• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Tune In, Log Out is an ethnographic study of an Internet soap opera fan group. Bridging the fields of computer-mediated communication and audience studies, the book shows how verbal and non verbal communicative practices create collaborative interpretations and criticism, group humor, interpersonal relationships, group norms and individual identity. While much has been written about problems and inequities women have encountered online, Nancy K Baym's analysis of a female-dominated group in which female communication styles prevail demonstrates that women can build successful online communities while still welcoming male participation. In addition, a longitudinal look at the development of fan group allows an examination of the endurance of the group’s social structure in the face of the Internet’s tremendous growth. Lively and engaging, Tune In, Log Out provides an entertaining introduction to issues of online and audience community.

Interpreting and Comparing Perspectives in the Audience Community
Interpreting and comparing perspectives in the audience community

Take a typical scene on a soap opera. The setting is a lobby outside a courtroom where a kidnapping trial is in progress on Port Charles. Lucy paces nervously. When Karen enters the lobby from the courtroom, Lucy asks how the trial is going. Karen tears into her for letting Scott (the man on trial) believe that Lucy was his friend and then testifying against him. Demanding that Lucy never speak to her again, Karen storms off. What even short-term viewers know is that Lucy has only pretended to betray Scott to get information that might clear him. For the plan to work, it must be kept secret from everyone ...

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