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Youth 2.0

March 27, 2013

Youth 2.0

Last week I presented at the Youth 2.0 conference at the University of Antwerp. More about this and my presentation later in the week.


How not to use social media

September 20, 2012

As the new academic year comes hurtling into view I’ve been asked to prepare a few seminars based on how undergraduates might use social media to present themselves professionally. The immediacy and global reach of social media tools, twitter in particular, are among the reasons for doing this. I am keen for the students to reflect on what tools are available to them and how they might use them in a professional manner.
Whilst preparing the session I was reminded of an example of what can happen to a brand when the conventions of a site are not followed as the users expect. Habitat UK decided to use hashtags to piggy back on topics that were trending on twitter and therefore spam the trend to try to get maximum exposure. This massively backfired for the company and caused a lot of bad press. See the link below for examples and the full story.

Habitat hashtag faux pas

The old adage “no news is bad news” can still apply in this case as it did mean that the Habitat brand got exposure. I would not recommend this type of behaviour for  undergraduate students trying to move into the employment market. Employers are looking for responsible employees who can present themselves in both the digital and face-to-face environments appropriately.

Social network site/Facebook Bibliographies

September 10, 2012

danah boyd has an excellent bibliography of social network sites here

and Robert Wilson has put together a very comprehensive bibliography of research on Facebook here.



Digital ethnography

July 2, 2012

Brilliant school girl’s school dinner blog

June 19, 2012

This is just brilliant!

Collaborative Ethnography

June 12, 2012

Following on from my recent posting on digital methods seminars I wanted to write about another seminar series I’m involved in: “Collaborative ethnography as a model for public engagement”. The series is run by some of the other PhD students from The School of Education at The University of Sheffield.

The seminars aim to explore different ideas and perspectives on what collaborative research / ethnography means and how it does or could work. The initial ideas are very much based on the work of Lassiter (2008).

The first seminar explored the theme of planning research and how the attendees had used or planned to use a collaborative approach in their own work. There was a multidisciplinary feel to the attendees, with people from education, health care professions, biology and sociology (to name a few), and it was really insightful to hear of the work being undertaken in other subject areas.

The focus of the second seminar, coming later this month will be on method and data collection as a collaborative process.

For further details as the seminars take place, see:

Lassiter, L. (2008) Moving past public anthropology and doing collaborative research. NAPA BULLETIN 29, pp. 70–86.

Digital Methods in the Social Sciences

May 30, 2012

The use of digital methods by social scientists both to research the digital and to disseminate research findings is a hot topic right now. Being grappled with by a range of academics, from those in early career posts and through to the more established. And rightly so. For those of us working in this area, some technologies and practices are second nature and part of everyday life and to others a steep learning curve is being traveled. The “supposed nascent” nature of the technologies and practices and our own use of them deserve academic and analytical attention.

Over the next year there are a couple of seminars I’ve recently found out about which I thought I’d share here:

The first “Blurring the boundaries – New social media, new social science?” is a network is led by NatCen Social Research, SAGE and the Oxford Internet Institute, and funded by the NCRM. It’s hosted over several different platforms, including Methodspace, Blogspot, Twitter and YouTube, and will run over twelve months.

The network asks “should social science researchers embrace social media and, if we do, what are the implications for our methods and practice?”

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The launch event took place yesterday (29th May 2012) and I believe some sessions will be uploaded to the youTube channel here:

Web links:


The second set of seminars is entitled “Digital Methods as Mainstream Methodology” and this three part seminar series explores why digital methods are still seen by many as a new approach.



Web links:

twitter account: @DMMM_NMI

I’ll post more about these once I have been able to get involved.