Research on new media social influences and context

I recently dug up predictions Gartner made in January 2010 about IT and new media (Gartner’s recent predictions are referenced here [.pdf]). The two 2010 predictions that piqued my interest are:

  • By 2012, Facebook will become the hub for social network integration and Web socialization.
  • By 2015, context will be as influential to mobile consumer services and relationships as search engines are to the Web.

social hub reverb

Following the “Facebook as hub” meme as a research concept, I came across empirical studies focusing on the Web and “socialization” of family units (i.e., new media as a “hub” within the family unit). Similarly, I wanted to see if empirical research existed that explored how “context” is defined or determined via computer science. I found two interesting studies:

Relating to tech-media “socialization”:

Media, Communication and Information Technologies in the European Family. A couple of key findings:

  • (Finding 1) Two tech-media trends contribute to familial tension. Trend one: families using emerging media to generate and reinforce communal experiences. Trend two: increasingly personalized consumption of media used in private spaces. These trends consistently collide and cause familial tension.
  • (Finding 2) Promoting media literacy (which one could extrapolate to mean “Internet literacy”) is a key policy concern given “today’s technologically convergent, globalised market” and is critical to ensuring that individuals have the means and methods to participate in all spheres of society.

Facebook—despite its autocratic set of rules—could be seen as an enabler of promoting “new media literacy”, essentially a democratizing and leveling tool regarding “Web socialization” globally.

Relating to “context”:

Context-Aware Recommender Systems is an excellent academic article exploring how a recommender system uses “context” as a primary factor to deliver relevant results. The authors distill “context” using six vectors: data mining, e-commerce personalization, ubiquitous mobile data, database management systems, effective information retrieval, marketing and management processes. Further, @briansolis authored a great post, Behaviorgraphics Humanize the Social Web, where he essentially argues that understanding behavior is a key factor in determining and understanding context, which will enable marketers to more meaningfully and relevantly communicate with individuals who are within social networks.

Photo credit: ViaMoi


Debuting Hank and Frank, wannabe SOcial MEdia consultants

Hank and Frank are wannabe SOcial MEdia consultants. Their job is to do one thing: To Awesome U Up! Below is Episode 1 of their new YouTube series. Enjoy. Hopefully you’ll get a laugh or two. ;-D

Awesome U Up! Episode 1: How NOT to Grow Your Twitter Followers (YouTube link)

Micro-targeting and organizational communication theories fueling word of mouth marketing

Below are two fascinating studies on communication theory and practice. The commonality between both is the nexus between effective use of social media and word-of-mouth marketing.

The first study Social Media Marketing vs. Prevalent Marketing Practices: A Study of Marketing Approaches for Micro firms in Sweden (.pdf download) focuses on micro firms leveraging social media to promote higher customer loyalty. The author sought to answer the following questions:

  1. Which of the two types of marketing is more effective in terms of targeted segment coverage and expenditures?
  2. Which marketing approach enables micro firms to maintain better relationships with customers?
  3. Whether or not it is the right time for micro firms in Sweden to adopt social media marketing practices?

The heart of the study is Section 4.2.3.

The second study, Structured Viral Communication: The Political Economy and Social Organization of Digital Disintermediation (.pdf), is the best analysis I’ve read of how Obama used structured communication plans to spread his message and increase loyalty.

Photo credit ssoosay