chat room, mona removes the new member, as shown in line 650 with the IVC program-generated message “*** western has been removed by mona ***”. This is also the case in Extract 2.3, as shown in line 737. In both instances, the new members do not announce their entrances or greet the chat room, although the members have several moments to do so. Also in both instances, the new members are not acknowledged by chat room participants. Furthermore, in contrast to the case in Extract 1.4, the new members are not asked to show their faces. Lastly, after the members are removed from the chat room, participants make no mention of the members’ presence in or removal from the chat room. These extracts represent the most extreme, rapid, and direct examples of unsuccessful entry into IVC, and can be understood in terms of Coupland et al.’s Level 5 of miscommunication.
The final extract of this study is an example of a new member who removes himself from the chat room without responding immediately after a participant acknowledges his entrance.
In line 103, mona acknowledges the new member with the formal greeting “hello scooby,…” followed by the same question discussed previously in Extract 1.4 “…got a face?”, which indicates that the new member does not have his video camera pointed appropriately. scooby does not respond to mona’s greeting or question, but instead, within just a few lines, he removes himself from the chat room for reasons unknown. It is possible that scooby does not wish to identify himself to the chat room participants, so he takes mona’s greeting and question as an opportunity to exit without further contact. Or, it could be that scooby does not find the chat room, its participants, and its conversation topic interesting enough to attempt to gain successful entrance. Although in this example removal from the chat room is committed by the new member and not by a chat room participant, in contrast to the previously discussed unsuccessful entries, this should still be considered an unsuccessful attempt at entry into IVC because the result of mona’s acknowledgement and question and scooby’s subsequent action is that scooby neither engages in greeting exchange with mona nor adjusts his video camera, which would likely have lead to his successful entry into the chat room. By removing himself, scooby does not allow for the possibility of being accepted by mona and the other chat room participants, and therefore, his entry attempt should be viewed as unsuccessful.
In this paper, I identified a number of factors that contribute to successful and unsuccessful entries into IVC. Regarding successful entries, new members engaged in greeting exchanges with chat room participants soon after entry. In the most successful examples, the new members initiated the greetings by announcing their entrances, which in all cases were followed up by acknowledgements and greetings by chat room participants. In other successful cases, chat room participants acknowledged and greeted the new members first soon after entry, and, immediately afterwards, the new members returned the greetings. All of these cases show the shared and mutual understandings that exist between these particular participants of appropriate interactional routines that allowed for successful entry into IVC.
Regarding unsuccessful entries, new members neglected to follow posted rules concerning appropriate interactional behavior in this particular chat room (e.g.: no lurking, and video camera positioning) and were promptly removed by the chat room moderator. These examples can be best understood as Level 5 types of miscommunication in Coupland et al.’s integrative model: “Miscommunication resides in group and cultural phenomena, and may be accountable in terms of code-based or other cultural differences in behaviors, beliefs, or construals” (1991, pp. 11ff., as cited in House, Kasper, & Ross, 2003, pp. 8-9). In another instance, a new member self-selected his non-entry into IVC for reasons unknown.
This study examined just one interactional feature in one isolated IVC session. Although very limited in scope, this study contributes to the body of CMC literature by taking a first look at openings in IVC. Future researchers should consider examining additional interactional features of IVC – for example, closings, repairs, gender differences, socialization – for a better understanding of interaction in this novel communication medium.
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Appendix I: Transcription conventions
1 gina: hey gr8
2 gr8m: aloha!
3 gina: hubby did it at Lowes tonight, I almost died
4 adict: Thanks for sharing Mona
5 mona: lol gina
6 adict: Does he pull the covers over your head,..as an act of LOVE !!
7 mona: hey gr8
8 Phil: eeewwww
9 mona: lol he does
10 gr8m: aloha mona gina and all
11 adict: He's a KEEPER then !!
12 mona: how are you?
13 Phil: man o man
14 gina: noooo but my sis hubby does that
15 mona: that is so bad!
16 gina: aloha gr8
17 Atomic: What you doing in bed with your sis's hubby?
18 adict: Well,..trake a BIC lighter to bed,..i am !!
19 mona: good question atomic
20 gina: dang not me, the little cheater
21 Phil: hahah have fun ad
22 Phil: just don't burn your face off
23 mona: lol
24 gina: or your pubic hair, if you have any
25 Phil: although I know you'll burn your ass hairs
26 adict: Speaking of Sperm !
27 mona: ewwwww gina
28 adict: Awesome Screen name
29 Phil: LOL
30 gina: haha Phil
31 mona: lol
32 mona: so original
33 Phil: I don't shoot them spermies no more
34 Phil: they just stay put
35 mona: awwwwwwww
36 adict: hey,..we did that at Camp,..it was a form of Male bonding
37 Phil: LOL
38 mona: lol ad
39 gina: we get to see any tonight in the next say, 1 min?
40 adict: well,..kinda
41 Phil: hahaha
42 mona: are you there spermie?
43 adict: Well,..let me workon up fer ya Gina !
