Finding Sanity in the Madness

Exploring Social Media

Research Area of Interest February 27, 2011

Filed under: Politics,Research,Social Media — karch10k @ 11:08 pm
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Recently I made a post regarding “Politics 2.0”. I am heavily leaning towards Government 2.0 as my area of research. This is fortunately a growing area of research and it combines two of my major interests. I have begun looking for articles and trying to narrow my focus here. The issue I am currently having is that this is relatively a new concept (utilizing web 2.0 tools with government).

A couple of the articles I have been reviewing sort of give an overview of some of the research questions I have about Government 2.0, as well as it’s implications.

I am going to attempt to narrow my research soon and make an additional blog post regarding how I intend to do so. I would be open to suggestions in this as well. Currently, much of the research I have found is about the channels used and how effective they were/are in measuring public opinion. As said, I am in the process of narrowing down and looking for future research suggestions.


Social Media Research Design

Filed under: Research,Social Media — karch10k @ 8:44 pm
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In reading a little recently, I came upon an article that was  discussing social media research. Typically in this course, we are talking about how social media can be used, and how it can be very beneficial. In this article, however, the author seems to discount research using social media.

While the author acknowledges the fact that social media outlets such as Twitter or Facebook can contain vast amount of information that deems investigation, she seems to also note that information being considered highly reliable from social media research is “pure nonsense”.

Interestingly enough, she refers to research on social media as “eavesdropping”.

This is a different point of view I have yet to read much about. The general feelings I read about social media research is exciting and very positive. It would be interesting to see the authors response in light of some of the research projects done with crowd sourcing, knowledge of crowds, etc, etc.

Could the author simply be caught in the past, or does she have some weight on her opinion?


Social Media Matters February 21, 2011

Filed under: Social Media — karch10k @ 3:31 pm

I decided to go to the Digital Surgeons blog and read some posts about social media. I can remember beginning this course and thinking that social media (more specifically Twitter) was just a bunch of people with nothing better to do than Tweet mindless chatter to each other. I understood that social media could be a powerful marketing tool, but never really understood the amount of influence it could have over companies or people in power.

If you consider the first article I read, it would seem that a Facebook “Like” goes a bit further than simply someone clicking a button to show interest. Apparently, the Facebook Like can tell the future! It is very interesting to think about how accurate the Facebook Like is when talking about the past elections. It makes sense though, as many younger aged people use Facebook, and many younger voters turned out to the past election.

The second article is about Gap (GAP?). We had discussed this earlier in the course, but I never really got a chance to actually see the new logo. Now, I find it very fascinating that a Facebook and Twitter outcry could change something as major as a logo for a company of this size. I also agree that the new proposed logo they chose was horrid. While I don’t think the original is all that great, the changed one does little to improve. What were they thinking?

I am sure there are other articles out there to support the idea that social media is a driving force for change in many ways, these are just a couple articles I read and found to be interesting. Social media continues to make large impacts in many areas, and I look forward to being present for the impacts it will make in the future!


Fear of Social Media February 20, 2011

Filed under: Behaviors,Social Media,Uncategorized — karch10k @ 9:36 pm
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Recently, we have been talking about social media adoption among many other topics, and during a random Wal Mart excursion of mine, I was thinking about social media adoption in regards to my parents, or perhaps their generation.

I have plenty of people I am Facebook friends with that are in my parents generation, but my own parents remain either indifferent or even fearful of this new technology. I find it interesting that my mother and father share different feelings on social media, and I question why they have the feelings they do.

My mother maintains a fear of social media. Once a brief member of Facebook, the moment someone posted a picture of her that she did not like, she quickly decided that she was A.) angry at that person for posting it, and B.) read to get off of Facebook ASAP. She never really liked the idea of sharing her personal information over the internet, and especially disliked all the attention she gained from being on Facebook. Should would complain to me about logging on and having so many notifications, it was just overwhelming. I think her entire social media experience lasted about a week. I was excited about her being on Facebook, but it does not surprise me that she jumped ship so soon. She is the type of person who is still very skeptical about buying anything or handling any type of monetary exchange online even.

I feel like my mother, and many others her age are part of this sort of social divide. Something similar to the digital divide. Many people her age are just left behind everyone else in terms of social media. I also think this might be actually the digital divide playing it’s own part here. My mother has never been particularly savvy with technology, and I suppose that social media is just a step too far for her.

I wish she were a bit more open to these new types of communication channels. I don’t foresee it happening any time soon, however.


