Follow the seminar online at http://www.simlab.tkk.fi/Research+Methods+for+Social+Media
The number of people using social networking services like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is astonishing. Facebook has more than 400 million users of which half log in to the service in any given day. According to Website-monitoring.com there are 106 million accounts at on Twitter and the number of “twitters” increases by 300,000 everyday. LinkedIn has 70 million members in over 200 countries.
Without a doubt social media or social networking is here to stay. This new form of mass media has risen rather quickly when compared to its predecessors. As the author of the bestseller book on social networking (Socialnomics) Erik Qualman states, it took 38 years for radio, 13 years for TV and 4 years for the Internet to reach 50 million users. And Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months!
Being such a quickly evolving phenomena, one would think that social media interests the academic researchers from many fields. To find out how it had been studied on my field (which is organizational studies) I made a few searches at the databases of my favorite journals with keywords like ‘social media’ and ‘social networking’. Surprisingly there existed only a handful of papers related on social networking or the effect of social network technologies. Perhaps one reason for this could be the lack of understanding on the research methods suitable for studying it?
How to study the interaction taking place at Web 2.0 or the effects of social media? On August 31st 2010 we will organize a seminar at Helsinki together with the SOMUS research group in order to find some answers this question. The objective of the seminar is to explore and discuss the research methods that are suitable for studying social media. The seminar consists of two key-note lectures with open discussion and an afternoon workshop where emerging themes are further elaborated. Naturally, the event will be streamed online, and it can be followed in the social media. So far we have four speakers confirmed:
- Lisbeth Klastrup (Associate Professor, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Kristiina Kumpulainen (Director at the Finnish National Board of Education)
- Minna Isomursu (Research professor at VTT)
- Jaakko Suominen (Professor of Digital Culture at the University of Turku)
Watch this space for updates on seminar location and confirmed speakers. We’re really looking forward to this event!