Therefore, this study is principally interested in investigating the types of profile information that chat room users make available about themselves so comparisons can be made with previous findings from profile construction studies on social networking and blog sites.Self–disclosure has been described as the process by which we tell others about ourselves (Jourard, 1971), the revelation and concealment of private information (Burgoon, 1982) and more recently as the divulging of intimate information about the self (Derlega, , 1993).Since chat rooms can be used for anti–social purposes, the type and extent of the information posted in chat room profiles seems likely to be different from that in online profiles for social networking sites, which may be more closely tied to offline identities.
page=15894 University of Wolverhampton United Kingdom Chris Fullwood is a senior lecturer in the Psychology Department of the University of Wolverhampton, U. and is a member of the Wolverhampton Internet and Technology Society (WITS) research group.
University of Wolverhampton United Kingdom Mike Thelwall is Professor of Information Science and leader of the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group at the University of Wolverhampton, U. He is also visiting fellow of the Amsterdam Virtual Knowledge Studio, a Docent at Åbo Akademi University Department of Information Studies, and a research associate at the Oxford Internet Institute.
Therefore, communications will take place primarily between individuals who have had some form of previous contact off–line.
One place where encounters with strangers are likely to take place more frequently however is the chat room (Nie and Erbring, 2002; Mileham, 2007).
A key feature of online impression management is increased control over self–presentation.
For example, pictures can be carefully selected and even edited.
One would expect that many chat room users would choose whether or not to interact with another member on the basis of the information presented in their profile.
Chat rooms allow for synchronous communication with the possibility of interacting with multiple strangers (or at least individuals who have not been previously met face–to–face).
Nevertheless, the majority remain anonymous, probably many more than for social networking sites and blog authors.