User Research: The Relationship Between Online and Offline Social Networks

When designing an online social network it is important to consider whether this is likely to result in the creation of a ‘new network’, or reflects existing real world contacts.

In the 1990s, Dunbar  proposed a neurocognitive limit on the number of people that a person can have in their social network of around 150 stable relationships.   Research on undergraduate use of Facebook found that although the median number of contacts in the sample was 300 Facebook friends, the actual number of people participants considered friends was around 75.   Recently Dunbar (2015)  found that the number of online friends in a Facebook network that are actual friends is  similar to that of friendships.  (Parsons 2017).

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User Research: Students Use of Social Media For Academic Purposes

Students Use of Social Media in Academia

Students use a variety of social networks both generally, and to support their academic work. In the past some universities have set up social networks for students, but many universities now just connect into mainstream platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Social media is being used broadly across higher education, and some applications are specifically designed for education.

Much of the literature on social media and higher education focuses on the integration of social media websites into the classroom, but social networks in education can have a wider reach and impact than this.

creative commons image from https://pixabay.com/en/social-media-blogging-marketing-439155/

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Analysis of Existing Websites/User Research: Findings on Academic Social Networking Sites

Academic Social Networking Sites (ASNS)

There are a large range of social networks used by academics, this includes Academic Social Networking sites.

Four of the most popular ASNS are Academia.edu, Researchgate, Mendeley, and Zotero

These sites are used by academics to: organize, create profiles, display research work and connect with peers with similar research interests.¬† ¬† Continue reading “Analysis of Existing Websites/User Research: Findings on Academic Social Networking Sites”

User Research: How Academics View Social Media

Social Media Use Among Academics

Academia relies on the generation, transmission and sharing of knowledge, and there are already many social networks that exist to support such dynamics between academics, and professional researchers.  Unsuprisingly social media usage has been growing rapidly amongst academics.

Jordan and Weller (2018) have undertaken an up-to-date and comprehensive review of current findings of views academics have of social media.

Creative commons image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/kitta/30811771492

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