The Psychology of Personal Web Sites

The Psychology of Personal Web Sites

Karl-Heinz Renner (Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg, Germany) and Astrid Schütz (Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch021
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Abstract

This chapter reviews psychological research on personal Web sites, on their owners and on the effects personal Web sites may have on visitors. Personal Web sites were conceptualized as media for self-presentation and identity construction. Converging evidence is reported with regard to the elements found on Web sites and to the demographics, personality characteristics, intentions and self-presentational goals of their owners. The popular and somewhat intuitive notion that Web sites are narcissistic media or platforms for vanity and exhibitionism does not apply to the average Web site owner. Empirical findings on personality expressions of Web site owners and personality impressions people form after a brief visit of the sites are presented. Initial results show that objective features of personal Web sites are associated with self and visitor-rated personality traits of the owners. It is concluded that more longitudinal research is needed to fully understand the dynamics of identity management on personal Web sites.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Self-Presentation: The attempt to communicate self-images to interaction partners. These images may be authentic or non-authentic.

Web Logs: Web logs, or “blogs,” are regularly updated Web sites on which content (text, pictures, soundfiles, etc.) is posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order (Schmidt, in press).

Self-Presentation: The attempt to communicate self-images to interaction partners. These images may be authentic or non-authentic.

Strong vs. Weak Situation: A distinction introduced by Mischel (1977). A strong situation exerts pressure to behave in a certain way, which leads to similar behavior across people. Weak situations contain little pressure as to an appropriate behavior. People’s reactions diverge and are largely guided by individual traits. Personal identity-related Web sites can be seen as weak situations.

Personality Characteristics or Traits: Stable dispositions pertaining to certain thoughts, feelings, or actions. Traits distinguish people from one another and occur consistently across different situations.

Narcissism: A personality trait that refers to self-centeredness and inflated but fragile self-esteem.

Narcissism: A personality trait that refers to self-centeredness and inflated but fragile self-esteem.

Strong vs. Weak Situation: A distinction introduced by Mischel (1977). A strong situation exerts pressure to behave in a certain way, which leads to similar behavior across people. Weak situations contain little pressure as to an appropriate behavior. People’s reactions diverge and are largely guided by individual traits. Personal identity-related Web sites can be seen as weak situations.

Personal Web site: A Web site that is written (partly or wholly) by and about an individual and contains self-selected personalized job or identity-related information.

Identity Construction: Any attempt to create, maintain or enhance views about oneself.

Identity Construction: Any attempt to create, maintain or enhance views about oneself.

Personal Web site: A Web site that is written (partly or wholly) by and about an individual and contains self-selected personalized job or identity-related information.

Personality Characteristics or Traits: Stable dispositions pertaining to certain thoughts, feelings, or actions. Traits distinguish people from one another and occur consistently across different situations.

Web Logs: Web logs, or “blogs,” are regularly updated Web sites on which content (text, pictures, soundfiles, etc.) is posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order (Schmidt, in press).

