Lehrveranstaltungen von Urmila Goel an der Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder
Wintersemester 2004/05: Virtual Ethnicity - Ethnic Identity Construction in the Internet
reports by Myra Mae Cabantac
Not seeing any changes in ETJ “HOME” page for such a long time, a small addition such as the link to the ETJ blog didn’t pass my eyes unnoticed. In the “JAMAICA” page the same link is added. I however believe that there was a glitch to the “channels” link (in JAMAICA page) because instead of the link leading to the different features of this page when clicked, it leads to the ETJ blog.
In the JAMAICA TALK page, three additions have also been made. Firstly, a small link on the upper right that says “Host your website with Ducani Web Hosting” has been added. This when clicked leads to http://www.ducanihosting.com/ which is a professional website hosting. This erases all doubts I have in mind that Ducani, who is the ETJ administrator, indeed is the webmaster of ETJ. In addition to this confirmation, I also got for the first time an email from email@example.com which is also signed by Ducani. The second addition is a small button in a mixture of green and yellow colors that says “HELP ETJ GROW”. This button when clicked produces a pop-up window that says “Tell a Friend About ETJ's Jamaica Talk Forums”. One has then to write his or her name and email address and that of the friend’s, and is then able to send the friend a link to the site. This however can only be done with one address at a time and not multiple. The third addition is the ETJ VIP ROOM - under the ETJ community forum. This is only accessible to whoever who is given the password. As of the moment, there are no posts seen in this category.
The ETJ SHOPPING is also now fully functioning. The Product categories are Apparel and Accessories and Jamaican Crafts products. Under apparel and accessories, one type of bag with a Jamaican theme is available. Under Jamaican crafts there are clay and ceramic, ashtrays, refrigerator magnets and key rings. I am however not sure how one can pay the ordered materials, whether it can only be done with a credit card or with any other payment means. The lists of countries where one has to choose their address and the shipping destination show only a handful selection of countries namely; the USA, Northern Ireland, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and Thailand. The absence of Canada and United Kingdom which are known to host a number of Jamaican communities is quite surprising.
At last, the awaited ETJ Newsletter found its way to my mailbox on February 7th, 2005. The topic of the Newsletter was about Caribbean Vacation. This article is about the best times to go to Caribbean for a holiday and talks about the best low season prices and avoiding the hurricane season. It also lists 4 links which are considered popular forum discussions in ETJ. These are; A Weekend To Blow Her Mind; what a woman would like her date to do on a weekend date that would swipe off her feet, Underestimated Reggae Artists; on which reggae artist one would consider to be underestimated or do not have the promotion he deserves; Debate: If Marijuana Is a part of Jamaican culture, and a thread on Favorite Oldies Reggae Songs.
Under the General Discussion forum, an announcement about voting for ETJ as the Top5 Jamaican Website is made on the very top where no one is suppose to fail to notice it. However there are only 35 views listed in this announcement so far. This announcement was again made by JAMCAN who is one of the moderators under the ETJ Forum news. Both have a link leading to http://www.top5jamaica.com/surfers2004.shtm. This is about the Top5 Jamaica's 5th Annual Surfer's Choice Award - In search of the Internet's Top 5 Jamaican websites for 2004. Voting will be done exactly 2 weeks, ending at midnight on February 15, 2005. Results are said to be announced shortly thereafter.
I tried to look into the “webmasters” this week. I sent once again ETJ [through the “contact us” link] an email asking for an insight about the website’s history of existence, the people behind its existence and the webmasters. I however did not receive any reply so far. Looking at the threads, it is however evident that DUCANI who is said to be the administrator of ETJ seem to address issues of additions and changes in the website. As the administrator, it is also just expected that “ETJ members” sees him as someone they should voice their minds out with any issue concerning the website. Whether DUCANI is really the actual one dealing with the design and technicalities of ETJ, or he is just administrating the website but throwing the technicalities to someone else was not very clear to me. But looking at his profile, with his interest in computer programming, it is a probability that he is also in charge with designing, technicalities and stuff. He is however a very active participant in “ETJ forum, not only with threads concerning comments and inquiries about the website but also with any other threads. It has also caught my attention that the reactions concerning the censorship which is depicted in the “Ease on Censorship” thread was not acknowledged by DUCANI. The Members explicitly was drawing his attention to the issue, but he rather didn’t make any comment at all.
