• 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.

Conclusion: Tune in Tomorrow
Conclusion: Tune in tomorrow

The three stories I have told about rec.arts.tv.soaps (r.a.t.s.) as an online community, as an audience community, and as a community of practice are really one. It is the tale of how, through shared practices, a group of people who rarely (if ever) meet, whose ranks are ever changing, and who share little in common besides their comfort with computers and interest in soap operas built and continue to support a social world that, for many, feels like a community. Looking at r.a.t.s. as an online community puts the attention on the medium. When we think of r.a.t.s. as an audience community, the attention shifts to the text around which this particular group coalesced. Thinking of r.a.t.s. as ...

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