44 gina: his hand is moving
45 spermie: yes, hello
46 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: back
47 Phil: knuckles
48 mona: he is frozen here
49 mona: wb SYB!!!
50 Phil: hey syb
51 gina: go for it Ad
52 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: thx hun
53 mona: missed ya!!!
54 Phil: here i'll leave you wiht this while I go
55 spam: tell me
56 gr8m: why 1 minute gina?
57 adict: Must be hung like a MULE !!
58 gina: don't like waiting
59 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
60 mona: maybe gina knows him already?
61 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: what;s that?
62 Phil: it's pointing to East Saanich
63 gina: nope
64 gr8m: just cut right to the goods?
65 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
66 mona: lol phil
67 Phil: I did this bottle for a billboard
68 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: cool
69 gina: you bet, only lasts a couple of secs anyway
70 Phil: it's 10,600 pixels tall
71 adict: Gina,.. you know Sperm,..(aka,..Pnis Knuckles0
72 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: wow
73 Phil: it'll be about 3 feet tall i guess
74 gina: no Ad
75 gina: just Heidi....lol
76 Phil: and part of a billboard on the road out to sidney
77 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: cool phil
78 gr8m: cool phil
79 Phil: thanks
80 mona: very nice!
81 Phil: haven't seen it yet tho
82 *** spermie has been removed by mona ***
83 adict: cool Phil !!
84 gina: take a pic of it
85 mona: i hate lurkers!!
86 gr8m: whats the liquor?
87 Phil: it was hard not to make it look like a limp dick
88 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: i just don't go there anymore..until we go to Vancouver
89 adict: That was one SILENT Sperm !!
90 Phil: it has to be pointing dynamically
91 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
92 gina: I used to do signs for the Symphony and stuff, wish I had made pics of them
93 Phil: it's for the Victoria Estate Winery
94 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: where are they at?
95 gina: well it is pointing alright....seen a few cocks like that too lately
96 adict: kinda reminds me of ME in the morning Phil,....ahem !!
97 Phil: hmmm north saanich somewhere i guess
98 mona: lol ad
99 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: oh
100 Phil: LOL
101 gina: haha ad
102 Phil: anyway
103 mona: hello scooby, got a face?
104 adict: I have bigger Girth though
105 Phil: just wanted to show you that
106 Phil: LOL
107 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: thx
108 Phil: i did two versions, one with the liquid defying gravity
109 Phil: and one with the liquid monal
110 gina: wb Atom
111 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: u know..it's only a matter of time that we run into each other phil..lol
112 mona: wb
113 Phil: yeah
114 mona: you might as well set at time and meet
115 Atomic: Thanks, had to get the dog to climb out of the bath!
116 Phil: might as well get it over with and have coffee somewhere
117 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lmao
118 adict: STAY away from him SYB !!!!! he's MY beeyatch !!!
119 gina: haha
120 Phil: i was just thinking that mona
121 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
122 mona: lol
123 gina: ewww wet dog smell
124 Phil: LOL
125 Atomic: Nope, it was empty
126 adict: Merlot at 20 paces !!
127 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: we can talk about mona
128 Atomic: I think he was hinting he wanted a bath
129 Phil: yeah!
130 mona: lol
131 Phil: but dont forget to bring your wifey
132 mona: lol ah
133 gr8m: grat idea
134 Atomic: He climbed in himself!
135 gr8m: great
136 gr8m: lets take a bath
137 gina: wow
138 gina: I prefer seeing showers
139 mona: why not phil
140 mona: hello mercury
141 Atomic: So I've heard
142 mercury: all well?
143 gina: lol
144 mercury: mona...hi
145 mona: hi
146 Phil: n. e. whey....
147 Phil: brb
148 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: u want to meet my wife phil?
149 gina: ok
150 mona: you both should bring your wives, lol
151 gr8m: does she know it syb?
152 adict: wow,...your very Obliging tonight Syb ! !
153 mercury: a frank zappa fan?
154 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: we'll probably be togehter if we run into each other
155 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol ad
156 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: yes merc
157 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: well...was anyway
158 mercury: guess i'm just perceptive...lol
159 adict: I think Phil is pausing to Light a FART !!
162 mona: lol
163 mercury: album title... facial hair...
164 gr8m: gina's lost a key?
165 mercury: oops
166 Atomic: Gina's doing her famous keyboard balancing act
167 mona: wow i hope it was not a juicy one, he had no undies on
168 adict: Spilled coffee !?!?
169 Phil: back
170 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
171 mona: wb phil
172 gina: oops....no
173 gina: sorry
174 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: wb phil
175 adict: lol Mona !!
176 adict: Your BAD !!
177 gr8m: no undies? who?
178 gina: wb phil
179 Phil: hahah you guys
180 mona: everthing ok phil?
181 Atomic: Monas has no undies on????
182 Phil: I just read your chat
183 adict: Stinky,.... FEEEELTHY !!!
184 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: what!!??
185 mona: no, not me, phil
186 Phil: you guys talking about my farts
187 adict: yeap !