As the hearts day is not too far away, the Valentine Fever is also “on” in ETJ. Avatars and signatures are being altered to cater and fit into the valentine scheme. Some members actually admitted of meeting some other members offline for this special day. There is also of course evident manifestations of flirting in the forums. It is not surprising to me anymore to know that some members do actually (as what they call) “hook up” with other members after getting to know a bit more of each other online.
I have gotten 6 Private messages since my very first day of membership. Most of them are exchanges with one of the moderators, JAMCAN. However one lady from Berlin also sent me a message wanting to keep in touch. As she said, she likes to have a chance to chat and so as to talk about “our Jamaican friends”.
The awaited ETJ Newsletter hasn’t found its way to my mailbox yet. I inquired about this, but I haven’t gotten a reply yet. The forum is however as interactive as ever. There are 136 new threads in a week, 3667 new posts and 54 new members.
Through persistent observation and frequent interaction in ETJ, I get to discover and get to know the site a little bit more every time.
This week I decided to post a thread about “how long and how often” a member is signed-in in ETJ with the aim of knowing who is really active and a regular in the site. I did already expect that this question will not really attract many answers, but few of those I find very “active” will surely post replies. As anticipated only five people did reply; the very active moderator JamCan and four other registered members Dejavoux, Honeypye, Russelsimmons, and Pseu. All five replies revealed that they stay in ETJ mostly during weekdays for about 8-10 hours. As they commented, “ETJ is like another part time job”.
In connection to my aim of knowing who else (aside from those I observe from their regularity of postings) are active and regulars in the site, I got to discover that I could check the members according to the highest numbers of post and not having to scan all profile of 4,940 listed members. This can be done by clicking the member’s link and from there clicking the Posts link. The highest number of posts is 9,409 by a certain LuvJamaicanMen from Florida. Her last activity is today, the 22nd January, 2005. She is however not a moderator but a regular registered user. In my observation, there are about 25 people including the mods, who are very active in the site and who in a way interact with each other as long-known acquaintances and friends. Looking at the list of posts, it does depict that these members whom I thought were very active, do have the highest number of posts.
My question about the stimulant for closing a thread has been clarified. According to the administrator Ducani, threads exceeding 30 pages will be considered for closing. This may or may not have anything to do with the actual content of the thread. However there will also be exceptions and this will depend on his own discretion. For example the “post your pic” thread has already reached 137 pages, but according to him this thread will never be closed.
In all these months of observing ETJ I realize that there are still many features of ETJ that I have been overlooking. For one, I already mentioned the way of checking the number of posts. I also noticed that ETJ has an “events” link where one can have a bird’s eye view of events that are coming up. This is either a recurring date (like members’ birthdates) or events posted by the members.
In connection to this, I also found out that there has been “ETJ Meetups” which are actually virtual linkups. This virtual meeting is planned every month but I haven’t seen any announcement in the last month so far. As I inquired, ETJ had set up a time for all members to meet up online and chat. It was a chance to “virtually meet” members who are actually not very active in posting in the forum. As ETJ does not have any “chat” feature, one of the members arranged a live chat room for this link up in “paltalk”. It is a free service but one had to download the software. It was then called the “ETJ chat room” and is only accessible by a password which is given to ETJ members, so the public can not access it. The last one happened in July 2004. As I recently asked about this “virtual gathering”, it awakened the desire for another “ETJ meet up” and one of the mods is gathering some thoughts and plans over it.
This week one of the mods also revealed (unintentionally) that moderators can actually see who is sending private messages (PMs) to whom. This caused the question of whether the moderators can actually read the private messages and caused a little bit of uproar. The moderators however confirmed that this is not the case.
There has also been a suggestion raised by the members about having “gender icons”. This was a result of wrong assumptions of a member’s gender. As an example one of the members wrote;
“…I'm all for that guys, cause up until someone happened to mention it today, I thought Samba was a girl!! Sorry, Samba... ”
And he replies;
“…Hehe. I can only laugh. For the record, 1, 2 and 3 legs. Yep its official, Samba's a guy...”
ETJ’s Homepage has not changed in the least. There are a total of 4,965 threads and 103, 104 posts at present. Up to this date the total number of registered members is 2,800.
ETJ UPDATE: SOME RANDOM OBSERVATIONS
Because of upcoming exams and term paper submissions, I was not able to hang out in ETJ this week as much I normally do. However I was able to devote some hours in the last two days and mingle with the community. Below are the obvious occurrences I observed.
