Following this, I will discuss several of the problems encountered by researchers of cyberspace.These include the unavailability of data on the parameters of the population and the necessary dependence upon online interviews and questionnaires rather than face to face interviews.On AOL, there is also a way to access a "profile", a personal biography stating characteristics such as age and gender as well as listing hobbies and other interests, for chat room participants who wish to make their personal details public Unfortunately, our data on the parameters of the population of online chat room users is limited to the above.

We don't know how many people, over an extended period of time, use online chat rooms.

There is no data telling us how long each individual user spends engaged in online chat and we don't know at which times they are likely to come and go.

We also know that the use of these technologies requires not just literacy, but computer literacy.

On AOL, there are methods of obtaining data on the number of people using a specific chat room and of determining the total number of chat rooms at a given point in time.

Most of the existing social scientific research of the online world has been ethnographic.

Given the prevalence of ethnographic methodology in the study of social phenomenon in text based virtual environments, it is surprising that it's use in cyberspace has yet to be analysed in any great detail.

(Hamman, 1996) These forms of cybersex, according to Nguyen and Alexander, are often satisfying enough that they can "evoke physical orgasm" for many of the participants.

(Nguyen & Alexander, 1996, 116)In my research of cybersex chat, I decided to use an ethnographic approach, following the precedent of some other important studies of cyberspace (Reid 1991, 1994; Turkle 1995; Baym 1996).

These difficulties include the lack of parameters for users of text based virtual environments, the necessity of online interviews rather than face to face ones, and the frequent misinterpretations that occur due to the narrow bandwidth of text based CMC.

In recent years academic researchers have written extensively about computer mediated communication (CMC).

Abstract: Text based computer mediated communication (CMC) has recently been the focus of many ethnographic studies by social scientists.