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Communicating Via Knoxblab

Gray, Roger K
Committee Members: 
Dr. John Haas
December 2011

Abstract: This study is a Uses and Gratifications based look at motivations surrounding long-term participation in an internet discussion forum and perceived effects of this participation on users’ social lives. Members of the Knoxville, TN based web forum “Knoxblab” were interviewed for the study. Participants indicated that the forum is a tool by which social ties are maintained and developed, and they indicated that membership in the forum community is perceived as having positive effects on social activity. Consistent with traditional Uses and Gratifications Theory, results suggest that participants are motivated by reasons related to information sharing and entertainment, though web forums and other forms of computer mediated communication (CMC) expand traditional Uses and Gratifications theory in that users both receive and generate content. Limitations and suggestions for further study are provided.