Writing for Internet Underground

chatcova.jpg (8556 bytes)

Only You Have the Power to Influence Online Chat
by David Spark
Internet Underground, June, 1997

"Oh man, another cool chat program! - Voice, video, avatars, 3D, VRML, home cooked meals, and games!"

So why is it still so dull? Because even the most technologically advanced chat program is still dependent on its users to supply content. That means only YOU have the power to improve the quality of online chat. You must be proactive. Contrary to popular advice, when trying to get noticed online, don’t be yourself. Online chat is the Internet’s costume party. And like any Halloween party, nobody wants to talk to the party pooper who refused to come in costume.

The following is a primer on the different personas one can assume online. Study and rehearse the techniques most suitable to your character. When employed you’ll see a significant improvement in your online conversations. I guarantee it.

Note: Our main chatter’s name is Davo, and all dialogue in italicized text were conducted in private channels.

The Rumor Mill

Technique: As the Rumor Mill, your assignment is to spread bogus gossip. Use any IRC channels necessary. A combination of creativity and credible sources will soon transform your fellow doubting chatters into believers of online tabloid journalism.
Pros: Keep it up and one day you may see your scandal in print.
Cons: You may get sued.
<Davo> Do you know how many dogs they had to kill in the making of Star Wars?
<Paladyn> Davo: 0
<Davo> The early scenes on Luke's home planet with the jawas...The midgets were so highly paid that they had to use dogs as stand ins. The dogs couldn't handle the conditions, so a bunch of them died.
<han> davo thats a good story, but ive never heard of it, its certainly possible i guess
<Davo> It's not a story han.
<Paladyn> I'm working on a web page
<Davo> Better add the part about the dogs.
<han> davo i run an RPG on irc
<Davo> So I'm thinking han, that you throw in some part about the dogs.
<han> davo, i dont think so
<Davo> I can work it in for you if you want.
<|TK-421|> it has nothing to do with starwars
<Davo> What you can do is take a standard story. Like something about the storm troopers. Import it into Word and do a quick find and replace. Substitute "Storm Troopers" for "dogs." What do you think?
<Davo> Thanks Davo, that's ok

The Expert

Technique: Whatever the discussion, you’re the expert.
Important Note: No matter how much evidence they have against you, never back down.
Pros: Everyone will think you’re so smart.
Cons: Everyone except the true experts.
<Davo> Don't even bother filing your taxes.
<peesh> Davo: Why not?
<Davo> The IRS won't even come after you. They're so bogged down. If you don't owe that much you probably can get away with it for a year. Haven't you paid enough already peesh?

<LarryK> quantum physics tells us we are not even here
<Davo> Quantum physics has no idea we're even talking. The only reason anybody even speaks about them is because they came up with a concept that we're all not here and that seemed so radical that someone decided to give them a little radio play.
<LarryK> Quantum physics' value goes beyond radio.
<Davo> The only thing valuable that came from quantam physics is the Spiro Graph.

The Matchmaker

Technique: The Internet needs a cupid. Privately forward fabricated love notes to random chatters with the attached message, "I think so-and-so really likes you."
Pros: You may make a love connection.
Cons: You probably don’t know the sex or sexual orientation of any of your fellow chatters.
<Davo> Do you know Maconcpl?
<HipGirl> no i do not know him. why?
<Davo> It's just that he was talking about you before you even came in.
<HipGirl> huh? what was he saying?
<Davo> He was talking about how cool you are.

<Davo> Hey, it sounds if Lonewolf is sweet on you...
<sweetjenn> REALLY! why is that?
<Davo> Can't you tell???!!!
<sweetjenn> not really :).... but love all the attention...:) but then what woman doesn't

<Davo> Is there anything going on between you and timeflyer?
<Hiddenjoy> no we are just friends
<Davo> Really? Because I think he's got a thing for you.
<Hiddenjoy> timeflyr is a female

<RnC^^> leave hidden alone

<Davo> Hey, SweetJenn was talking about you. Is there anything going on between the two of you?
<lonewolf1> not that I know, why?
<Davo> Just seems like there's something going on...That's all.

<Davo> Oh, RnC doesn't like me too much. Goodbye.

<RnC^^> Hey Davo, ya know these 2 things??? a /ignore and a ban?...u just had em applied
<Davo> Why do that my friend?

Session Close: Sat Apr 12 16:27:47 1997

The Instigator

Technique: Who wants to be a cupid when you can goad others to rage? Send incendiary private messages to fellow chatters. "So-and-so said this-and-that about you. Are you going to take that?"
Pros: Watch a friendly chat turn into the family feud.
Cons: Good luck trying to keep track of all your self-induced antagonizing rivalries.
<Davo> Hey man, cool out, Rum is pissed.
<fReAk18> yup i am me and I will not change for anybody
<fReAk18> Rum...and by the by..why did yah have Davo msg me

<Davo> Yikes, I can't believe what Hawkshaw just said about you.
<Juzef> What did Hawkshaw say about me?..I missed it.
<Davo> "Juzef needs his mom to dance...probably a whore."
<Juzef> That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard??

<Juzef> Hawkshaw: did you say something about me?? Cause someone said you did...
*** Juzef was kicked by RumRaison (RumRaison)

<Davo> What's up with freak /msging me with insults about you guys?
<KrKi> whats she saying?
*** fReAk18 was kicked by RumRaison (Stop talking about me behind my back.)
<Teleute> Davo. Tell us what she's saying.
<Teleute> I'd specifically like to know what freak18 has said about me.