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Susan C. Herring
Preface
Sigrid Kelsey, Kirk St.Amant
Acknowledgment
Sigrid Kelsey, Kirk St.Amant
Chapter 1
Cheryl Amundsen, Elahe Sohbat
We argue for programs that support academics to develop an understanding of the relationship between technology and pedagogy. To lay the groundwork... Sample PDF
The Untapped Learning Potential of CMC in Higher Education
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Chapter 2
Lesley Farmer
Academic librarians can leverage their expertise in using and teaching with information technology to increase their level of collaboration with... Sample PDF
Affective Collaborative Instruction with Librarians
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Chapter 3
Robert Jordan
Computer mediated communication (CMC) provides a way of incorporating participant interaction into online environments. Use of such features as... Sample PDF
Preparing Participants for Computer Mediated Communication
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Chapter 4
Allison V. Level, Amy E. Hoseth
This chapter provides an overview of current issues and trends related to the impact and integration of computer mediated communication (CMC) and... Sample PDF
Learning and Teaching with CMC in the U.S. Higher Education Arena
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Chapter 5
Bolanle Olaniran
Recent trends and rapid improvement in technology such as computer-mediated communication (CMC) and increasing bandwidth in the Internet are... Sample PDF
Human Computer Interaction and the Best Mix of Face-to-Face and E-Interactions inEducational Settings
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Chapter 6
Apryl Price
This chapter explains what course management systems (CMS) are, lists the features of the most popular CMS, describes the advantages and... Sample PDF
Higher Education's Use of Course Management Software
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Chapter 7
Alison Ruth
This chapter proposes that Burke’s (1969) dramatistic analysis using the Pentad (act, scene, agent, agency, purpose) is a valuable methodological... Sample PDF
Computer Mediated Learning: Applying Burke's Pentad
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Chapter 8
Michael Stefanone
This chapter focuses on whether computer-mediated communication (CMC) tools are actually working to increase the overall level of participation... Sample PDF
Emergent Networks in Computer-Supported Groups
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Chapter 9
Sarah Stewart
A mentoring relationship is one in which an experienced person or mentor supports a less experienced person or mentee. E-mentoring is an alternative... Sample PDF
CMC and E-Mentoring in Midwifery
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Chapter 10
Deborah Vess
Podcasting is a growing trend in higher education, and this chapter reviews the most common applications for podcasting in higher education and the... Sample PDF
Stay Tuned for Podcast U and the Data on M-Learning
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Chapter 11
J. Patrick Williams, Hsin-Liang Chen
This chapter examines the impact of multimodal, computer-mediated communication strategies on instruction in higher education. Colleges and... Sample PDF
Computer Mediated Communication and Multimodal Instruction in Higher Education
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Chapter 12
Stacey L. Connaughton
Technology, communication, leadership, and work processes are inextricably linked in contemporary organizations. An understanding of these topics... Sample PDF
Millennium Leadership Inc.: A Case Study of Computer and Internet-Based Communication in a Simulated Organization
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Chapter 13
Kit Hang Leung
This research studies higher order thinking (HOT) processes in asynchronous discussions situated in a campus-based course that involved 11 pairs of... Sample PDF
Higher Order Thinking in Online Courses
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Chapter 14
Shawn Apostel, Moe Folk
Given the rapid development and dissemination of various information types within CMC, source evaluation methodology is increasingly difficult and... Sample PDF
Shifting Trends in Evaluating the Credibility of CMC
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Chapter 15
Erin Bower, Karen Brodsky
In 1989, the American Library Association issued its Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report, which was essentially a... Sample PDF
Teaching Credibility of Sources in an Age of CMC
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Chapter 16
Kevin Eric DePew
As writing instruction moves from the defined spatial and temporal parameters of the traditional classroom to various degrees of online... Sample PDF
Composing Identity in Online Instructional Contexts
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Chapter 17
Gabriel A. Giordano, Jason Stoner, Robyn L. Brouer, Joey F. George
With the increasing use of technology in the workplace, more organizational communication is electronic and more group tasks are conducted in... Sample PDF
Computer Mediated Negotiations and Deception
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Chapter 18