188 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: ewwww
189 mona: and your lack of undies
190 Phil: oh noooo not you mona neverrrr
191 mona: and the probable mess on your chair
192 gina: ewww
193 Phil: oh god
194 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: jajajaja
195 Phil: puleeeeez
196 adict: ya,..those SKID MARKS !!!!
197 Atomic: Yuck, what is this, gross out night?
198 gina: you sit on a towel?
199 gr8m: thats why i wear brown undies
200 Phil: yeah i do
201 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: ur wife sleeping phil?
202 Phil: but if you really must know
203 Phil: I went for a pee
204 gina: yeah it gets like that sometimes AH
205 adict: Now go WASH your FELTHY butt hole !!
206 mona: hey phil do you have a crusty butt or did you clean before sitting?
207 Atomic: Damn, Gina, I was sure you'd said "You sit on a trowel?" lol!
208 Phil: I am shower fresh!
209 gr8m: lol!
210 Phil: you should smell me
211 mona: lol
212 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: no thanks
213 adict: I'll pass
214 mona: no thanks!
215 Phil: I smell like a morning meadow
216 Phil: LOL
217 mercury: kids getting curious this side.... brb
218 gina: wow, now that would have been interesting....lol
219 adict: Swamp Meadow,....
220 gr8m: after a ack of wild dogs ran through it?
221 mona: lol
222 Atomic: Unfortunately, it a meadow where the cows have been farting all night :-))
223 Phil: okay okay enough laready
224 mona: lol ah
225 gina: lol
226 adict: Butt Crack Meadow ! ! ! !
227 mona: lol
228 adict: ok...nuff
229 Phil: well if you dont like my musky male smell well then too bad fer you
230 mona: hello fsd
231 gina: hi fsd
232 mona: awwwww
233 fine_st_denise: bonjour a tous
234 adict: Ok,..I'll learn to like it then Phil
235 mona: phil is getting mad
236 Phil: LOL
237 mona: lol ad
238 adict: if it means our friendship
239 gr8m: *sniff*
240 mona: bonjour
241 gina: haha
242 mona: friendship???
243 adict: <--------- bending OVER !!
244 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: as usual
245 gina: lol
246 Phil: nowhere else I can go for this kind of abuse
247 Phil: gotta love it
248 mona: wow ad is having a blast!!!
249 adict: And its FREEE ! !! !
250 gina: poor Phil
251 Atomic: Consider it a public service
252 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
253 Phil: he is? a flatulent blast?
254 gina: I saw that too mona
255 Atomic: Tax deductable though
256 adict: it's the Crack !!
257 mona: lol
258 Phil: lol a pubic service
259 adict: Thanks Mona
260 mona: :o)
261 mona: wb gj
262 gi_joe: thanks
263 Phil: F7--
264 gina: is he getting into the tub again?
265 gi_joe: wheres gin:(
266 Atomic: Nah, just trying to drink for the sink
267 adict: No,...NOT the tub !!?!?!?!?
268 mona: who is?
269 Phil: she's here
270 Atomic: from the sink even!
271 gina: wow got em trained to drink from the sink
272 mona: im lost
273 Atomic: It's his latest trick, he's gonna end up pulling the damn thing from the wall
274 gina: haha
275 Atomic: brb
276 gina: ok
277 mona: who is he talking about?
278 Phil: i think Atom is talking about his dog Mona
279 gina: Atom has a big dog
280 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
281 mona: oh ok
282 gina: he is drinking from the sink
283 Phil: LOL
284 mona: and not from the toilet?
285 gina: guess not
286 gi_joe: <going to leave and renter see if gin pops up
287 Phil: apparently he has graduated from the toilet
288 gina: and he got into the tub earlier
289 mona: lol
290 mona: wb
291 gina: all better?
292 mona: wb atomic
293 Atomic: Yup, done his business
294 gina: in the sink?
295 mona: cool
296 Phil: LOL
297 Atomic: He never drank from the toilet, always uses the sink
298 Atomic: He saw the cat do it
299 Phil: wow
300 gina: lol
301 gi_joe: wow you should hear this wind
302 Phil: one time, and one time only
303 mona: that is why i dont have animals!
304 Phil: my cat used the toilet for its intended use
305 mona: lol
306 adict: We just talked about FARTING a while back gj!!!
307 gina: really?
308 Phil: yeah the little feline squatted up on the rim and did his thing
309 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
310 gina: that is cool
311 Phil: it was so cute
312 Phil: but we could not get him to do it again
313 gi_joe: farting you have to meet my dog clear a room in seconds
314 mona: lol
315 Phil: it was like a one time thing
316 Atomic: Went in the park, he ALWAYS does his business next to the doggy bins :-)
317 gina: bummer
318 mona: lol gj
319 adict: Your Dog is my IDOL !!
320 Phil: LOL
321 gina: lol
322 Atomic: :-)
323 gi_joe: i went to lie down he is hogging the bed so i'm up for a bit longer lol
324 Phil: yeah well my kid at 6 months changed her own diapers!
325 Atomic: We didn't even train him that, he just learnt it himself
326 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: hahahah phil
327 adict: Man,...he's Dogg Whipped !