Mr. Misinformation or Mr. Bad Advice

Technique: Ann Landers’ evil twin has entered the world of chat and is giving incredibly bad advice. Everybody’s got an opinion. Just make sure that yours is wrong.
Pros: Some may actually act on your suggestions.
Cons: And some of them may make a fortune off what you initially perceived to be a joke.
<Minimal> I got rear-ended today. I'm going to call my insurance agency tomorrow.
<Davo> Don't bother. You should strike a deal with the guy who hit you. Make him believe that you're really going to screw him over with your insurance agency. Strike a deal with him first, collect, and then file a claim.
<Minimal> My brothers tell me to go to the emergency room tomorrow and say I have pains...
<Davo> Good idea. Tell the guy that you have various expenses that need to be paid if you're to stay away from your insurance agency. Lawyer fees, therapist fees, podiatrist fees, tarot card readings, and all the alcohol you drank to numb the pain.

The Hall Monitor

Technique: Now that AOL gives you the ability to report illicit chatters, who says they have to be all that bad? As a Hall Monitor, your perceptions of so called "wrong behavior" may be different than that of other chatters.
Pros: People will really begin to resent you.
Cons: Chatters will go out of their way to antagonize you with increasingly violent speech.
<Dmagilla>mymac: You just don't know me
<Davo> Dmaglia, I know it wasn't nice, but please be polite.
<Cannonbats>i have no desires only evil thoughts
<Davo>Cannon, well then your evil thoughts are not welcome here.
<Cannonbats>did you date an 8 year old when you were 8
<Davo> Please people, this talk of child dating is not appropriate. If you want to talk about eight year olds please leave.
<Da Doors>you are a big nutt
<Davo> Da Doors, now please...No call for that. My mouse is beginning to edge toward the notification button.
<Cannonbats>i once dated an apple sucking bearded lady
<Davo> Please the language. I'm just shocked by the behavior in this room.
<Cannonbats>davo is a prude. My worst date was with a prude named davo
<Davo> Oh Cannon, I don't think that's nice. An apology would probably be in order.
<PUDDN6> Davo are you the Aol police?
<Davo> I'm not an AOL cop, just a concerned AOLer.

The Meat Lover

Technique: Your love of meat is so strong that you can’t stop talking about it, even online. A good knowledge of the different cuts would be helpful before embarking on your carnivorous adventure. Contact your butcher first.
Pros: You may really piss off some vegetarians.
Cons: You may get salmonella poisoning.
<Davo> Anybody want to invite me over for dinner? I so badly want some meat.
<LAJAN> What the hell?
<Cyn2All> well... I'm in the only room that usually makes any sense!!
<Davo> Would love to eat a tender, extra lean Filet Mignon. Need an AGE-SEX-FAVORITE CUT OF MEAT check
<Shamshake> 16/f/vegitarian
<McEntegart> 16/f/steak
<Casper0009> 15/m/female is my favorite meat
<Davo> A t-bone would be awesome...trimmed to perfection. I've got beef jerky for those that just can't wait.
<ETNEMELC> here, here
<McEntegart> Get off the food thing
<Davo> Wahalla, you know what would help? A nice piece of meat.

The Psychiatrist

Technique: Psychoanalyze fellow chatters whether they want it or not. Feel free to make gross misdiagnoses.
Pros: People love it when you show interest in them.
Cons: Some consider it prying into their lives.
<Davo> We all could use a little spiritual guidance.
<pippi3> there is no one here but me in Truth
<Davo> And how do you know that you've found truth?
<pippi3> because I have moments of Bliss and beyond
<Davo> Couldn't these moments of bliss just be gas?
<pippi3> unworthy of happiness perhaps
<Davo> Sounds like you're not willing to enjoy your happiness, pipp.
<pippi3> in Truth we are One
<Davo> Kind of like congealed french fries. So am I more truthful than you because I'm closer to GOD.
<pippi3> are u?
<Davo> I think I'm closer to God because he invites me over for potluck dinners.

The Liar

Technique: Wherever people live or whatever they do, either yourself or one of your relatives has something in common.
Pros: People will be astonished with the amazing coincidences-"That is so wild."
Cons: There is an eventual breaking point on the number of coincidences one can have-"Ah, he’s just being a jerk."
<Michayla> hey, have I talked to you before?
<Davo> I think we have.
<Michayla> I am in College Station Texas at Texas A&M Univerisity
<Davo> Oh, I have an aunt who teaches there.
<Michayla> double degree in Journalism and speech communications and minor in spanish
<Davo> My grandfather did a lot of business in Spain. Knew Juan Carlos.
<Michayla> wow! Do you know who I can get any help or connections with?
<Davo> Yeah, I know a lot of people.
<Michayla> do you know who foxy brown is?
<Davo> Oh, yeah. I know who she is. Her album was released in two different versions. A dirty and a clean version. My brother works on a FCC panel that forced her to produce the clean version.

The Arguer

Technique: No subject is too small or innocuous for you to take the other side. Your only purpose online is to disagree.
Pros: People will fight hard to stand by their beliefs.
Cons: Chances are pretty high that you’ll get kicked off.
<Teleute> Davo. Please don't presume to tell us how to run our channel.
<Davo> I just think your attitude could use a check up.
<Teleute> Because you're an idiot.
<Davo> Hey Teleute. you wanna take it outside. You know I've been in here for almost an hour and I haven't seen any mention of Immanuel Kant.
<Durtro> davo: that's cause Kant is an overrated wanker.
<Davo> Hey, Kant isn't here to defend himself. Lay off.
1997, David Spark
PC Computing
Second City
Live Marketing
American Comedy Network
Yahoo! Internet Life
And the Rest...
I Didn't Write For...

Copyright 1995-2000, David Spark