AA #3: Politics 2.0 February 15, 2011

Filed under: Article Review,Politics,Social Media — karch10k @ 7:51 pm
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Being someone who has increasingly found politics more interesting (and enraging) I decided to see what sort of literature was out there regarding social media or web 2.0 (whatever that means, right?) with regards to politics. I knew that the internet presence of Barack Obama was one caveat of his campaign that experts credited him to for the success of his campaign. I fortunately found myself an article that is very close to what I was interested in.

Wattal, S., Schuff, D., Mandviwalla, M., Williams, C. B. (Forthcoming). Web 2.0 and Politics:  The 2008 U.S. Presidential Election and an E-Politics Research Agenda. Management Information Systems Quarterly (MISQ). Volume 34, Number 4, December 2010, pp. 669-688.

This link may not give you full access, as I had to find it through the Purdue Libraries under MIS Quarterly (Find them all in EBSCO Host Business I believe)

This empirical research covers the 2008 campaign with a wide range of media tools used from Myspace, Facebook, blogs, and even YouTube. It used 15 primary candidates for president over a 12 month period, starting in Feb 2007 through Jan 2008. The authors were interested in how web 2.0 can change the nature of competition in presidential campaigns as well as how the candidates utilizing them can affect voters.

I find the data presented to be very interesting here. It is hard to discount the idea that the internet won Obama an election, or played a major role in his success after reading some of this material. He dominated most aspects of usage of web 2.0 such as YouTube, blogs, Myspace, etc. Below is a snapshot from the article:

The idea that something like the internet can and has changed the way an entire process works like politics is extremely interesting to me. Not only does this have immediate ramifications, but the way politics currently work will never be the same. Additionally, they will be constantly changing with the newest technology that is being introduced each year. What new popular site will be dominating in five years? Will it be Twitter or Facebook still? Who knows?

In addition to web site visits, Obama is shown to dominate Myspace friends as well as YouTube views. I can remember him posting on YouTube regularly, and I think he still might.

As many know, the impact of polls is what will drive the political strategists. Part of the study done was to see the effect on the Gallup Polls when using various media. Blogs are (surprisingly) the only significantly associated medium at 0.05 with an increase/decrease. Below is the image:


This article hits a few main interested for me: Social media and politics. I feel there is much more than can be done with this research. It will be hard to get a large body of information on how web 2.0 practices and ideas can truly affect an election because

1.) they happen every four years; data in the information age is sparse

2.) social media and web 2.0 just became a game changer for the 2008 election

There are a couple issues with the paper, and they are mentioned in the future research section. The way that the information was gathered and the data sets need to be refined. How can you measure the effectiveness on something like social media/web 2.0 which is so huge with something like elections? The information you have to gather will be all different. If you are measuring how positively/negatively it can change a campaign, how do you separate the data apart from one another?

The study also only encompasses one election in one country. It would be interesting to see how this applies to other countries as well over multiple elections. You can’t truly measure the effectiveness of social media on all elections without more data.

How will social media change elections? Has has it? I like to think that this will be a continued topic over the next few years. It would be silly to think that in the 2012 election that the candidates will dismiss the power of the tool. I would very much like a topic in this area for further research, but would have to do some thinking about where I would want to take it. Perhaps something about how or why the Blogosphere is such a more dominant contributor to the Gallup polls.

Interesting stuff!


AA #2: Information Needs and Social Media Adoption February 8, 2011

Filed under: Article Review,Behaviors,Social Media,Theory — karch10k @ 10:39 pm
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Factors Influencing the Adoption of Social Media in the Perspective of Information Needs

Kim, Y., Kim, M., Kim, K. (2010). Factors influencing the adoption of social media in the perspective of information needs. Retrieved from University of Illinois, Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship website:

This article focuses on social media and how it is adopted in terms of people using it for information. The article attempts to understand the different factors that will influence adoption only in terms of informational needs.

This research focuses on the factors that affect users adopting various social media with relation to theories like the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). These theories are very popular in attempting to explain adoption, as well as are a part of my own personal research.

In addition to utilizing theories, the research looked at adoption of social media in different terms as well. The terms were how the user viewed the information. Gratification research, and adoption research were both important in the research.

The findings of the paper were interesting. In terms of adoption of social media, the researchers found that perceived usefullness, enjoyment, and social influence were the most important factors in social media adoption. Of these, perceived enjoyment is thought to be more important than usefulness and social influence. Other attributes also are thought to contribute to adoption like personal innovativeness, and influence from other social networks.

This paper, while a little short, came to a surprise to me. I found myself relating to it due to the inclusion of the different theories (TPB, TRA). This article is a good model I feel for someone wanting to do research in social media adoption in terms of their coverage of the theories, ideologies, and different factors influencing each. Unlike my first article, there aren’t many negative feelings towards this article.