328 adict: ;-)
329 mona: lol
330 gr8m: my kid did too, phil...al over the walls
331 Phil: yeah and at 1 year she made breakfast
332 Phil: eeew
333 mona: lol gr8
334 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
335 gina: ewww gr8
336 gr8m: you bet
337 Phil: okay I made that up... but the cat story is true
338 gina: you teach em that?
339 Atomic: lol
340 mona: lol sure phil
341 mona: we believe you!
342 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: brb..smoke
343 mona: awww
344 gi_joe: i was going to ask what was for breakfast
345 mona: again
346 gr8m: credibility out the window
347 gina: haha
348 adict: T U R K E Y !!!!!
349 Phil: yeah
350 mona: lol
351 gr8m: someone is singing karaoke something awful!
352 gina: where?
353 Phil: like on Logan's Run.... those rotating truth holograms of his head
354 mona: who is?
355 gr8m: my neighbors
356 Atomic: Probably Phil's cat
357 gina: haha
358 mona: lol
359 gr8m: linda rhonstadt (sp?)
360 Phil: hahah
361 gina: I loved Logans Run, I thought it was a cool movie
362 Phil: oh man really?
363 Atomic: No h
364 adict: Well,..night peoples,...
365 Phil: isn't that the worst 70s sci fi movie ever made?
366 gina: nooo
367 adict: am off to pull the sheets over my head
368 mona: going to bed ad???
369 Atomic: Nah, it's a great movie
370 Phil: okay have fun ad
371 adict: yeah
372 mona: awww why so early?
373 mona: hello jman
374 gina: night Ad, get some warm rest
375 gr8m: nighty night
376 Phil: don't blow yourself up
377 Atomic: You get to see Jenny Agguter naked :-))
378 adict: almost 3 here Mona
379 Phil: and whatever you do....
380 adict: Thanks Phil
381 Phil: don't flush yourself down the toilet
382 mona: lol you are getting old!!!
383 gina: lol
384 mona: have sweet dreams CHIQUITO!
385 adict: Nope...just wiser
386 adict: Thanks !!
387 adict: Nite all !!
388 Atomic: Nite Ad
389 Phil: night
390 mona: GOOD NIGHT
391 gr8m: nite
392 Phil: hahahahhaa mona
393 Phil: kablooey! must be a messy one
394 gr8m: cmon mona...lets see
395 Atomic: Damn, I love to watch a good sneeze!
396 gina: guess he needs a heater next to his bed too
397 gr8m: such ha turn on
398 mona: LOL SILLY
399 Phil: yeah it's the only other time a person has no control over themself
400 Atomic: Especially when it all hits the cam
401 gina: one guy earlier says it looks cool, all sparkly
402 mona: need to go get a tissue, to clean it up
403 gr8m: i can think of a few other itmes phil
404 mona: lol
405 Atomic: Not sure which one comes out faster though
406 Phil: eeew mona
407 gina: ok mona
408 mona: hello eric and propter
409 mona: lol gina
410 mona: no sparklies here
411 gina: good
412 mona: <====== hates colds!!!
413 Atomic: You sneeze in your eye Mona? :-)
414 Phil: oh that's right
415 mona: lol
416 Phil: I'm sorry to hear about that
417 mona: im sorry too!!! I REALLY HATE THEM
418 gina: hates them too...hope you get well soon
419 Phil: hey who likes em?
420 mona: thanks!
421 gr8m: do you know someone who likes them mona?
422 Phil: LOL really
423 gina: bet hypochondriacs do
424 mona: nope but im sure there are some that do!
425 gr8m: true...
426 mona: see!
427 Atomic: My local pharmasist loves them!
428 Atomic: (sp)
429 gina: haha
430 Phil: yeah like lil kids who can get the day off from school
431 mona: see, another example
432 gr8m: pharmassochist
433 mona: kids phil?? men in general
434 gina: lol gr8
435 Phil: lol
436 gina: sounds like Frankenstein
437 Phil: geez mona
438 Phil: you generalize too much
439 Phil: cuz i don't fit in with that little idea you have
440 mona: well, i have 5 brothers, a father and a husband
441 gina: ooohhhh
442 mona: been around men a lot
443 Phil: haha
444 Phil: an experienced woman
445 Atomic: I've always wondered what it must be like to be a guy living in a town called General
446 Phil: oops that could be taken the wrong way
447 Astronaut: hey people
448 mona: lol
449 Atomic: Must think everyone's talking about you
450 mona: hello astronaut
451 gr8m: aloha
452 Phil: yeah people in general
453 Astronaut: hiya mona
454 mona: lol silly ah
455 mona: how are you?
456 Astronaut: eh im alright i'd be better if i wasnt bored how u doin
457 mona: when are you going to iraq?
458 gina: hi ravis
459 Astronaut: jan 22nd for a year
460 mona: im good thanks
461 Ravis64: hello
462 mona: wow, what will you do there?
