A Participant Observation Analysis of the "Once & Again" Internet Message Bulletin Boards

Siddhartha Menon
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This paper utilizes an ethnographic and participant observation approach in order to analyze discourse among members of the Internet message bulletin boards dedicated to the ABC television program "Once & Again". The emphasis is on community and activism dimensions of the member's interactions as a social movement. The treatment of the concepts of community and activism will largely address their epistemological aspects. Theory can play a useful role in understanding phenomena within the "O&A" Internet message bulletin board sites. This study considers a relevant and innovative conceptual approach namely voice, as a theoretical construct. The phenomenon within this computer mediated fan community suggests a richness of human self involvement with the program's text and a dogged grassroots campaign to "save" the show from cancellation.

Keywords: Computer Mediated Communication, Ethnography, Participant Observation, "Once & Again", Internet Message Bulletin Boards, Community, Activism, Voice Theory
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A Participant Observation Analysis of the "Once & Again" Internet Message Bulletin Boards

Siddhartha Menon

doctoral student, Telecommunications, Information and New Media, Michigan State University

I am a fellow and doctoral candidate and fellow at Michigan State University's Program in Mass Media. My research interests are in virtual communities, ethnographic approaches to on-line discourse, international telecommunications policy and mass media issues among developing countries that are deregulating their communication sectors. I have published extensively in various publications and scholarly journals, and most recently in: Menon, S.S. (September 2000). Making a case for MMDS. Telecommunications, 34(9), 47-48.; Menon, S. (2001). The influence of US foreign DBS policy on Indian DBS TV: a case study of policy transfer. Telecommunications Policy, 25(8/9), 543-564; 'Journal of Development Communication', "The role of emerging wireless development technologies in the developing world". 14(1): 15-31; 'Government Information Quarterly', "India's convergence policy within its communication sector: A long road ahead", 21(3), p. 319-336.

Ref: T05P0094