Some of the highlights in this article for me was the discussion over the various theories, and how they applied to social media adoption, as well as some of the ideologies. I can see myself using a paper such as this in my own research and literature review in the future, or at least using the references they have listed.

As far as future research, the paper does not suggest any itself, but I feel like looking at adoption on a informational needs level can give ideas as to where some future research could go. Informational needs with social media is something I am directly going to be wanting to know more about personally, but to apply the concept to other more concentrated areas would be intriguing. What are all of the needs that someone may have when adopting social media? The list could be endless, and while it is impossible to design for all of them, one could certainly pick a single one, or a few.

I feel like this image is appropriate.


AA #1: Social Media in Health Care

Filed under: Article Review,Health Care,Social Media — karch10k @ 10:30 pm
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Twitter, Facebook, and Other Social Media are Reshaping Health Care

Hawn, Carleen. (2009). Twitter, facebook, and other social media are reshaping health care. (Research Report No. 28.2) Retrieved from Health Affairs website:

The purpose of this article is to expose people to the idea that social media is breaking into new territories such as health care. The article begins detailing how the health care business, although very large and growing, is slow to change in terms of adopting new technology. Some small start up companies are trying to break the mold and attempt to utilize social media to better their services to patients

The example given is Hello Health out of Brooklyn. Hello Health is a small practice that is currently using social media in unique ways to communicate with clients. The attending doctors all have individual profiles on a special network, as well as keep/update blogs for current and preospective patients to see. One example of how this has proven useful to them is when a client of theirs was overseas and suddenly fell ill. Instead of being out of luck, one of the attending doctors at Hello Health was on call. At Hello Health, being on call means more than just answering a phone. The doctors at Hello Health also allow for instant messaging (IM) and video chat with their clients. The man overseas was able to contact his own doctor through a couple emails and instant messages, and eventually got him on video chat to resolve the issue.

While the prospect of having online profiles, and sharing information quickly with yoru health provider, there are issues that the article detailed, and I found to be interesting. The issues here are also prominent roadblocks for using social media in many other areas as well.

  • Investors
    • Investors have a hrad time justifying the need to start up a new type of communication line between client and doctor. The numbers simply don’t exist to back up any current use in health providers.
  • Legal Issues
    • Patients who feel their privacy has been violated is an issue with using social media networks to share information. If information is lost, or accidentally distributed over a network, there can be issues. Social networks also thrive on user inout and data. How can user input and data be done without violating a person’s rights?
  • Standards of care
    • Another issue, and one which I found very interesting, is the line where the standard of care is considered hindered by being over video chat and not in person. Can a doctor be sued because he/she misdiagnosed someone over an instant message? Many states require a doctor to be registered in their state before practicing, but if you have a practice you can conduct over the internet, how does this law work?
  • Privacy
    • HIPAA is a large concern when dealing with patients and patient data over a social network. Doctors would have to walk a fine line between using the network in a positive way and violating rights. This is a major concern and one of the largest reasons why social media in health care is having trouble taking off.

I personally found the article to be very interesting. I like researching social media adoption, and I have personal interests in health care. These two seemed to meet together nicely in this article. The article had a lot of good information on the adoption positives and negatives, but it also has some shortcomings.

The good:

  • Examples
    • Talking about Hello Health really gave me a good idea of how social media can be successfully implemented into health care. I think this is important to discuss because the solution to Hello Kitty being cutting edge seems like an obvious one in hindsight, but they are truly doing something unique.
  • Issues
    • The many issues preventing wide spread adoption of social media into health care is the best part of this article. When I research different fields that all are slow to adopting social media, I like to compare the reasons they state as problematic. Typically, security is one, and I think that could be looped in with legal issues. When you compare all the things social media needs to do to be accepted (security, resolve legal issues, etc) you can begin to understand it’s current limitations.

The bad:

  • Lost in information
    • While I feel like much of the article was useful, there was information that I felt added little to nothing to the central substance of the paper.
  • Errors galore
    • The PDF is littered with grammar mistakes, spacing errors, and other issues. It made getting through the article a bit more difficult/frustrating.

Overall, the article added some insight to a field I am personally interested in. It parallels my interest (recruiting prospective students via different media channels) in that my research has a focus on hwo social media is becoming much more popular. This field is in what seems to be the beginning phases of taking off into social media. It will be very exciting to follow issues like this. For future research, I think the next step would be to cross examine issues that other fields have with adopting social media, compare them, and then see if other fields have conquered the issues.