463 mona: hello ravis
464 gina: gettin a little nippy ain't it?
465 Phil: kick saddam's butt
466 Astronaut: avoid getting shot and blown up as much as possible
467 Phil: yep it is
468 Ravis64: hey there mona
469 mona: YAAAAAWWWWNNN!!!
470 Phil: good plan astronaut
471 mona: wow
472 Ravis64: and gina
473 Astronaut: exactly
474 mona: sounds like fun
475 Phil: yaaawwwnnn???
476 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: back
477 Phil: wb syb
478 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: thx
479 mona: WB SYB!!!A
480 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: awww
481 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: soooo?
482 Phil: what was yawwwwn all about?
483 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: what i miss?
484 Atomic: Mona's sneeze
485 mona: it was gr8 yawning big time
486 Phil: more stuff about farts
487 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: phil is dressed!!
488 mona: well, i missed ya!
489 gr8m: yes, "the sneeze"
490 Phil: and then sneez
491 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: awww
492 Phil: yeah i just put it on now
493 mona: you didnt see the sneeze
494 gina: bottom too?
495 gr8m: will be legend on ivisit
496 Phil: sorry you can't see any more of my nakedness but all good things must come to an end
497 mona: lol
498 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: let';s go private then!!1
499 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
500 Atomic: I once read about a woman who had an orgasm every time she sneezed
501 mona: awwww phil
502 Phil: lucky girl
503 gr8m: wow!
504 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: facial orgasms are great!
505 mona: really?
506 Phil: hahahah
507 gr8m: LOL
508 mona: how do you get one?
509 mona: finger in the mouth?
510 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: <-- come visit
511 Atomic: It was in the Enquirer though
512 gina: lol
513 Phil: years and years of tantric breathing and facial exercise
514 mona: <==== cant, would get killed by wife
515 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
516 gr8m: i had a girlfriend who claimed to have orgasms through her top lip
517 mona: lol
518 Astronaut: ah the advantages of not being married
519 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: awwww
520 mona: wow
521 Astronaut: no wife to worry about
522 Atomic: Yuck, didn't it leave a sticky mess in her mouth?
523 gr8m: true
524 Phil: yeah rub it in astronaut
525 mona: you are right astroth
526 Astronaut: exactly =P
527 mona: lol
528 mona: you will someitme and then we will laugh
529 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: yeh
530 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: jajajaja
531 Astronaut: skhvas
532 Phil: the only thing that doesn't stop some of us from getting together and fucking like rabid beavers is being married
533 mona: lol
534 Phil: oops that does stop us
535 gina: lol
536 mona: really?
537 Phil: double negative or something in there somewhere
538 mona: i would say the distance
539 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: and the border
540 gina: who says
541 Astronaut: heh id fuck like a rabid beaver
542 Phil: distance didn't stop last time
543 Atomic: Oh, I read it without the "like" in there!
544 mona: lucky you
545 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: do beavers fuck?
546 Phil: hell yeah
547 mona: im sure they do
548 Atomic: I must read these things more carefully
549 gr8m: virtual sex can be fun too
550 Phil: save a tree eat a beaver
551 Astronaut: of course they do thats where baby beavers come from
552 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: i thought they only mated
553 mona: lol you are so wise astronaut
554 Astronaut: yes yes i am
555 Astronaut: i have seen my things for my age
556 gina: no thanks phil
557 Phil: virtual sex can get to be tiring
558 mona: lol
559 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: aren't we the only animals that fuck for pleasure
560 gina: sure can
561 mona: why tiring? cause you have to do all the work?
562 mona: yes we are
563 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: i think so
564 Phil: LOL mona there comes a time when you have to get together
565 gr8m: it depends on your "partner"
566 Astronaut: no no no chinchillas do too
567 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lucky us!!!
568 Phil: I thought monkeys did it too
569 mona: lol what astronaut?
570 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: for fun?
571 gr8m: monkeys masturbate, so...
572 Phil: yeah
573 gr8m: i guess thats for a reason?
574 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: sooo....wankers=monkeys?
575 mona: lol
576 Atomic: yeah I know, buy they charge too much
577 Astronaut: yeah and masturbate but does that make me a monkey? no so henceforth chinchillas fuck for fun
578 mona: that is the perfect comparison
579 Phil: my friend's dog so urgently wanted to fuck the laundry n etime
580 Astronaut: errr i masturbate
581 gina: wow moved from farts to monkey masturbation....what a wild group tonight....LOL
582 gr8m: LOL
583 Phil: LOL
584 mona: lol
585 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
586 gina: omg
587 gr8m: true true
588 Atomic: SO, when we get around to the Monkey farting, we;ll have come full circle
589 Phil: time to hit F7 once more
590 Astronaut: hmm that sounds like a good idea actually...hahaha
591 gina: lol
592 mona: lol
593 gr8m: what?
