Chatmag's Top Ten Chat Topics for 2003
Chatmag's Top Ten Chat Topics for 2002
Chatmag's Top Ten ChatTopics for 2004

Well above any other chat topic, the war in Iraq remains solidly the number one chat topic for the year.  During the months of April and May, the war was being discussed in the vast majority of chat rooms and discussion boards.

Internet chat also played several roles within the Armed Forces.  The Detroit Free Press featured an exclusive article profiling a U.S. Marine Lieutenant who's duty consisted of surfing chat rooms and engaging in conversations with chatters.  "Commanders told him to get on the Internet and give them a chance to communicate with the armed forces." (1)

Secure chat rooms are also one of the major communications tools used by all U.S. Armed Forces, enabling them to keep in touch between the front lines and headquarters.  U.S. Navy ships use chat for internal communications, edging out the old standby ships telephone systems. (2)

In Internet chat news for the year, the single largest story was the closing of chat rooms on 28 of MSN's International sites.  From Instant Messaging Planet- "Chat areas in the U.S., Japan and Canada will continue to remain open, however, but only to users who agree to pay a monthly subscription fee." (3)

The top story in Internet Relay Chat (IRC) news was the formation of IRC/Unity, a group of IRC Server Administrators from dozens of IRC networks. The first task of IRC/Unity was to successfully decompile the Fizzer Worm, and render it useless.  IRC/Unity continues to provide a platform for IRC Server Administrators to share information relative to IRC security.

From the IRC/Unity web site:
"IRC Unity is a project set up by members of staff from the various IRC Networks that have been co-operating over the past few days, in order to build up defences to the fizzer worm which has seen large infection rates on all continents since it was first noticed at the weekend."
 

The upcoming U.S. Presidential race has chat rooms buzzing with activity, more so than in past elections, and Politics ranks as the second of our top ten.  With the election moving into cyberspace, the clear forerunner is Howard Dean, the "wired" candidate. (4)

Rounding out our top ten topics for 2003 are:

Personal relationships
African American
Health
Sports
School Alumni
Depression
(the number one health topic of the year)
Lord of The Rings
Computer user assistance

Internet chat remains as the third leading use of The Internet, behind email and web surfing, and is moving into new territory as a business tool, facilitating online customer support. There is an increase in online retailers integrating both online chat and messenger services into their sites. Financial and investor related chat rooms are also gaining popularity, and will continue to do so.

The outlook for Internet chat into 2004 is that chat and message boards will remain popular and become more focused as people seek chat rooms on their favorite subjects.
 

(1) Detroit Free Press. Laptop is a weapon in this war of words.
   http://www.freep.com/news/portraitsofwar/rushing.htm

(2) Federal Computer Week.  DOD chat use exploded in Iraq.
   http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2003/0623/web-panel-06-23-03.asp

(3) Instant Messaging Planet.  MSN Rethinks Chat Rooms, Promotes IM Instead.
   http://www.instantmessagingplanet.com/public/article.php/3084311

(4) Pittsburgh Post Gazette. A wired Dean is altering conduct of politics.
   http://www.post-gazette.com/election/20031116deannet1116p2.asp
 
 

By the Editors of Chatmag.com
10 December 2003
copyright 2003 chatmag.com

Chatmag's Top Ten Chat Topics for 2002

Chatmag.com, the leading Internet chat directory, issues our list of the top ten chat topics for 2002.

Although a regional topic, and short lived, the D.C. area sniper was the top chat topic of 2002. In chat rooms on every IRC network and in the major Web based chat rooms, people not only in The United States but worldwide were discussing the sniper attacks during the crisis. Not since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 did one topic hold as much interest.

Second to the sniper attacks was Iran and Terrorist Attacks chat. The possible war with Iraq is in the forefront, and will hold as the leading chat topic into 2003.

Depression chat rooms are listed separately from Health related, due to the overwhelming numbers of persons seeking depression related chat rooms.

Travel related include both regional chat rooms by nation, and tourist/travel chat rooms.

The remaining top 10 are:

African American
Health related
Big beautiful women
Travel related
Depression
Lord of The Rings
Harry Potter
Interracial

Internet chat remains as the third leading use of The Internet, behind email and web surfing, and is moving into new territory as a business tool, facilitating online customer support. There is an increase in online retailers integrating both online chat and messenger services into their sites. Financial and investor related chat rooms are also gaining popularity, and will continue to do so.

The outlook for Internet chat into 2003 is that chat and message boards will remain popular and become more focused as people seek chat rooms on their favorite subjects. Chat will also be the forum of choice for both fan and political/news discussions.

Chatmag.com continuously updates Internet chat news and information on our News page at:
http://www.chatmag.com/help/news.html
 
 

Permission is granted to link to or reprint this report in it's entirety, with credit given to Chatmag.com

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