Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Discussion abounds about the quality of rhetoric on computer bulletin boards, chat lines and e-mail. Within the past year the CEDA-L, a bulletin board dedicated to the communication of the Cross Examination Debate Association community, has become one of the most popular avenues for information dissemination. A study examined 1000 messages posted to the bulletin board during the period beginning November 2, 1994 and ending January 19, 1995, and also examined responses to a survey distributed on the system. Of the 107 surveys returned, 78 identified themselves as male, 29 as female. Results showed a similarity between the genders when dictating the number of times that an individual read the bulletin board. A discrepancy arose, however, when comparing those who read only (i.e., non-intrusive observers), and those who read and posted. While men tended to reply openly to the board, women chose to read only or read and post directly to individuals. Also, the utilization of the information found on the bulletin board shows an even greater gender discrepancy. While females use the service for information gathering, to inquire about situations or tournaments, males chose to discuss theory and the outcomes of rounds. Perhaps the most intriguing information was derived from the last portion of the survey dealing with reasons for use or nonuse. Of the 29 female respondents, 6 asked that their name not be used; of the 78 males, none made that request. Additionally, feelings of inadequacy plagued both genders. (TB)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (81st, San Antonio, TX, November 18-21, 1995).