With the increasing popularity of social networking sites, it has become relatively common for Internet users to develop an online presence via a personal profile page.
Contents Introduction Methodology Results Discussion and conclusion Introduction For many of the over a billion Internet users (Miniwatts Marketing Group, 2009), the Internet seems to serve an important social function, providing convenient and simple methods to establish or sustain connections with others.
The Internet also presents opportunities for people to manage their online personas, for example with brief and informal written descriptions (Wallace, 1999).
It is therefore easy to see why certain individuals may prefer to present themselves online.
With the increasing popularity of social networking sites (SNSs), it is now relatively easy, even for novice users, to have an online presence.
Indeed, Nie and Erbring (2002) report that the “overwhelming majority” of chat room interactions take place between individuals who are anonymous and not known to one another.
For this reason, effectively managing first impressions through the construction of the profile would seem to be particularly relevant in the chat room.
We may also wish to promote certain desirable personality traits and omit those that are more unpleasant.
Essentially, it is our decision as to what we say and the manner in which we say it (Wallace, 1999).
Nevertheless, the majority remain anonymous, probably many more than for social networking sites and blog authors.
There are sex differences in the types of information posted on chat room profiles, with women tending to include more personal information.
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.