594 mona: he meant
595 Phil: it's an in-joke
596 mona: anyways = F7
597 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: <-- wants to "monkey" all over mona's chest
598 Atomic: lol
599 mona: omg
600 Phil: spunkey monkey
601 mona: wooooohooo
602 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: uhuh
603 Phil: anyway
604 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: L7
605 Atomic: He wants to spank his monkey :-)
606 Astronaut: whoa a womans chest...amazing
607 Phil: 1 AM
608 Phil: time to head outa here
609 mona: is it time?
610 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: <- can't believe his own ears
611 gina: aww that is early
612 Phil: LOL
613 Phil: early for you maybe gina
614 mona: <=== can imagine the scene!
615 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: yeh
616 gina: no 3AM here
617 mona: oh come on phily
618 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: it's Saturday nite
619 Phil: yeah i know
620 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: sooo?
621 mona: yeah dont be such a party pooper
622 Astronaut: lol
623 Phil: you want me to stay up all ning and talk about farts huh
624 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: u going to wake the mrs?
625 Phil: night even
626 Phil: hell no syb
627 Phil: that is not done here
628 Atomic: Mona will tell you more fart stories if you stay
629 gina: no change the subject
630 mona: lol
631 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
632 gina: what is not done here?
633 Astronaut: damnit boredom sux
634 mona: i have no more stories about farts
635 Phil: one of the ten commandments... thou shall not wake thine wife for sex in the middle of the night
636 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lmao
637 gina: haha
638 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: <-- sinner
639 Phil: yer lucky
640 mona: be a sinner phil
641 Phil: if she doesnt get pissed off at ya
642 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: never!
643 Phil: no mine would just tell me to piss off
644 gina: lol
645 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: really?
646 mona: no way
647 Phil: and get mad cuz now she can't get back to sleep
648 mona: i would love that
649 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: just tell her to roll over
650 *** western has been removed by mona ***
651 Phil: geez mona
652 Phil: where the hell have you been all my life anyway
653 gr8m: mona, if they were all like u
654 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: night sex is great
655 mona: lol
656 Phil: I know syb
657 mona: middle of the night sex is amazing
658 mona: and morning
659 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: yeh
660 mona: and afternoon and evening
661 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: and noon
662 Atomic: lol
663 Phil: yeah yeah tell us all about it
664 mona: in a few words SEX IS AMAZING
665 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol mona
666 Phil: and make us jealous
667 Astronaut: sex is one the best things to partake of period
668 mona: <==== too bad doesnt get it all
669 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: awww
670 Phil: how come some people don't want to have sex constantly??? I just don't get it
671 gr8m: why is it?
672 mona: I dont get it either
673 Phil: and why did i have to be married to one?
674 mona: hello fangal
675 Astronaut: im sorry u dont get it all mona u need help wioth that =P
676 fangal: hi all!
677 mona: lol
678 gr8m: ask dr. joyce bros.
679 mona: <=== same here
680 Phil: LOL the world may never know
681 mona: lol gr8
682 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: sometimes one just is too tired!...and needs a few minutes of rest
683 Phil: yes that is right syb
684 Phil: but there is a limit to that
685 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: yeh
686 gr8m: a limit to rest
687 mona: where from fangal?
688 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: kids are the trouble too
689 fangal: Way up in the Great White North -- Alberta, Canada -- and you?
690 mona: no way, lock the door
691 Phil: yeah i think it was childbirth that started the trouble
692 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
693 mona: im from Mexico
694 gr8m: bingo phil!
695 mona: that is a lame excuse!
696 Astronaut: yer mexican?!?!?! i love you...=P
697 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: jajajaj
698 Phil: it changed her identity from "wife/lover" to "mother"
699 mona: childbirth doesnt affect a thing
700 mona: lol
701 fangal: Nice! No weather worries where you're at, then!
702 Phil: for some it does mona
703 gr8m: like we said mona, if they were all like u...
704 mona: not for me
705 mona: but it seems it affected him
706 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: need more wine
707 Phil: when she identifies herself entirely as something else
708 mona: no weather worries here!
709 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: brb
710 Phil: k
711 mona: hb
712 gina: like what?
713 mona: anyways!
714 fangal: just a sec...
715 mona: we will never know phil why some people are not into sex all the time
716 Phil: as "mother".... it became the core of her identity
717 gina: oh
718 mona: wb syb
719 gr8m: but mothers gave sex too
720 Phil: quick there
721 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: thx hun
722 mona: lol
723 gr8m: have
724 Phil: hey argue till the cows come home gr8m
725 gr8m: im with u guy...
726 mona: lol
727 Phil: you're preaching to the choir
728 Phil: yep
729 gr8m: ur wife's jpns?
730 Phil: yeah
731 mona: i guess i will shudup, phil will be even more pissed off
732 gr8m: ditto
733 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lmao mona
734 Phil: yeah i'm gonna have to go have a good "mad wank"
735 Phil: LOL
736 Astronaut: yeah me 4
737 *** kally has been removed by mona ***
738 Phil: i dont think the japanese thing has that much to do with it tho
739 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: japanes?