There has been no new announcements or briefing posted by the administrator. However there has been a new update implemented, which is word censorship in the site. Certain words are no longer allowed to be used, words that may be interpreted as profanity and seen as vulgar. These words appear with stars when they are posted. The administrator did not give any notice before this implementation. The “users” suggested that there should be a little bit of “easing up on the censorship”. Some words that are not really profanities are however also being censored. For example, typing the words “SHOES”, it appears only as Sh***, and “EMBARRASS”, appears as embar****. However if one puts spaces between the letters they still somehow work. The word “GANJA” which is the Patois word for “marijuana” is also no longer allowed and appears as g****.
The news of Bob Marley being exhumed and reburied in Ethiopia was certainly a topic this week. As he is recognized as the greatest reggae artist, there are sentiments against his being moved out of Jamaica. The late artist’s 60th birthday which will be celebrated in Ethiopia next month has also been a prominent talk this week.
Although English is the main language of ETJ, the use of Patois is also widely use. Sometimes I find myself reading some posts and not being able to draw any concrete conclusion on what a sentence means. I noticed however that some posts which are in Patois are being replied in English. This implies that the person who replied do know Patois well and is therefore able to react. The way the “broken English” is used is also different from what I know. Although I understand some of it, I am not able to write in a way that it looks like “very Jamaican”. This however frustrates me in the sense that in the last three months of being in the website, I have never really established myself as “familiar” to others. Albeit I am entertained with the Forum, I still somehow find myself alienated. I feel more of a “member” behind the curtains, just observing and following what’s going on.
Two weeks ago I sent a message to the Administrators asking help on the people behind the website. Up to this point I haven’t received any reply. The ETJ’s first newsletter was supposedly going to be released within this week. The third week is already at hand and there is still no sign of this newsletter. There are also no new posts in ETJ blog.
ETJ in the NEW YEAR
Like people renew or set new realistic goals for a new year so does ETJ (Everytingjamaican.com). As written by the administrator on the site, ETJ’s goal for 2005 is “to become the number one Jamaican Website and the most highly trafficked Jamaican Website.” This statement involves numerous plans for changes and additions. A small percentage of these changes are mentioned below.
These changes that will be made in the course of the New Year will not always be announced. As what I already experienced during the last weeks of 2004, there were downtimes caused by these changes. There was no supporting reason given for this.
A new record for having the most users ever online was also achieved on the 6th of January 2005. From 167 users, the new record for “most users ever online” is 284. But as usual the number of members, who are online, normally do not exceed 30 people.
This update recapitulates several observations made in ETJ (everytingjamaican.com) within the last three weeks.
At present there are 2,686 registered members in ETJ. Most of the time the number of “guests” who are on the site exceeds that of those “registered members”. Whenever I am signed-in on ETJ, there are roughly 10 members online and around 60 guests. However, the number of registered members continually increases. In the last three weeks there are approximately 30 new members. Unfortunately, the locations of these “newbie(s)” are mostly unrevealed. However, three of them noted that they are US-born Jamaicans and another three noted that they are Jamaicans living in Canada. Most of the “newbie(s)” called themselves “Jamaica-addicts”, those who either fell for Jamaica’s culture and sceneries or who fell for a Jamaican guy. It is now very obvious to me, that not only Jamaicans are actively participating and interacting in ETJ, but likewise non-Jamaicans who has either very little knowledge of Jamaican culture and its people or who those who already had first hand interaction with them. Taking only into account the last three weeks, I became widely aware of the very diverse reasons for joining ETJ as “registered members”. Below are quotes that depict this diversity of motivation for being a “member”.
-“…I am a born Jamaican residing in Canada…I just wanted to interact with some Jamaicans and so that’s why I'm here…”
-“…I have fallen in love with Jamaica and it is my second home. I look forward to getting to know people here and hope to learn and share knowledge.”
-“…I have enjoyed visiting this site for the last few months and just got up the nerve to join- never been a member of anything like this before…”
-“…I accidentally came across this site and registered immediately just a few moments ago without hesitation.…”
-“…I love Jamaica and I wanted to join this website to meet people that love the same things and learn about the culture…”
-“…I am a retired police officer and now own and operate a small modeling agency. I will be in Ochi at the Fisherman’s Point…While I am there I will be looking some girls to model for me. If you or your friends are interested let me know …” (Apparently, this member joined ETJ with a business purpose in mind.)
