Q:

How does a chat room work?

A:

Chat rooms are computer-enabled extensions of human interaction. They allow individuals to connect in real time with other people who wish to discuss various topics and issues, exchange information and intermingle socially by following a message thread on their computer screen.

According to Dave Ross in an article titled "How Chat Rooms Work," getting started with chat room communication is as easy as searching the Web for one that seems interesting and meets personal needs and expectations, and then deciding on a user ID or nickname. Most chat rooms allow guest sign-ups without having to establish a password. Next, choose a room option, such as "technology" or "thirtysomething singles."

After entering a chat room, it's important to read the chat log to see what others have been talking about. Keep in mind that active conversation in any chat room tends to veer off topic occasionally. Observe for a while to get a feel for overlapping conversation trends and to find one that seems appealing. After that, dive headlong into the conversation, or simply type, "Hi everyone."

Individuals who become adept at navigating selected chat rooms may volunteer as moderators. An experienced volunteer moderator may choose to pursue employment as a paid chat room host.

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