Uncovering Rhetorical Methods of Word-Of-Mouth Talk in an Online Community

Anat Alon, Boston University
Frederic Brunel, Boston University

Rediscovering Word-of-Mouth: An Ethnomethodological Analysis of
Word-of-Mouth Rhetorical Methods in an Online Community


This article seeks to depart from traditional word-of-mouth (WOM) perspectives that have overemphasized the instrumental (rather than relational), and dyadic (rather than communal) nature of WOM.  We analyzed conversation data from the bulletin board of an Internet community. Through the ethnomethodological analysis of WOM talk, we have demonstrated that consumers use an abundant repertoire of advice seeking and advice giving rhetorical methods. This study was able to capture the richness and subtlety of everyday WOM interaction. It shows that WOM is an activity that is carried out in particular local circumstances. As such, WOM devices or methods are to be regarded as in situ achievements of participants’ practical actions and practical reasoning.
[ to cite ]:
Anat Alon and Frederic Brunel (2006) ,"Uncovering Rhetorical Methods of Word-Of-Mouth Talk in an Online Community", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 501-502.