The Social Context of Online Research


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An introduction to the sociability of social media

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The Social Context of Online Research

  1. 1. WARC and Admap presents Online Research Conference 2009 London March 4 & 5 2009
  2. 2. The Social Context of Online Research Introduction to the sociability of social media Dr Mariann Hardey Social Media Analyst
  3. 3. What was it like before the internet?
  4. 4. The importance of ‘online’
  5. 5. The landscape
  6. 6. Out of ‘Geek’s’… Geek 1.0 Not-a-geek 2.0
  7. 7. Not ‘new’, but social media ►  Recognise interaction; as consumer and community behaviour ►  Collective social tool(s) ►  More accessibility; less technicality Definition: ‘Mostly web-based applications and platforms that facilitate interaction – based on collaboration and sharing content’
  8. 8. Building blocks of sociability
  9. 9. Feeds ►  Arrivalof social information ►  Constant streams of data ►  Social snapshots ►  Without boundaries? ►  Without consequences? ►  Without judgment?
  10. 10. Social infrastructure ►  Based on collaboration ►  Emergence of shared social infrastructure: Networks, SNSs e.g. Facebook ►  Pressure to stay up-to-date, be of-the-moment ►  Constant awareness of information ►  ‘Transparency’ ►  Provide new shape for commercial enterprise
  11. 11. Recent trends ►  Web-based interactions with ‘on-the-move’ technology and live updates ►  Built on trust ►  Built on personal networks ►  Consumer led – track opinion; based on response marketing – new incentives/outputs for market research
  12. 12. Creating social tracks ► ‘Your brand is what Google says your brand is.’ Wired magazine editor, Chris Anderson (quoted in ► ‘What ‘Google says’ represents the ‘now’, the who and the what. This is how we live our lives.’ Dr Mariann Hardey, (quoted in
  13. 13. Social Darwinism in progress Image: Sam Lawrence –
  14. 14. The semantic web ‘I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analysing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers’. Tim Berner’s Lee, 1999
  15. 15. Possible futures… ►  Personalised information ►  Real time, location based ►  As ‘simple’ updates and/or more complex ‘community’ based services. ►  Advanced mobile devices with built-in GPS ►  Increased user mobility.
  16. 16. Social media etiquette ►  New models of appropriate behaviour ►  ‘Friend’-centric interactions ►  Track the ‘progress’ of our actions AND our ‘friends’ actions ►  We pay attention to others ►  Social ‘addiction’ ►  Need for control
  17. 17. Now everyone knows… Cyberspace Social-space
  18. 18. Wisdom of crowds. A crowded wisdom? James Surowiecki (2007)
  19. 19. A fundamental of trust
  20. 20. Trusted networks With friends… …and without
  21. 21. Have or seem to have… ►  Self-created quality control ►  Personalised ►  Built on reputation ►  Of-the-moment, with live updates ►  Real, not fake ►  Discoverable Creates a ripple effect…
  22. 22. Ripple effect ►  Influentialconsumerism, interactive choices ►  Achieved with(in) known networks ►  As (new) measures of success for business and commercial enterprise ►  Based on the reality of individual’s own ‘market research’ before they commit to purchase ►  Identifiable e.g. Amazon use of real names instead of usernames, TrustedPlaces share to Facebook Profile
  23. 23. Reputation management
  24. 24. Participatory social information Social networking as marketing and market research tool ►  ►  Facebook based on the ‘wealth of social information’ offered by users ►  Corporate polls – targeted audience e.g. Obama’s Presidential campaign, ‘Facebook as political ‘stimulus’’ ►  A gauge what people are doing Social surveillance ►  ►  Privacy concerns
  25. 25. Social pushing
  26. 26. Novel engagement?...
  27. 27. Inappropriate social scrutiny?
  28. 28. Social surveillance ►  Watching, rating acting as arbitrator ►  Not only about looking for social trend, also how we choose to track one another and identify ourselves ►  Everything is public ►  Canoffer a significant user-database ►  ALSO creates need to safeguard the ‘personal’
  29. 29. Cause and effect ►  Taken for granted ‘social media condition’ ►  Qualifiers of our own social information ►  More participation ►  More control - ‘opt in/out’ ►  Articulation of increasingly surveilled space(s) ►  Communitarian utopia / new hierarchy? Not (yet) a net of neutrality…
  30. 30. Ever pervasive social surveillance and sorting. We will flit like (social media) butterflies Image: Ohio State University
  31. 31. Thanks! Dr Mariann Hardey Then we networked, swapped cards and had tea and cake…