Matthew Szalinski 10-18-11 Discourse Community Paper The Chicago Longboard Society has been around since 2009. I have been a member since early 2011. I have spoken to some of the key members over the Internet and have talked in person to some key members as well. The main goal of CLS is to promote the sport of longboarding as a hobby that does not require the commitment and stress on winning like many other sports. Instead they argue that it isn’t about being the best but just getting together with your friends and enjoying the ride. On the group’s Facebook page there is a long quote about the society’s view on longboarding. The end of the quote reads, “Longboarding is not about trying to be something you're not - it's about being who you are”. This instantly sets the tone for the headspace of the group Most of the discourse in the group happens on the Chicago Longboard Society’s Facebook page. In order to be part of the community one must request to join the group on Facebook and then the administrator who is in charge of the group must approve that request. There are not really any requirements or restrictions on people that the society lets in. As long as they live in Illinois they are usually accepted. Right now there are around 1,100 members in the group and that number has been growing fast since longboarding has gained mainstream popularity in the past year. The discourse members engage in on the Facebook page are mostly longboarding related. People discuss different types of wheels and boards and which ones are better. Longboarders like to argue about which brand makes the best gear. Much like the Pepsi vs. Coke debate people have strong opinions about their brands and are constantly arguing over them. When people ask other members if they have experience using a certain piece of equipment eventually the post
takes a turn into two people arguing over what is better. Most of the time it doesn’t have anything to do with the original question. That is one of the downfalls of this group but arguments over things are common on the Internet.
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