Gerald S. Greenberg
Computer mediated communication (CMC) is fundamentally different from other modes of informational exchange. The presence of those with whom one... Sample PDF
CMC and the Nature of Human/ Machine Interface
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Chapter 19
Janice Krueger
Distance education for professional programs in higher education changes as new technologies emerge. Online courseware offers a different medium for... Sample PDF
Building Identity through Online Collaboration
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Chapter 20
Jo Mackiewicz
In the emerging CMC genre of online reviews, lay people, as opposed to professional writers, evaluate products and services, and they receive no pay... Sample PDF
Reviewer Motivations, Bias, and Credibility in Online Reviews
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Chapter 21
Karl-Heinz Renner, Astrid Schütz
This chapter reviews psychological research on personal Web sites, on their owners and on the effects personal Web sites may have on visitors.... Sample PDF
The Psychology of Personal Web Sites
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Chapter 22
Persuasive Design  (pages 283-296)
Per F.V. Hasle, Christensen Anne-Kathrine Kjær
Persuasive design (PD) is concerned with the use of computing technology for persuasive purposes. It thereby captures a comprehensive and important... Sample PDF
Persuasive Design
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Chapter 23
Joey George, Kent Marett
Much research within the field of MIS has been devoted to the use of collaborative technology by decision makers and the impact computer-mediated... Sample PDF
Deceptive Communication in E-Collaboration
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Chapter 24
J. Patrick Biddix
The rapid diffusion of computer mediated communication (CMC) is redefining how individuals relate in contemporary ‘networked’ organizations. This... Sample PDF
Multitasking CMC to Study Connected Organizations
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Chapter 25
Anita Blanchard
Sense of virtual community is an important component of successful virtual communities. Defined as members’ feelings of belonging, identity, and... Sample PDF
Sense of Virtual Community
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Chapter 26
Artemio Ramirez, Jr., Matthew S. Eastin, Jennifer Chakroff, Vincent Cicchirillo
Cyber-bullying, or the repeated (mis)use of technology to harass, intimidate, or terrorize another person (Franek, 2004), is a growing problem among... Sample PDF
Towards a Communication-Based Approach to Cyber-Bullying
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Chapter 27
Joseph E. Burns, Dianna Laurent
An e-zine is defined as an online version of a magazine most often offered to the audience of an existing Web site. E-zines should strive to follow... Sample PDF
Publishing an Internet E-Zine
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Chapter 28
Zeynep Cemalcilar
Interpersonal communication is the number one use of home computers (the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2001). Despite the growing... Sample PDF
Communicating Electronically When Too Far Away to Visit
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Chapter 29
Mikkel Godsk, Anja Bechmann Petersen
This chapter presents a model (WebCom) for understanding and analyzing Web site-mediated communication, also referred to as Web site communication.... Sample PDF
WebCom: A Model for Understanding Web Site Communication
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Chapter 30
Rosanna M. Guadagno, Katrin E. Allmendinger
This chapter reviews contemporary research on virtual collaboration. In particular, we focus on synchronous communication and collaboration... Sample PDF
Virtual Collaboration in Immersive and Non-Immersive Virtual Environments
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Chapter 31
Danny Hughes, James Walkerdine
Peer-to-peer file sharing exploded into the public consciousness with the release of Napster in 1999. Napster sparked a revolution in... Sample PDF
P2P File Sharing: The Life and Death of Gnutella
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Chapter 32
Joachim Kimmerle, Ulrike Cress
Addressing knowledge communication with shared databases, this chapter focuses on an asynchronous, many-to-many type of computer-mediated... Sample PDF
Knowledge Communication with Shared Databases
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Chapter 33
Patricia G. Lange
Many concepts—such as “computer mediated versus face-to-face interaction,” “virtual versus real,” “flaming,” and “anonymity”—that scholars have used... Sample PDF
Terminological Obfuscation in Online Research
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Chapter 34
H. L. Lim, Fay Sudweeks
Analytical frameworks for examining educational computer mediated discourse have been mainly designed for asynchronous discussions; hence the... Sample PDF
Discourse and Network Analyses of Learning Conversations
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Chapter 35
Bradley M. Okdie, Rosanna E. Guadagno
This chapter examines contemporary research in computer-mediated communication (CMC) with regard to a specific question: How does attempting to... Sample PDF
