“…I am always reminded of how small changes in the details of a digital design have profound unforeseen effects on the experiences of humans who are playing with it…It is impossible to work with information technology without also engaging in social engineering.” -Jaron Lanier  After a relatively quiet and unmourned death, the chatroom as a social space recently returned in the form of Omegle and Chatroulette.
The classic chatroom of the 1990s was overtaken by other platforms as the WWW moved to newer forms of sociality; namely, the social network.
Here lies yet another dynamic conflict of identity.
The online offers the ability to shape one’s identity, separate from the actual day-to-day; an important distinction.
The architecture of a previous period fostered a certain behavior, in the form of pseudonymity, just as the current social web fosters publicity.
But the differences can still be seen today, as Lanier explains: Participants in Second Life (a virtual online world) are generally not quite as mean to one another as are people posting comments to Slashdot (a popular technology news site) or engaging in edit wars on Wikipedia, even though all allow pseudonyms. This name soon had a history, it represented me as an individual, and it sometimes said more with one word or phrase about my likes and dislikes than any profile could.
In reaction to the over-publicity of the self (which one could argue is in itself violent and pornographic in its own self-serving way) as conditioned by the social web, users have flocked to the other extreme of pure anonymity, preferring to live under the more anarchic conditions facilitated by 4chan for the sake of maintaining a level of power and control over their own privacy and identity.
For these users 4chan is empowerment; 4chan is honest.Somewhat romantically, these purveyors of, almost always, pornography are stuck in the language of a pre-social web, using presently dead styles, like “kewl.” Ironically, their language is either a caricature of netspeak, or their grammar is too proper, too proper to be human. pornography: videos, camgirls, with all requiring “free” credit-card registration (just to verify age, of course).The goal of bots is to promote and link users to certain content. With the number of bots proliferating in the rooms, there can be no doubt that at some point we failed the Turing Test.These later social web platforms have taken the place of self-made homepages devoted to the individual.No longer content to be members of specialized forums and bulletin boards, users opted instead for global citizenship featuring profile environments –the WWW’s version of a passport, or ID.In fact, we failed it long ago: norbertogomezjr (4/4/2012 PM): are you a bot? a_strawberrygirl59214 (4/4/2012 PM): i cant open my cam here yahoo wont allow it cause its adult – but you can access it on my profile norbertogomezjr (4/4/2012 PM): I thought you weren’t a bot? a_strawberrygirl59214 (4/4/2012 PM): i cant open my cam here yahoo wont allow it cause its adult – but you can access it on my profile Last message received on 4/4/2012 at PM [A transcription of a Yahoo!