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"Web-Based Chatting: Consumer Communication in Cyberspace"

Publication Title: Web-Based Chatting: Consumer Communication in Cyberspace
Author(s): George Zinkhan and Hyokjin Kwak and Michelle Morrison and Cara Peters

Year: 2003
Published in: Journal of Consumer Psychology

Topic of the Publication: - Business Strategy
- Economics
- Consumer Behavior
- Information Goods

Abstract:
The World Wide Web has the potential to change much about consumer behavior and consumer communication. Web-based chatting, the focus of this study, is one example. In this article, we provide an illustrative description of various consumer chatting situations, examine the motivations underlying Web-based chatting, and discuss the ways in which chatters act as "na"ve marketers" in their attempt to attract chatting partners. Using information gathered through the combined use of an Internet survey and a content analysis, we explore five research questions: who chats, why individuals chat, how chatters communicate, what links exist between Web chatting and other consumer behaviors, and which factors lead to a successful chatting experience? The findings provide some insight into how consumers market themselves in cyberspace and the effectiveness of their "personal advertisements" in attracting other chatters.
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