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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 Hawai‘i 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

Shawn Ford

SLS 760: Misunderstanding Talk

Spring 2004 – Professor Kasper

Course Final Paper

 


Introduction

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.

Theoretical Framework

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.

Understanding and Misunderstanding in Discourse

            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.

Coupland et al.’s Integrative Model

            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.

Research Questions

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:

  1. How do new members successfully enter into IVC?
  2. What factors contribute to an unsuccessful entry into IVC?

Literature Review

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.

Methodology

IVC Platform

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.

Data

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.

Discourse Analysis

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.

Analysis and Discussion

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.

Successful Entry into IVC

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.

Extract 1.2: Chat room participant acknowledges new member who responds to the entire chat room with a question greeting that is not answered

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[1].

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.


Extract 1.3: Chat room participants acknowledge new member who responds with a non-English greeting

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[2]. 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[3]. 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[4]. 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.

Extract 1.4: New members announce entrances in close succession and are acknowledged by 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[5]. 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.

Extract 1.5: New members successfully enter chat room in close succession by different means

 

 

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[6]. 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.

Unsuccessful Entry into IVC

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

Extract 2.2:

 

Extract 2.3:

 

 

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.

Extract 2.4: Chat room participant greets new member who exits without responding

 

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.

Conclusion

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

Appendix II: Transcript

 

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 !!

160         gina:

161         gina:

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?

869         Astronaut:

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

 


[1] For further discussion of female chat room moderators and their positions of power online, please see Bowker and Liu (2001).

[2] 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.

[3] 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.

 

[4] 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.

[5] 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.

[6] 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.


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contents (c) 2007 Shawn Ford/ Webb-Ed Press
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