Social Influence and Computer Mediated Communication
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Chapter 36
Michaël Opgenhaffen
The focus of computer mediated communication research has been lying on the dialogical aspect of Internet communication while the presentation and... Sample PDF
Divergent News Media in Computer Mediated News Communication
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Chapter 37
Barrie Jo Price
Computer-mediated collaboration is examined through the lenses of societal change and the dynamic nature of technology. Trends and contributing... Sample PDF
Computer Mediated Collaboration
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Chapter 38
David Robins
Web site design that does not conform to emerging accessibility standards and legislation will be increasingly under attack. In order to facilitate... Sample PDF
Accessible Design for Communication on the Web
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Chapter 39
Jamie Switzer
This chapter explores how, in a single decade (1995-2005), research into computer-mediated communication (CMC) has evolved by examining the Journal... Sample PDF
An Analysis of a Decade of Research Published in the "Journal of Computer Mediated Communication"
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Chapter 40
Stephen Thorpe
Throughout history, story has been a powerful and effective way to build relationships within groups of people. Professional group facilitators know... Sample PDF
The Use of Story in Building Online Group Relationships
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Chapter 41
Mirjam Weder
Online communities such as newsgroups and mailinglists are constructed around a common interest and a shared set of norms that regulates... Sample PDF
Form and Function of Metacommunication in CMC
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Chapter 42
Julie D. Woletz
In this chapter, the concept of digital storytelling will be introduced by sketching its historical and intellectual origins from artificial... Sample PDF
Digital Storytelling from Artificial Intelligence to YouTube
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Chapter 43
Markus Wolf, Stephanie Bauer
Psychotherapy and psychosocial interventions rely mainly on verbal communication and language. With the expanding use of computers as well as the... Sample PDF
Computer Mediated Communication for the Enhancement of Psychotherapy
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Chapter 44
Mauri Collins, Zane Berge
In this chapter online discussion groups will be situated as contemporary examples within the historical tradition of voluntary, informal, learning... Sample PDF
Moderating Discussion Groups Using Computer Mediated Communication
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Chapter 45
Boyd Davis, Peyton Mason
Social cues in online focus groups surface in the ways group members manipulate language, to signal their attitudinal shifts in position toward the... Sample PDF
Locating Presence and Positions in Online Focus Group Text with Stance-Shift Analysis
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Chapter 46
Rosalie J. Ocker
A series of experiments investigated creativity and quality of work-product solutions in virtual teams (Ocker, forthcoming; Ocker, 2005; Ocker &... Sample PDF
The Impact of Personality on Virtual Team Creativity and Quality
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Chapter 47
Angélica Rísquez
This chapter integrates existing literature and developments on electronic mentoring to build a constructive view of this modality of mentoring as a... Sample PDF
E-Mentoring: An Extended Practice, an Emerging Discipline
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Chapter 48
Jonathan Cohn
While podcasting has become a valuable advertising tool for many companies, it has also become a major way in which geographically spread out... Sample PDF
Podcastia: Imagining Communities of Pod-People
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Chapter 49
Mauri Collins, Zane Berge
Online, e-mail-based discussion groups are contemporary examples of an historical tradition of voluntary, informal, learning groups used by adults... Sample PDF
E-Mail Distribution Lists in Adult Learning: A Historical Perspective
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Chapter 50
Courtney Crummett, Anna Perrault
Computer mediated communication technologies such as instant messaging, blogs, wikis, and podcasts provide new avenues to foster communication and... Sample PDF
The Use of CMC Technologies in Academic Libraries
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Chapter 51
Ashok Darisipudi, Sushil Kumar Sharma
Blogs are evolving beyond “personal conversations” to tools which could support collaborative working in virtual project teams. Virtual teams need... Sample PDF
Blogs: A Computer Mediated Communication Tool for Virtual Team Collaboration
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Chapter 52
Corporate Blogging  (pages 731-739)
Uma Devi Doraiswamy
The 21st century has seen revolutionary changes in online communication. Many information centers, educational institutions and business... Sample PDF
Corporate Blogging
