Gefen and Ridings, both local Philadelphia scholars, begin by recapping women's and men's sociolinguistic patterns of discourse as prior discussed in the literature. They hypothesize that women, more than men, will wish to both receive support from and give support to a virtual community in which they are participating. In addition, they hypothesize that such support will influence women's assessment of the quality of that virtual community, and that women will more constantly than men rate their virtual community as having higher quality. They surveyed 39 discussion boards, which they divided into men's, women's, and mixed boards. As to be expected, women more than men were found to go to discussion boards for support. One of the interesting results they found is that the men surveyed also sought rapport and support, but did so more often in men's-only communities, presumably where an expectation of common language would be held, and did not rate them lower in quality, even though rapport-seeking can be considered as indicating inferior social status among men according to past sociolinguistic studies. When the men did seek rapport in mixed-gender groups, it did not affect their assessment of the board's quality because there was an expectation of rapport-seeking inherent in the mixed-gender environment, since women were present and rapport-seeking is a characteristic of women's speech. The authors admit that even as they tried to control for gender-bias in the chosen bulletin boards, that some of the communities were specifically support/rapport based (eg. cancer support) and that may have skewed the data towards women's speech and away from men's speech.
Krolokke begins her essay by recapping recent research in gender and language in cyberspace, including the role of "grrrls" who specifically resist male domination. She then describes her study of 5 MSN channels of Internet Relay Chat (IRC): gay chat, lesbian chat, transgender/transsexual chat, politics2000 chat, and African-American chat for what she calls "playful chat". She analyzes the transcribed speech for 4 types of language play: abbreviations, paralinguistic cues, hybrid language, and insulting speech. Krolokke uses performance theory to explain gender play online such that she considers "linguistic gender" to mean performing a speech pattern that follows social and cultural expectations or stereotypes associated with the speech of that gender. She explains that in some cases, "IRC provides a space for participants to play out their most convincing performances of parodic linguistic identities." As such, she provides an argument away from earlier linguists who argued about the inherent differences in male/female communication and towards later "third wave" linguists who see all communication and all contexts as marked for gender, not the speaker him or herself.
While I may never actually cite this reference in my work, I think it is a valid reference for email in 1998. While Baron does not focus on gender in email communication, she seeks to provide a history of email and how it linguistically differs from both spoken language and other forms of writing. She puts forth an interesting theory that email could be considered a "creole" language, citing linguistic evidence of "pidgins" that have a highly restricted set of communicative functions while they function as a lingua franca, which matures into a creole as a second and third generation of native speakers grow up in the linguistic community. Since email is less than 40 years old, time will tell if the language used in email will become its own standard with grammar and conventions, or whether it will continue to creolize and adapt to the technological changes of its electronic medium.