- “...I thought this site would be fun and help me to take my mind off how boring Canada is…”
-“…Have joined this site to chat and learn about Jamaica because I have met a lovely Jamaican guy and I hope to learn more about his culture and headspace - and win his heart…”
The non-interactive features of ETJ have not been changed or updated in the last three weeks. The general layout of ETJ has also not been modified. There were no changes to any design or text to cater the Christmas season in ETJ “Home”. Unlike other websites where flashes of season greetings and designs are visible, ETJ’s only manifestation of the holiday season is in the “Forum” where the members continuously post threads about the up-coming holidays. The regular and familiar members in ETJ recounted their eventful year in ETJ. Everyone wished each other a “Merry Christmas”. There were threads noting the worst Christmas gift a member has gotten, or the cheapest gift ever received, and gifts they plan to give out for Christmas. The mostly sought “wished for Christmas as a present” was a “ticket to Jamaica”. The pre- Christmas fever was evidently present in ETJ’s “Forum”.
The Christmas aftermath however was for me a surprising one. It was actually apparent how many commented of being relieved that Christmas was over. As one recounted, “…I enjoyed my family and friends, but I'm glad it's over...” Some even claimed that they didn’t feel the spirit of Christmas at all. Some however accounted this to the tiring dinners to plan and put up with, and endless budgets for Christmas gifts and other expenses. As mentioned in ETJ “Home” (under culture) that “Jamaica is known to have the most churches per square mile than any other country where it is primarily a Christian society”, this Christmas aftermath appeared odd to me. I probably anticipated a strong Christian society to “value” Christmas no matter what the circumstances are. However digging into the thread “What are we really celebrating on December 25th” settled my surprise that ETJ as a community does not necessarily represent ETJ as a strong Christian community.
The coming New Year celebration was however more widely spoken about and addressed more than that of the Christmas. New Year’s resolutions were redundantly being questioned and posted. Personal theme’s for 2005 were exchanged and commented among familiar members. Most did mention about going to church on New Years Eve and afterwards as what one can expect from a Jamaican, partying.
Like all other websites, the South-Asia Tsunami disaster was a huge topic. Members and guests both sympathize and empathize with the victims, urging each other for prayer and financial support. This has raised topics ranging from a feared possible Atlantic tidal wave, to looking out for irregular North ocean wave happening without viable cause, to recounting all the hurricanes and floods that happened in Jamaica, and earthquakes around the globe. In these threads, worries and a touch of fear can be detected.
In “Meet People” I received a second ETJ-letter from a guy who lives in Florida. He is 42 years old and believes that age is just a number. He however suggested a contact through telephone will be much better and faster. As I really am not interested in furthering any contact I politely declined and suggested that email will be more suitable as a communication tool given that it is just reasonable not to exchange phone numbers at this early stage. The first person who contacted me is listed in both my yahoo and msn messenger. However, I have never chatted with this person since I added him on my list. At least up to this point, I can claim that “Meet People” in my case, is not an effective way for me to develop acquaintances and friendships. However I do not close the possibilities. I simply need the motivation and the desire to do it.
During these three weeks, there were a couple of days where there was downtime. Couple of times I couldn’t enter ETJ when I tried to access it (which was normally in the afternoons) for days. There was however no beforehand notice on a downtime. However after a few days the administrator started posting a downtime notice. This was all due to an upgrading that was needed to ensure a higher level of security for the server that ETJ lives on. He also apologized for the unannounced downtime and reasoned out that no notice was possible as they didn’t foresee the upgrade causing any problems as it temporarily did.
I also recall signing up for ETJ’s newsletter the very first day I signed up as a member. Nevertheless, I haven’t received any newsletter up to this date. I can not make any comment on what is the reason behind this, but I will post an inquiry to the administrator in the next days.
It is for a fact that nowadays, that the internet indeed plays an integral part in many relationships. Emails and Chats are convenient ways in keeping in touch with people you already know in real life or those friends you met online. They are faster and cheaper. There is however the question of whether virtual communication can really be compared as communicating in “real time”.
