Finding Sanity in the Madness

Exploring Social Media

AA #5: Social Media Perceptions April 26, 2011

I came across this article while searching around for something involving social media adoption/attitude with respects to the Elaboration Likelihood model (so if you have something like that, do share!)

Lewis, B. K. (2010). Social Media and Strategic Communication: Attitudes and Perceptions Among College Students. Public Relations Journal, 4(3).
The purpose:
This particular study had one hypothesis and three research questions:
H1: Public relations and advertising majors will perceive social media more positively than other majors.
RQ1: How will gender affect college students’ attitude toward social media?
RQ2: How does number of years in school impact students’ positive perception of social media as strategic communication tools?
RQ3: How will the beliefs of students who use social media as a primary news source be affected regarding whether corporations should consider employing social media as tools in their communication efforts.
RQ4: How will taking a class on social media affect students’ perceptions of social media as strategic communications tools?
The Findings:
The research questions posed had what I would consider predictable. For RQ1, the study found that females had more positive feelings towards social media. I didn’t think there would be much of a difference, but thinking about our own class demographics and also thinking about people I know who use social media often, it makes sense. RQ2 showed a positive correlation between number of years in school and perception on social media. RQ3 showed differences based on general perceptions as surveyed previously. RQ4 showed a positive correlation as well. Students who were taking a course in social media had a significant correlation and much more positive feelings towards social media as a communication tool.
I enjoyed this article, especially since it had a RQ that directly dealt with this course. I am happy to have found some information on the topic of social media perception. I can agree with the findings on their RQ4. I find that since the beginning of this course, my perceptions on social media as a whole has increased in a positive light.
The idea that time in school having a positive correlation to perception on social media makes sense to me as well. Throughout the semester, we have touched on the idea that more educated people use Twitter (as seen on infographic, etc). This came as a nice surprise to me, as this is probably the only RQ that I couldn’t pinpoint with utter confidence.
Overall, this seems like the type of article I can directly relate with, and it was an interesting read. Hopefully I can find more research regarding aspects of classes, education, social media, etc. Good stuff!

AA #4: Twitter, Students, Learning April 23, 2011

Filed under: Article Review,Research,Social Media — karch10k @ 8:45 pm
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This article analysis will be focused on a paper I decided to read into due to it being directly related to our current Tech621 class, as well as a topic we have lightly discussed in the class.

Junco, R., Heiberger, G., & Loken, E. (2011). The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(2), 119-132. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00387.x
The Purpose:

The purpose of this particular paper is to study and determine if Twitter has a significant effect on student interaction, engagement, and achievement (grades). I liked the reasoning they chose for this article, and some of the justifications for choosing Twitter as the channel of choice.
  • The course the researchers chose to use only met once per week for an hour, so Twitter was a good candidate due to being able to quickly and easily be a medium where students could continue the conversation from the single class they had each week
  • More introverted students are able to ask questions outside of class they might not have in front of everyone else. I think this is a true advantage of this technology, as I know many people who have this issue.
  • Helped students become more familiar and comfortable with each other. I feel that during our course this semester, communication on blogs as well as Twitter helped to hasten the familiarity process that happens in any class where you are required to share out loud in front of the class. It is a stress reducer.
These are just a few of the listed reasons, but the ones I felt I most personally could associate with.
The Study:
The study encompassed seven different sections of a first year seminar class for pre-health professional majors. There were 132 students who participated in total, and 125 of them ended up taking the pre-test survey (91% caucasian, 6% latino, 3% native american).  The median age of the participants was about 18 years old. It is also interesting to note that none of the participants had ever used Twitter before.
There was a pre and post test, as well as a control group. After two weeks in the course, the students were divided up. Some of them received a one hour long crash course in Twitter, whereas the others experienced the class as normal. The study lasted for 14 weeks.
The Findings:
There were interesting findings in this article, but many of them I expected (I suppose I have a bit of an insight on using Twitter in the classroom). Some of the more interesting findings were dealing with the participation.
  • In terms of student participation, it was very easy for an instructor to sort of lead the students to begin a study group using Twitter, and after the initial help, students continued to form study groups without the push from the professor.
  • Students scored much higher in engagement while using Twitter than not utilizing it: Tweeting each other, talking online, and continuing conversations.
  • Twitter promoted experience sharing and learning in the classroom. It allowed them to easily discuss and talk about how issues in the course related to their real life experiences.
  • Study also shows a positive correlation on use of Twitter in the classroom and the grades of the students.
I thought this paper was interesting, but I also feel like it was predictable. Maybe it is simply because we have been using Twitter in the course and I have direct experience with it. It has been a positive experience for me, so I hypothesized a couple of their findings before I even read the paper. I think papers like this are needed. When I tell people what I am interested in for research, and I mention social media, they sort of scoff at me, disregarding any potential use of Facebook or Twitter research. Studies like this has real use and will be important in the evolution of how education works.
A final thought is about future research, or even future implementation. The ideas behind this paper are the backbone of our course. Collaborate, communicate, and engage with fellow students online to further education in a particular field. While we are doing it to “dive into” social media and experience it first hand, you could employ this tactic into almost any subject. I would guess to say that in any major academic field, one could find people in that field Tweeting about their research, and communicating results, articles, findings, etc. I think Twitter has some very real uses and should be encouraged to be used in the classroom, no matter what field or subject area.
I also find it strange to feel about Twitter in the way I do. I was one of “those people” who began this course thinking Twitter was nothing but a stupid means of a status update. Boy was I wrong. I legitimately enjoy using Twitter as a means to touch base and stay in touch with certain individuals. It is to the point where I am all but ignoring Facebook and only being on Twitter. Hopefully in the near future, there will be more professors and other educators waking up to the realization that social media can vastly improve education.

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.