|Author(s)||Paul ten Have|
|Title||Computer-Mediated Chat: Ways of Finding Chat Partners|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Ethnomethodology, Computer-mediated Communication, Internet Relay Chat, MCA|
|Journal||M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture|
(...)I will discuss the organised ways in which one particular problem that chat-players have is dealt with. That problem can be glossed as: how do people wanting to 'chat' on the Internet find suitable partners for that activity? The solution to that problem lies in the explicit naming or implicit suggestion of various kinds of social categories, like 'age', 'sex' and 'location'. Chat players very often initiate a chat with a question like: "hi, a/s/l please?", which asks the other party to self-identify in those terms, as, for instance "frits/m/amsterdam", if that fits the character the player wants to project. But, as I will explain, categorisation plays its role both earlier and later in the chat process.