In my observed website www.everytingjamaican.com, there are some features which offer ways of developing and maintaining a virtual social relationship. One major feature is the “Meet People” which is a fee-based service. One can register, post a photo and search for contacts for free. There is also a free two-way matching service where contacts that meet your criteria and those whose criteria you meet will be sent to you. One can also send a “Virtual Kiss” – which is a way of attracting someone’s attention and therefore initiating a contact for free. Contacting a member through messages however is no longer free. One has to buy contact stamps which allow contacting one member for each stamp. One of course has to set up a profile with a valid email address. To see how things are in this feature, I decided to set up a profile and had been a registered user for more than a month now. However nothing happened in the last one month. I tried to send short messages to three members last Friday to see whether contacting a person is actually possible. I did get one reply so far. This was surprising because I didn’t have any contact stamps but my messages seemed to have gone through after all.
Another way of relationships being developed in ETJ (everytingjamaican.com) is also through the “Jamaican Talk”. I have observed that most of the frequent users and posters do recognize each other and in a way relate to each other as long-known friends. Within ETJ community, they indeed have established a virtual friendship. As one writes; “….EVER SINCE I HAVE FOUND THIS SITE I FEEL AS IF I HAVE FOUND SOME NEW FRIENDS. WHEN I NEED TO SOLVE A PROBLEM ALL I DO IS CALL UP THE ETJ TEAM TO THE RESCUE…I DO FEEL AS IF I HAVE SOME NEW FRIENDS OUT THERE ALTHOUGH I CAN’T SEE THEM…” We can also see threads that are posted looking and inquiring about members who has not logged-in for some time. Below is an example of a statement that supports the idea of friendship being established between the members; “…. MI WUDDA LIKE FI KNOW WEH DI HELL YU DEH? MI DID A GIVE YU SOME TIME AFTA DI HOLIDAY AN YU IS PUSHING A WEEK NOW!!!STAP PLAY AN COME BACK!!!! IN CASE YU NEVA NO, MI MISS YU! (Translation: I want to know where the hell you are. I gave you some time after the holiday and it’s over a week now! Stop playing and come back! In case you haven’t known it yet, I miss you.”)
It is also possible for members to send private messages to registered users in “Jamaican Talk”. It is a kind of emailing each other off the forum board. Some of the members also posted that they do meet other members who are in their area offline.
I however cannot decide whether an element which caters to the needs of diasporic families is present. There is a thread where people post inquiries about loved ones they haven’t seen for ages or met at all. But I believe this is not enough to be counted as an element that supports or enhances their relationship but rather just a driver or a way of starting their communication.
Everything Jamaican is a website that contains combined communication key areas. I however am concentrating in observing the interactive area which is the “Jamaican Talk”. There are four major forum categories which are the General Area, Entertainment Zone, Jamaican People and Lifestyles and Everything Jamaican Community. Under these major categories are also subcategories. For this session I am going to focus my attention on the Jamaica Talk General Area and subcategory Newbies and Guests.
Under Jamaica Talk General Area, a wide range of topics are being discussed from simply introducing one’s self to the community to marital problems or expressions of love and appreciation for Jamaica. Most of those who are participating in the forum are either Jamaicans living in the United Stares (New York, Philadelphia etc.), Canada, the United Kingdom, Austria and non Jamaicans who are interested with Jamaican culture or its people.
The Jamaicans view of ETJ (everytingjamaican) is depicted in what the forum Moderator describes as “a humble but crazy home away from home”. The famous Jamaican Patois (the Jamaican language) is widely in use. This language is an active and vibrant medium of communication by a number of Jamaicans. It is known as 'Creole' and identifies its evolution from multi-linguistic sources. Being able to speak this language gives an image of “being simply Jamaican”. This somehow also mirrors the colorful and unique history of the Jamaican people. However to be able to cater to the needs of non patois speakers, English is also being used.
What is also obvious was the fact that most impressions of non Jamaicans over Jamaica and its people are mostly positive. Comments such as; “Jamaicans are the nicest strangers you ever want to meet”, “I love the people and culture, and I love my rice and peas”, “people are extremely nice and friendly” are common in the site. Jamaicans are known for their dreadlocks, free use of marijuana, for their reggae music which speaks of slavery and oppression, the Rastafarian religion and their extreme religiousness, for their exotic Jamaican delicacies and palate pleasures, and their simple but fun-loving life. These themes are common topics under this forum subcategory.
