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).

 

Network Value.

Last time I have been writing about the size of social networks, hence the quantitative characteristics. Today I want to continue with a brief article about a related subject: the value of networks. 

Since the advent of telecommunication and broadcast media, scholars from around the world studied the economies of mediated networks. To identify the value of a certain network was an important issue and part of monetization strategies. Network laws can be used as guidelines to determine the value of certain networks. Although an important aspect has always been the direct economic value of the network, other values such as diffusion, dynamic, or potency of the network are becoming increasingly important recently as they may lead to possible indirect monetization strategies. Although most of these laws have been invented with the concept of electronic networks in mind, it is also absolutely necessary to understand them for the study of non-mediated social networks.

An early law of the economics of computer-mediated networks is called Sarnoff’s law. This law was drafted in the early twentieth century by David Sarnoff, a pioneer of commercial US-American radio and television. Continue reading

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

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

Scalability of Social Networks.

Doing my usual research I have encountered an interesting report today which I would like to mention here.

The report is called “The Strength of Internet Ties. The internet and email aid users in maintaining their social networks and provide pathways to help when people face big decisions” (Rainie et al., 2006)

Focusing on email communication the report describes what effects the internet has on our social network and how it enables new possibilities to encounter help and make decisions. I do not want to talk about the Help and Decision part in this blog post, although it is worth reading, what I am interested in are the effects on our social networks. Continue reading