Through the MCDM

October 27, 2009

Metamorphosis

Filed under: com597b — Tags: , , , — captainchunk @ 1:02 pm

I’ve always felt that applying the word social to “social media” was just good enough. I mean, social media is social to a point, but I wanted a word that fit with the technology better. A fit to how the technology was used. Sure you can argue that there is much socializing happening on websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, but don’t forget that a small percentage social media users actually contribute something.

Ladder of participation. This is older, but still gives a decent picture of how it works.

When I look at the future, I see even more devices connecting people to the internet. I believe there will be an increase in participants as children born now will have a “social internet” in their blood. Because of the trend to have nearly all devices connected to the internet, I see social media transforming into an information flow. Both in and out of our lives a stream of information will flow. We can reach into the stream to grab some random data or throw a spear hoping to hit one specific thing. This isn’t vastly different from today, other than for the fact of where the information will come from.

Right now, the information populating the stream is created by people intending (for the most part) to create that information. In the future the information will be populated by the devices that people use without their knowledge. That isn’t to say that their streaming media device will try to trick them, but instead be a trade-off. If the user wants some kind of feature (and they will), then they will need to let the device add and draw from the information stream. We won’t need people consciously adding to the stream, it will just happen.

Perhaps “streaming” is a better word. “I’m using the stream.” “I found it using the stream.” “The stream is so last year.” I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t work.

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January 20, 2009

Yes, Stafford couple and Schkade, Internet Use is Influenced by Social Factors.

Filed under: Reflection — Tags: , , — captainchunk @ 1:01 am

While reading Determining Uses and Gratifications for the Internet, it was obvious that the authors understood how important motivation is to online retailers. By better understanding the reason why people are on the internet, businesses can tailor their offerings towards the consumers they wish to target. The researchers looked at the motivation of internet users via uses and gratifications research that has been used on other forms of media like TV and radio. I personally don’t think that their research produced anything shocking from a 2009 perspective and perhaps only mildly interesting from a 2004 vantage point.

It was refreshing to see that the researchers acknowledged the potential internet usage motivated by social factors. One common problem I encounter when recalling the technology situation from more than a few years ago, is placing too much of an advanced framework on my recollection. I tend to be a very early adopter, so while I might have seen the social nature of the internet in 2004, the vast majority of people probably did not. This article is important in that regard as it is concerned with average internet users and their motivations. The authors broke motivation factors down into two other groups- content and process. Process being the act of searching or surfing the internet and content being the actual media that draws the user to that particular website. I have a problem with breaking these two categories apart and I think it has to do with the survey the researchers conducted to gather data. Using words that people associate with the internet and then asking people to rank those words gives data that says people highly associate “search” with the internet and leads to the hypothesis that people are motivated by the internet process of searching. You almost have to search to get the content you are looking for on the internet, especially in 2009, much less 2004 due to the ever expanding amount of information available. I am concerned that people are confusing the process of searching with what they are really looking for, which is content. While some people may just randomly click on links or type random words into search boxes whereby engaging in the process of the internet, I don’t believe that the average internet user is motivated by the process. Instead, I think they want the content.

Knowing why somebody is using a particular medium is important. If the social component was not a motivating factor, then websites like Amazon would not have user reviews for every product or user profiles. Businesses that attempt to sell products or services online would do well to make an effort to understand the major reasons why somebody is clicking on their front door. Motivation is seems like something that would be difficult to nail down due the changing nature of the internet. I believe the social factor is much more important in 2009 than 2004 and will continue to grow and eventually overshadow process or content.

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