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ERIC Number: EJ897679
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 83
ISSN: ISSN-0270-4676
Metaphors of Synchrony: Emergence and Differentiation of Online Chat Devices
Latzko-Toth, Guillaume
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, v30 n5 p362-374 Oct 2010
Through a detailed account of the history of online chat devices, this article shows the emergence, over time, of two distinct interactional formats underlying these social media. They may be captured by two generic metaphors of synchrony: "conference" (a gathering in a virtual place where unfocused interactions and group sociability occur) and "copresence" (where practices are centered on the sustainment of contact between individuals who know each other). Internet Relay Chat (IRC) appears as the archetype of the conference format. This notion of chat involves the existence of a relatively persistent shared space--conjured up by various specific metaphors: room, channel, and so on--inside which users get together and through which they are able to find other users, with whom they may weave electronic social ties that may possibly lead to offline relationships. The other format is associated with instant messaging (IM) devices, on the model of "ICQ" software. Although there seems to be a decline in interest for devices based on the former format, those based on the latter benefit from a growing popularity, possibly indicating deeper sociological implications. (Contains 58 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A