740 Phil: cuz there are some nymphos in that country
741 gr8m: maybe, but...
742 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: is ur wife japanes?
743 Phil: yeah the traditional conservative upbringing
744 gr8m: until kids come along
745 Phil: yes syb
746 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: cool culture
747 mona: kids are not an excuse!!! i insist!
748 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: ur right mona
749 Phil: yeah it's interesting
750 Phil: thanks mona
751 gr8m: yes! mona's right!
752 mona: lol
753 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: but mini-me sleeps in our room
754 Phil: I've been telling her that for 10 years
755 mona: that is a big mistake!!!
756 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
757 Phil: oh they do that in Japan too
758 Phil: and that is another sex killer
759 mona: <=== never had a kid sleeping in my bed, no way
760 Phil: I'm telling ya
761 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
762 mona: lol
763 Phil: it totally spoils the kid
764 mona: and the wife
765 Phil: it was so hard to get them to sleep in their own rooms when we moved to canada
766 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: yeh..makes her look elsewhere
767 Astronaut: man i dont have kid or a wife im fuckin set
768 mona: she has another excuse besides the headache
769 gr8m: and the climax
770 Phil: LOL Astro
771 mona: lol
772 Phil: yes
773 Phil: you know much of this mona... you are very wise
774 gr8m: stick to a virtual marriage astro
775 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: mona IS wise
776 mona: shudup
777 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: our GURU
778 Atomic: Mona, the room's sex-ed councillor :-)
779 mona: im just talking about me!
780 Phil: haha
781 mona: yeah right, like if i wasnt messed up enough
782 Astronaut: monas the woman
783 Phil: yep
784 mona: <==== just a sex lover!
785 Phil: <==== wants to share that
786 Phil: LOL
787 Atomic: lol
788 mona: LOL
789 mona: hello sk
790 SK: hi
791 Atomic: Sounds like there's plenty to go around :-)
792 mona: lol
793 mona: anyways!
794 Atomic: :-)
795 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
796 Phil: N.E. Whey
797 Atomic: What's our next lesson Miss Mona? :-)
798 mona: let me think
799 gr8m: gina disappeared
800 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: "how to please a woman"
801 mona: :(
802 mona: you tell me!
803 gr8m: silence?
804 Astronaut: i can tell u im bored
805 Phil: well.... hmmmmm
806 mona: we are sorry astronaut
807 Astronaut: yeah y are =P
808 Astronaut: err yeah ya are =P
809 mona: lol
810 mona: awww we do care
811 Phil: i guess we have to talk about sex some more then
812 gr8m: dont treat a woman to boredom
813 Atomic: We;re a caring sharing bunch
814 gr8m: treat a woman to bedroom
815 Phil: LOL
816 Atomic: Well caring anyway :-))
817 mona: lol
818 Phil: well i'm not about to give away all my secrets
819 mona: bedroom sounds good
820 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: sounds great
821 gr8m: lol phil
822 mona: you have secrets?
823 Atomic: lol
824 mona: use them!!
825 Phil: some patented techniques
826 gr8m: exactly!
827 mona: hello benny
828 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: any soft horizontal surface
829 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: moss
830 mona: what the heck are you doing here if you have secrets
831 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: hay
832 Atomic: Gee, they'll patent anything these days :-)
833 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: mattress
834 Phil: hahahaha
835 Dv: hello
836 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: grass
837 mona: lol
838 Phil: oh man
839 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: leaves
840 gr8m: grass is itchy
841 mona: hello dv
842 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: beach
843 Phil: been so long since having sex outdoors
844 Dv: hi mona how are you?
845 mona: got a face dv?
846 mona: im good thanks
847 Astronaut: degfuawdsvg
848 george35: hi all
849 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: lol
850 mona: what?
851 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: ?
852 mona: hello george
853 Phil: oiojtlksfjdkjoiser
854 Dv: yeah sorry didnt think anyone would want to watch me eating
855 mona: why not
856 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: phil is drunk!!1
857 Phil: LOL
858 mona: depends on what you are eating
859 gr8m: if its good, we'd like some too
860 mona: lol
861 Atomic: hey, that's Mona's favourite!
862 Phil: i'm getting hungry
863 mona: yeah
864 mona: i want some
865 Dv: icecream and fruit salad
866 Phil: but eating at this time of night just gives you heartburn in bed
867 mona: yummy
868 gr8m: r uu wearing a ufo tshirt phil?
870 Phil: LOL how does this guy know?
871 gr8m: u stood u[p
872 mona: he has a cam phil
873 gr8m: im psychic
874 mona: and you too
875 mona: lol
876 Atomic: lol - always the simple explanations
877 gr8m: "id like to report a ufo"
878 mona: hello bobs
879 mona: nobs
880 mona: lol gr8
881 nobs: hi mona
882 mona: lol phil
883 nobs: how u been?
884 mona: im good thanks and you?
885 nobs: good 2
886 nobs: having fun here?