One interesting thing is the way Jamaicans reacted to these themes. There is a division on ideas whether these are actually right or not. Some posted replies that, it is purely rumor that Jamaicans are extremely nice and friendly. Most of the Jamaicans also corrected that the free use of marijuana amongst Jamaicans are not as rampant as most people think so. There was also a division on the issue whether the fun loving and laid back lives of Jamaicans are mere reflection of laziness or if it is simply an expression of how they truly love and treasure a simple life. It is no longer surprising for me to see that despite of some divisions, one thing they all have in common is that they are proud and happy to be Jamaicans.
www.everytingjamaican.com is a Jamaican online community which, as written on the website “… brings a community about Jamaica like no other.” Its first feature is a page “Jamaica” which includes a list of information about the country including its History, Culture, Food, Geography, Heroes, and the famous Jamaican Reggae music. This page also includes pictures which are taken in Jamaica. Another feature is the “Jamaica Talk”, where it is possible to communicate with other users, get to know their interests and get to know Jamaica itself. The forum is said to have grown in the past months and is therefore interactive. Its third feature is “Shopping”, where it is possible to order and buy Jamaican products online. Its fourth feature is the”Meet People”, which is an online dating community. It also provides dating advices and horoscopes. Another feature is “Alumni”, where it is possible to search the sites Jamaican High School Alumni database and get connected with them. The last Feature of the site is “Contact”, where one can send articles, comments and question to the webmaster.
This website is not solely meant for Jamaicans but also for people who are interested in Jamaica, its people and its culture. I would like to use this site in place of the www.euroafricans.com because apart from being interested in the Caribbean, Reggae Music and Jamaican Culture, the website does not solely contain information, but also combined communication keys which will give me more chance to interact with the site users. This is important in making the project observation more interesting, worthwhile and effective. Euroafricans.com only contains a wide variety of information but these interactive elements are not present. The wide range of Information makes it even more difficult to observe the site.
In spite of the fact that everytingjamaican.com is not based in Europe and is catering not only for Jamaicans in a specific country but rather Jamaicans in the whole world and other people who are not Jamaicans but are interested in Jamaica, I believe that it has an ethnic touch. As I have seen from the Forum and the Dating Service, most users are Jamaicans abroad particularly from the United States. Other users are located in Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada, South America, and from Jamaica. This is a way for them to build a community without being physically present. One way it is ethnic is the touch of “Jamaicanness” in itself. In the Forum it is evident that most use their own Jamaican English. The Website’s name which is Everytingjmaican.com instead of everythingjamaican.com already features the special “only Jamaicans” accent and makes it sound unique.
As a very young child I have always been fascinated by the “African” world. I thought these black-skinned people were purely characters from myths. As I grew up, I found out that this continent does exist, and so do the black-colored people. My unquenchable interest in Africa, its people and cultures is the basic force behind my choice of the Euro-Africans (http://www.euroafricans.com/) site for this project.
Euroafricans.com is relatively newly created and therefore some pages are still under construction. It is however said to be weekly being updated. It is a collection of different pages on African culture in Europe. There is rather a wide covered range of subjects on this website. From Afro-European issues to a list of African restaurants and their addresses, list of African exhibitions, African communities in different European countries, news updates on the condition of Africans living in Europe, Art, Lifestyle and Culture and an unfinished page for Afro-European chat.
Because Africans living in Europe come from many different African Nations, each individual community forms an ethnic group within each European country. euroafricans.com basically links these communities and therefore gives a way to establishing connection with each other. For example, their shared anxieties such as illegal immigrants, asylum seekers, discrimination and exploitation issues, are tackled and published on the site. Contributions from Freelance writers are also sought and given a chance to be published. Despite their diversities they have the chance to be united as an Afro-European community.
We can admit that in spite of the beautiful and rich cultural heritage of Africa, there is everywhere a negative treatment of the African people. Prejudice and discrimination based on presumed ethnic differences are universal, and in the case of African ethnicity it is very often that people do fail to see the positive side of it to the extent of having connotative meanings such as “backwardness”, “uncivilized” and “less worth” attached to it. I have seen situations where these cases apply. This is another reason why I would like to work on euroafricans.com for this project. I would like to see and observe how the Africans are coping in a European setting, how they use the “virtual world” in dealing with issues and conflicts arising from how other people view them, how does the “virtual ethnicity” help in achieving a positive African identity and how “virtual ethnicity” will act as a source of identification and solidarity.