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Chapter 53
Seek and Ye Shall Find  (pages 740-754)
Suely Fragoso
This chapter proposes that search engines apply a verticalizing pressure on the WWW many-to-many information distribution model, forcing this to... Sample PDF
Seek and Ye Shall Find
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Chapter 54
Sandra Harrison
This chapter investigates turn taking in naturally occurring e-mail discussions. In e-mail discussions, participants can self select to contribute... Sample PDF
Turn Taking in E-Mail Discussions
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Chapter 55
R.K. Koslowsky
This chapter addresses the introduction of a Multi-service Provisioning Platform (MSPP) into the transmission segment of the communication network.... Sample PDF
Innovation and Utility in the Optical Transport Network
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Chapter 56
Digital Photography  (pages 791-803)
Eric T. Meyer
Digital photography is a relatively new topic for scholarly study in the area of computer mediated communication. Photographic technologies were... Sample PDF
Digital Photography
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Chapter 57
Sarah Rofofsky Marcus
This chapter introduces synchronous, one-on-one, computer mediated communication. A discussion then is presented on the growth of typewritten... Sample PDF
IM's Growth, Benefits, and Impact on Communication
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Chapter 58
Anna C. McFadden
The simple nature of podcasting and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) belies the power for change embodied in them, either singly or in tandem. On the... Sample PDF
Podcasting and Really Simple Syndication (RSS)
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Chapter 59
John W. Mullennix, Steven E. Stern
A frequently overlooked form of CMC is computer synthesized speech (CSS). Although the first CSS systems were rather crude and unintelligible, newer... Sample PDF
Computer Mediated Speech Technology: Perceptions of Synthetic Speech and Attitudes Toward Disabled Users
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Chapter 60
Elisabeth Pankl, Jenna Ryan
This chapter delves into the transformation of academic libraries in response to two main elements: Information Commons and Web 2.0 technologies... Sample PDF
Information Commons and Web 2.0 Technologies: Creating Rhetorical Situations and Enacting Habermasian Ideals in the Academic Library
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Chapter 61
Human-Robot Interaction  (pages 855-867)
Jutta Weber
Some people regard the personal mobile robot as a candidate for the next digital revolution as it might become a future ubiquitous tool and everyday... Sample PDF
Human-Robot Interaction
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Chapter 62
Kalev Leetaru
The recent rise of Instant Messaging systems as a centerpiece of online communication has brought with it many questions about the role this new... Sample PDF
Instant Messaging as a Hypermedium in the Making
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Chapter 63
Edgar Gómez Cruz
The objective of this chapter is to present a general and retrospective panorama of the CMC studies that have been done in Spain and Latin America... Sample PDF
CMC Research in Latin America and Spain: Metaanalyses From an Emergent Field
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Chapter 64
Susan R. Fussell, Qiping Zhang, Leslie D. Setlock
In this chapter, we discuss how culture influences computer mediated communication (CMC). We use an Input-Process-Output (I-P-O) model as a... Sample PDF
Global Culture and Computer Mediated Communication
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Chapter 65
Wengao Gong, Vincent B.Y. Ooi
This chapter examines the defining linguistic innovations and social motivations for one of the most popular modes of computer mediated... Sample PDF
Innovations and Motivations in Online Chat
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Chapter 66
Jung-ran Park
This chapter examines the way online language users enhance social interaction and group collaboration through the computer mediated communication... Sample PDF
Solidarity and Rapport in Social Interaction
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Chapter 67
Cheng-chao Su, Karen Garcia
This chapter presents an overview of synchronous computer mediated communication (SCMC) platforms and identifies their hardware requirements.... Sample PDF
Chat Rooms for Language Teaching and Learning
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Chapter 68
Rotimi Taiwo
The chapter examines the linguistic forms and functions of SMS text messages in Nigeria. With an estimated 25 million mobile phone users in Nigeria... Sample PDF
Linguistic Forms and Functions of SMS Text Messages in Nigeria
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Chapter 69
Rosanna Tarsiero
This chapter introduces the embodied metaphor as a means of studying the multifaceted relationship between computer-mediated communication (CMC) and... Sample PDF
Linguistics of Computer-Mediated Communication: Approaching the Metaphor
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About the Contributors