• The construction of identity online. Basic questions remain unanswered about the way people seek to present themselves online. Where on the continuum from real-life identities to completely constructed identities best facilitates social interaction? Goal-oriented interaction? The informational tokens that users exchange – screen names, profiles, glyphs or avatars – carry varying amounts of importance depending on the particular culture of a place, but most such exchanges still pertain to superficial characteristics with offline analogues, like age, sex, race, and geographic location. Thin media like plain text allow users to circumvent this real-world baggage, trafficking instead in the more significant signs of self, such as personal philosophy and intellectual interests. How to encourage such interaction is an open question; first we must find out whether people would avail themselves of it even if it worked well. • Taxonomy of conversations and participant roles. Quantitative information about users ’ behavior allows us to intuit their motivations in a broad sense. In newsgroups, for example, those who tend to get replied to more than they reply might be seen as question-askers. Those who reply more than they are replied to are more likely to be question-answerers. If the two numbers are fairly balanced for most participants, the group is probably engaged more in conversation than in asking and answerin
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.