Tag Archives: research

After a nice hiatus, I’ll post again

I’ve taken this semester off from blogging … mostly because I wanted to take a break.  Every healthy part of me tells me that’s enough of a reason.

So I’m at the end of my MA at Purdue.  I’m working on my thesis, and I plan to finish and graduate by August.  Because after that, I’ll start my PhD work at Purdue in the Fall.  I’m going to be honest … the thesis has been kicking my butt.  Not because it’s been excessively hard, but because it’s been overwhelming.  The details, the revisions, the deadlines, the paperwork, the rules within the department, the rules within the school, the learning curve for Qualtrics, the learning curve of doing my own statistical analysis, the unwritten departmental politics rules, the schedules, the egos, the life that is my family responsibilities, and so on (by the way, if you’re ever looking for an example of polysyndeton to show your kids … this was it … sorry for the melodrama … I’m a grad student.)

My thesis is interesting, so that’s good.  My biggest problem right now is that people are unable or unwilling to complete my survey.  I’m looking for info on people’s evaluation of advice on Facebook.  What I’m finding is that one group says they never talk about anything personal or advice related, and the other group just drifts off mid survey when I ask them to tab over to Facebook to look for something.  I’m getting some data, but it feels like there is a ‘leak in my boat’ as it were.

p.s. If you want to take a survey … go HERE! 😉

In any case, I hope everything goes well.  While I am intrigued with computer-mediated communication, I would also like to branch out to study humor more in depth.  I’m a super huge fan of the Benign Violation Theory, and I’m all sorts of geeked about the opportunity to start exploring it through research.

Alright, that’s it for now … I think I’ll go ahead and get out to enjoy some of this nice day.  Thanks for stopping by, my friend.


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Filed under Humor

Reflecting Online about Reflecting on Reflecting Online

My interests as a communication scholar lie at the intersection of interpersonal communication and social media.  (There’s a third road that leads to humor studies, but I hardly ever get to drive on that one.  Someday!)  Currently, I am exploring the question:

  • How do people evaluate advice through comments to Facebook wall posts?

This question is then broken down to:

  • How do people evaluate advice (in general)?
  • What are the unique features/characteristics of comments on Facebook wall posts as a communication medium?

For my question on advice evaluation, I am relying on Advice Response Theory (MacGeorge) for two reasons: one, because that is my advisor’s theory, and two, it’s really the only and best most comprehensive theory on advice evaluation out on the market today.  Advice response theory explains how message factors (things about the message itself) and source factors (perceptions about the advice giver) affect advice outcomes (how the advice recipient reacts the the advice).  This theory has been primarily tested in dyadic face-to-face situations, so it will be interesting to see how the theory works in both a computer-mediated environment, but also a social networking group setting.

My question on unique features of Facebook wall posts has sent me in several directions and led me to explore various theories on computer-mediated communication and social networking.  Some of the theories are The Hyperpersonal Model of Communication (Walther), the Masspersonal Communcation Model (O’Sullivan), online speech acts (Carr, Schrock, & Dauterman), and a few others.  The features about FB as a communication medium that seem to apply at this point to this discussion are that it fluctuates in its synchronicity, it is a shared space for multiple contributors, and it is a leaner communication medium (reduced non-verbal and social cues).

One of the more interesting concepts I’ve stumbled upon is “friendsourcing“.  Friendsourcing is like crowdsourcing, but with a more select group.  In this way, it is much more of a web 2.0 way of crowdsourcing ideas.  The reason I found this exciting is that while the idea has been around for a while (and people are talking about it in the business world), it is almost non-existent in academic literature.  It shows up in computer science literature about friendsourcing coding problems, and it shows up in an article about friendsourcing solutions through facebook for blind users looking for visual descriptions of objects from their friends.  I think there is a lot of mileage in this term, and it is time that this term made its way into the vocabulary of computer-mediated communication and digital sociology scholars.

One last thing I’ve discovered … the incredible work of the talented Jessica Vitak and Nicole Ellison (and friends) is going to become my new best friend. =)

Calling All Facebook Friends

Who Wants to Know? Question-asking and Answering Practices among Facebook Users

If you have any interest in this or ideas/suggestions for sources and directions, I’d love to hear them. =)


Filed under Links, Reflections

Social Media! … and so it begins!

Studying the social internet in Tech 637 at Purdue University.  This class is designed for us to be exposed to social media concepts, engaged in social media research, and engorged/engulfed by social media immersion. 

This blog will be dedicated to exploring social media in five ways:

  • Reflections on various class readings
  • Links to interesting blog posts
  • Evaluations of social media tools evaluation
  • Ideas, thoughts, opinions, commentary, and general miscellany on social media topics.
  • Humor and occasional sassiness
  • And all the other loose ends, questions, and fears about this journey along the way.

Just in case you were wondering, that list had six things in it.  I’m just going to say up front that math is not my strong suit.  And I’m lactose intolerant … but that’s for another blog.


Filed under Uncategorized