887 Phil: NOBS... National oral book stimulator
888 mona: i guess astro got too bored
889 Dv: bye all im going to have a look around
890 mona: lol phil
891 gr8m: eerie blue ginw u have nobs
892 mona: yes i am
893 mona: have fun dv
894 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: cya dv
895 nobs: yes... it looks like it
896 nobs: lol
897 Phil: I am spoonman! That's S-P-Ooooo-N-M-A-N
898 Atomic: lol
899 Phil: first among utensils to bring food, fun and trouble!
900 mona: lol silly
901 Atomic: Trouble, with a spoon??
902 nobs: you r not bi-sexual mona .... by any chance?
903 Phil: now you are in Spoonman's corner... good work!
904 mona: yes i am
905 Phil: Now you are in Spoonman's dream --- good luck!
906 mona: why?
907 mona: lol
908 nobs: so am i
909 gr8m: omg
910 Phil: okay well I'll complete the sandwich then
911 gr8m: thats the closest to sex ive seen all day atom
912 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: well....night all. been fun
913 nobs: lol
914 gr8m: night syb
915 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: cya phil...
916 Phil: ohhh so now YOU are taking off
917 mona: lol
918 mona: awww
919 Atomic: I hate it when he Frenchies me!
920 Phil: okay cya syb
921 mona: good night!!!
922 Phil: night
923 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: bye mona
924 mona: lol
925 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: bye all
926 mona: bye syb, besitos
927 Phil: g'night
928 SHAKE_YOUR_BUTT: besitos!!1
929 Atomic: Need to get his breath fixed too!
930 mona: are you bi nobs?
931 nobs: well mona.... what do we do now?
932 nobs: yes
933 mona: well...
934 mona: we can keep chatting here
935 mona: <== would really like to watch one of gr8's famous shows
936 mona: <=== big fan!
937 gr8m: i just made a vid clip yesterday
938 gr8m: :-O
939 mona: wooohoo
940 Phil: uh oh
941 mona: when do we get to watch it?
942 mona: wb sk
943 mona: how old are you sk?
944 SK: 19 from belgium
945 *** souL has been removed by mona ***
946 mona: you look like 13
947 SK: lol
948 SK: in a few years that could be a compliment
949 mona: why nobs?
950 SK: :-)
951 mona: was he bugging ya?
952 nobs: because soul never shows his face!!!!
953 mona: well everyone, it is beddy time here!!!!
954 nobs: he knows better now
955 mona: yeah he does
956 Phil: yep same here
957 mona: have a good night everyone!!!!!
958 nobs: do u want to go private with me? mona
959 gr8m: gnight all
960 mona: im going to bed
961 topquark: hi all
962 Phil: ok mona... wise choice, need to sleep
963 mona: bye bye!!!
964 mona: yess i do
965 Phil: night sexy
966 Phil: sweet nasty dreams!
967 Atomic: Nite Mona
968 nobs: awwwww
969 gr8m: stop by my room tomorrow :-)
970 mona: what time?
971 mona: LOL
972 nobs: ok... sleep tight
973 Phil: lol
974 gr8m: afternoon
975 nobs: with me?
976 quark: ahhhh, love is in the air
977 nobs: mona???
978 Phil: LOL
979 Phil: well folks g'night
980 gr8m: night phil
981 Atomic: Must be the time of night
982 Phil: have fun
983 Atomic: Night Phil
984 gr8m: take care all
 For further discussion of female chat room moderators and their positions of power online, please see Bowker and Liu (2001).
 It has been noticed that handles of more than two syllables, especially compound handles, are usually shortened by chat room participants, even in greetings, regardless of whether the member is known or not. Lengthy or compound handles can be difficult to type due to their unfamiliarity and can cause communication lags and miscommunication. Handle shortening in greetings facilitates interaction by lessening the length of the greeting turn, thereby moving to quickly bring the new member into the chat room.
 It has been observed within this particular domain of IVC that men tend to defer to women in order to gain entrance into chat rooms and to get women to participate in IVC. Men who do not follow this norm risk being removed or banned from chat rooms. This norm is often explicitly stated within the rules of both male and female-dominated chat rooms. This observation contradicts findings by Soukup (1999), among many others (see literature review in Soukup, 1999), who have found that females in Internet relay chat rooms (IRC – cf. IVC) are often intimidated and dominated by male discourse practices.
 Although French is rarely heard in this chat room, Spanish is heard frequently because it is the first language of many regular participants, including mona.
 This personal identification feature of IVC contrasts with the individual anonymity promoted and preserved in IRC (for further discussion of anonymity in IRC, see Crystal, 2001; Paolillo, 1999; Soukup, 1999; Wellman & Gulia, 1999). This difference is most likely directly connected to the technological difference between the two chat mediums. However, it should be pointed out that not all Internet video chat rooms have rules that require participants to identify themselves with live video images.
 Although it is not clear why this is the case, it has been observed that handles that contain a numeric suffix – such as “64” in the case of “Ravis64”, or “35” in the case of “george35” from Extract 1.4 – are often shortened to the root handle.
contents (c) 2007 Shawn Ford/ Webb-Ed Press