Social Media and Public Opinion – Full Thesis Published.

I have finally found the time to fully publish my thesis about Social Media and Public Opinion on this site. You can download the thesis here, click on “Thesis.” in the main menu above or simply click on the cover image underneath.

The Cover Page of the Printed Thesis

The Cover Page of the Printed Thesis

This thesis was written and defended as the final assignment (memoria de máster) of the Màster en Interculturalitat i Polítiques Comunicatives en la Societat de la Informació (Master in Interculturality and Communication Policies in the Information Society) at the Facultat de Filologia, Traducció i Comunicació at Universitat de València and was rewarded with a grade of 95%.

It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported (More information @ http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/deed.en_US).

 

Social Network Size.

In his 1993 study Robin Dunbar took a look at the proportion of the cortical size (the outer part of the brain, that is involved in higher functions such as spatial reasoning, conscious thought, and language) to the total brain size, and compared the results with group sizes and language of humans beings. Dunbar developed an equation to calculate an average group size that a human being is able to overlook. The result was 147.8, with a rather wide range of possible variation from 100.2 to 231.1. These cognitive limitations of stable social relationships have come to be known as Dunbar’s number (Dunbar, 1993). Continue reading

Thoughts on Social Media and Small Talk.

Again a very interesting podcast episode (again in German, sorry) has left me thinking about the topic of social media’s effects on small talk:

I think everybody who uses Twitter or Facebook recently has experienced a similar situation as the following. Saturday night you go out with your friend and you tell her how your week was.

You say: “Wow … crazy, on Tuesday I have found a 50 Euro bill in the street.”
Your friend: “Yeah I know, I have read it”

Of course she knows the story because you have twittered about it immediately.

In retrospect you might realize that the intention about the 50 Euro story was not to share this experience, but it is rather a tool for the initiation of more profound conversation, hence small talk (this must not be the only intention though, it could also be a tool to strengthen the relationship, but lets stick with the example).

Well, what has happened? Continue reading

Social Media Product Design
affects Communication.

The result of social media communication depends greatly on the design of the social media product one uses. Just comparing the two most popular social media services Facebook and Twitter we immediately understand how different communication can become. Not only has the underlying social network a different typology and is based on different relationships but the way we post comments is highly different.

Comments on Twitter are limited to a length of 140 characters. This limitation has historical reasons and derives from the character limitation of SMS. In the beginning Twitter was very focused on providing their service via SMS. Still, nowadays this limitation has remained to be very Continue reading