A PhD in Social Media
I recently met an old friend who I hadn’t seen in about five years. He was asking what I was doing and seemed impressed about my doctoral pursuit. When he asked about the topic and I said social media, he laughed. When I asked why he was laughing he said, so you sit on Twitter and Facebook all day. He didn’t seem to believe me that social media was much more dynamic and complex than Facebook and Twitter.
So, yes I am doing a PhD on social media.
With a topic of ‘determining the credibility of social content’ there are theoretical frameworks from which the study is based. I’m not making up airy fairy data sets or developing theories that are actually descriptions. I recently looked into social object theory – if you have seen this be rest assured it is not a ‘theory’. After all I have to get a PhD at the end of the research.
The fact that so many people are social media ‘experts’ or ‘gurus’ is not helping credibility of my doctoral research either. Too many people seem to be quick to adopt the term expert. And guru makes me think of spiritual healers. That may be just me but please don’t use the term guru!
Rant over, back to the PhD. I’m about to launch the main survey element of my research. It’s getting exciting and about to get very busy and I feel I need to be nose deep in quantitative books. Need to get the analysis right!
So, yes, I am doing a PhD in social media. It is credible and is grounded in theory and it will make a contribution to both academia and industry. I’ve given myself an October completion date. Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed for me J
Dr Jillian is the first Dr of Social Media. She is CEO of Disruptive Insight, a social intelligence consultancy who specialise in transforming digital noise into valuable insight for business. Dr Jillian is also a visiting academic at the University of Strathclyde where she lectures on digital marketing and social media.
Dr Jillian's PhD research explored social consumer behaviour during an ...
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