"...to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction..."

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Pure Chat – Part I

Anatomy of a Message Board

Over the past few years I have spent time posting on various message boards and have found them to be an interesting phenomenon. Many times the antics across these boards become a bigger story than the original topics of discussion. This blog entry will examine some of my findings over the past few years and attempt to put some of the dynamics of this form of communication into perspective.

Before beginning, I would like to make it clear that I do not post on any of the crime related message boards at this time under my most familiar pseudonym, or any other for that matter. However, I’ve made enough friends over the years that I am kept informed via email, when something notable is mentioned across a variety of forums.

Background: My first encounters with online communications began before the Internet existed, when I got my first PC and discovered Bulletin Boards. Those were very slow and strictly an exchange of ASCII text. The power of graphics did not come on the scene until many years later. My fascination with those quickly waned and did not re-surface until a few years ago, while I was home convalescing due to an illness.

During that time, many long, boring days were spent watching television. Until I discovered Court TV and became addicted to watching the live courtroom dramas covered by that network. Over and over again the anchors for the daily programs would ask viewers to give their two cents on the Court TV website. Finally relenting to the suggestion, I began to explore their website and one click led to another. Soon I found myself reading the CTV message board and felt compelled to participate in a discussion about a particularly poignant trial. It was an eye-opening experience that began my Internet journey.

My experiences have probably not been that much different from most, but I am going to share what I have learned along the way by probing into the inter-workings of several well known message boards, or forums. This piece will not be an attempt at “yellow journalism,” but rather a factual look at the personalities that make these things thrive.


EasyWriter said...

Hey Huntsville!

If you can’t take the time to run a spell check on your comments, you could at least read through them once, before you hit the submit button. Then, I might let one of your comments go through.

The silly attacks do not faze me, but I can’t deal with the illiterate drivel.

Anonymous said...

smoochy smoochy

Anonymous said...

I am not exactly sure how you think you can do a truthful analysis of the other message boards when in reality you do not post on them. On both RU and FOB there is so much more going on than one who is just popping in to do a quick overview, would ever be able to grasp. Just because you have been posting on the subject of Natalee Holloway for almost 2 years certainly makes you no expert on the other message boards surrounding this case. Perhaps you should just stick to what you do know about, the actual case. Oh, come to think about it, you do not know Jack about that either!

EasyWriter said...

Fobber – Are you telling us that things go on behind the scenes at that message board that the general public is unaware of, or are you saying the posts we see are written in some type of secret code? lol

Well, if your public site puts your best foot forward, I don’t even want to imagine what goes on behind the scenes. Think I need to wash my hands now…..

Anonymous said...

snipped...things go on behind the scenes at that message board that the general public is unaware of, or are you saying the posts we see are written in some type of secret code?

You just described BFN! *shocked*

EasyWriter said...

Tell us more!