Spring 2011 Course: Research focus: The social Internet

I’m offering my social media research seminar again in the spring semester. You can see last year’s syllabus on this wiki, but I am working on updating the course and making several changes.

TECH 621: Research Focus: The Social Internet

TECH 621 simulates an interdisciplinary think tank environment where students identify research questions and examine the impact of social media and social networking technologies on various aspects of society, business, culture, communication, web experience, and interface design.

The course integrates immersion in social media with consideration of several theoretical perspectives from diverse fields. Students complete an original research project customized to fit individual or team interests. The course encourages theoretical and methodological diversity.

During the Spring 2011 semester, the class will have access to proprietary online monitoring software for collecting and analyzing data.

Collaboration through Technology in Teaching and Research

This paper is for NCA 2010. It presents solutions for collaboration in the public relations campaigns course and in research.

NCA2010_1_CollaborationThruTechnology http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf

Life documented

Buying eyeballs

I was just about to rant (OK, comment) on the practice of buying eyeballs. It goes like this: Leave a comment on my blog post and something good will happen (we’ll donate to a cause, enter you in a drawing for a prize, etc.). From a marketing perspective, is this how you want to get eyeballs? Is this a valid assessment trick for counting how many eyeballs you get?

Then, I realized that I was offering a small prize for comments on my teaching blog – these are important class instructions and I wanted confirmation that students saw them. Good educational practice?!

So then, I will no longer complain about Iams buying eyeballs. Come on, give them your pair of eyeballs and they will donate 25 meals to animals in shelters! (oh, and enjoy Pawcurious, it’s become one of my favorite blogs)

Online indentity management & social groups

I came across this presentation on John Bells’ blog (John Bell heads the Digital Influence Team at Ogilvy PR) and had to share it here.

This happens to be one of my research interests, something I alluded to in an earlier blog post, and I am now working to get ready for publication.

The presentation is from Paul Adams, senior UX researcher at Google. I love the connection he makes between social science and social interface/product design. I love the fact that this kind of research happens in a corporate setting, and if I didn’t love teaching so much I’d be jealous of his job.

McAfee Global Report: Web 2.0 in Business

web2dot0

Photo credit: McAfee

My Facebook & Twitter pals might have seen my mentions of a big mystery project I was working on at the end of the summer. Well, the big mystery project has been released, and now I can tell you about it: It was preparing a global report for McAfee Co. I worked with my Purdue and CERIAS colleague, Dr. Lorraine Kisselburgh to analyze data from a global survey McAfee conducted, enrich it with expert interviews, and weave it into a story which became the report – Web 2.0: A Complex Balancing Act.

You can download the report at the link above, and you can read highlights in the news release.

Social media to the rescue: YouTube project to help bullied gay teenagers

An Indiana teenage boy committed suicide earlier this month, after being bullied in school for being gay. Sad, sad, sad, sad.

I will refrain from comments, opinions, and things I think we should do. I’m writing this post to draw attention to this YouTube project – an effort to reach out to kids in rural parts of the country who may not have access to in-person support: the It Gets Better Project. Gay adults can post videos telling teenagers that… it gets better.

Although I can’t claim to be able to relate to the experience (I grew up in Romania, where bullying wasn’t the norm, as far as I know; I’m not gay) – if I can help, let me know. I live in Indiana – if you’re a teenager happening upon this post, and if you need help or just companionship – send me an email. I’d feel privileged to be your friend.

And for those who are wondering about the relevance of this post to the mission of the blog (well, you know what, it’s my blog, I can post whatever I want) – this is an interesting case study about social media being used to help people.

Note: Don’t even bother to post homophobic comments, I’m telling you upfront that I won’t publish them.