This morning I had the chance to participate in a filmed interview with Pete from goodcausetv, so that I could discuss my area of research and some new thoughts on social media and charities. The interview is available to watch online – it’s about 30 minutes. In it, I discuss some of the things that I’m starting to find and put together from my research, and highlight one of the key aspects I think is important when looking at social media: that social media and ‘online’ phenomena can not be taken and analysed on their own – there is too much of an overlap with the offline world and both of these need to be examined in order to provide a holistic picture of what effect social media actually has. For marketing and charitable campaigns, it is likely that what occurs on social media will only be part of what motivates or informs a supporter to act.
This provides the rationale behind some current studies I’m undertaking. Since the beginning of the PhD, I’ve been keen to see what can be measured and observed using social media data, but the real value in this will be to see where it combines with other data sources available. So while I’m continuing to create tools to carry out social media measurements, I’m also investigating how users respond to different types of charitable communication, and how they see social media as a platform for engagement. You can take part in the survey (it takes about 5 minutes) by visiting https://www.isurvey.soton.ac.uk/9975 (for which I would be very, very grateful!)
As the culmination of my PhD edges nearer (wait, January is nearly over already?!?) I’ll pull many of the strands I’ve discussed on this blog together. There’s a lot of writing to come. More papers, articles, blog posts… and then the small matter of a thesis. Right, with that, I better get back to my WebSci’14 paper…
(Also, if you're interested, read about my experiences facilitating on the #FLwebsci MOOC course over on the Southampton Web Science MOOC blog - round 2 starts soon!)