ideas for an IT dissertation


I like creating and coming up with ideas. Up until now i’ve been fairly confident i’d do something leaving cert related for my dissertation this year. But before i get in to that, allow me to explain what i ‘dissertation’ is…

I call it a thesis, but all of my lecturers call it a dissertation so i’m hopping on the bandwagon blindly. Dissertation or thesis, it doesn’t matter… it’s still a large formal document which involves me doing a lot of research in a specific area. I’m studying IT Management so i have to keep it IT related.

I could just buy one online or outsource it and save myself some time and energy but coming up with ideas is what i’m good at… deep down inside i’d probably be genuinely disappointed if someone handed me a perfect dissertation 🙂

So now it’s all about ideas… and for the past few days the voice in my head is saying, “come on, this is what you’re good at, why can’t you think of anything… attack this thing, think outside the box, come up with some ingeniously simple that leaves everyone else furious they never thought of it”.

So here’s just a few ideas i’ve been thinking about… steal them if you wish but i’ll just come up with more 😈

1. 100 ‘lost’ usb sticks

Buy 100 usb sticks, place a text file on them all. 50 contain contact details for a fake business. 50 contain a link to a fake facebook profile. Carefully leave usb sticks lying around in various parts of the country and see what happens. The goal would be to see whether people;

(a) are honest enough to contact you

(b) contact you more through the business details or facebook profile.

There are a million and one problems with this experiment but i like it and with a bit of serious thought i’m sure i could fine tune it a bit.

2. Guess who?

Similar to the idea above. Only with cameras and less of them (because of costs!). I’d take a few pictures of myself or perhaps my location. Maybe have a picture of me with my car & number plate, or picture in front of my house, with my phone number pinned on a wall behind me or something…. basically i’d load the camera with images of me (or a volunteer) and i’d try to see how many detectives we have out there who are willing to return the camera and go to the trouble of piecing together information in pictures to find out who i am.

Again, this is bordering on ‘stupid’ but i’d love to submit that ‘Guess Who?’ title and see what the reaction would be like! It would need much more work to get past the ‘idea approvers’, but i like it. It has potential. It would be fun and interesting to carry out. It’s outside the box. I need more of these crazy ideas.

3. WordPress as a CMS

Ah, something more technical, perhaps something of more use to me all be it not as entertaining as the first two. This is more of a ‘selling’ job though and i reckon i could do a good job of selling wordpress and fighting off the competition if i were to do a dissertation on it.

So yeah basically ‘wordpress’ would be a my dissertation but it would be a fancier title than that. WordPress in business, business blogs, the impact of business blogging on reputation etc etc… terribly boring stuff but it’s a boring subject i could probably talk a lot about and get a lot out of.

4. The impact of social media on leaving cert study

I’d be in a great position to do something like this… not many others would have the same access as i do to leaving cert / social media / stats stuff. ‘Social media’ is the long brown trench coat here. It’s a disguise for me doing a leaving cert based dissertation and i reckon it would get me past the idea approvers… like getting in to a club with a fake ID.

At the minute, this sort of idea is probably the most sensible but i never said i’d be choosing a sensible topic 😉

5. Blogging in 2010

Talk about obvious. 4 years, 1850 blog posts and a word count of over 590,000 words suggests that maybe, just maybe, i know a bit about blogging. I think i seen a dissertation on this in the library from some years ago but sticking ‘2010’ in the title is a nice clever way of saying “No, this hasn’t been done before” :mrgreen:

So they’re all just a few ideas running around in my head. The first couple would, at very least, be entertaining. Then they tend to get more boring and technical. I’m still very much undecided. Ideas aren’t a problem, if you keep pushing me and pushing me i’ll come up with ideas all day long. Whether i’m happy with them or not is another matter. It’s important to get this idea right which is why i’m still thinking every day…

If you have any or can build on any of my existing ideas, let me know!

2 thoughts on “ideas for an IT dissertation”

  1. Just so you’re aware, the “lost usb stick” has been done plenty of times before in social psychology experiments… eg leaving unposted letters on the floor of college dorms and see how many get posted. Obviously your paradigm is slightly different but I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you’re going to use hundreds and hundreds because there’s just too many contextual factors to control for… e.g. if you leave them in a small town they’re much more likely to be returned than in a big city… and things like what sex your fb profile is… straight males will probably be more likely to return it to an attractive female etc.

    That plus you won’t have any data about the people who don’t return the sticks which makes things even more complicated.

  2. yeah i agree, good points… it would be very hard to control which is why i’d really have to think hard about it and come at it from a different angle… but then again i know i’ll be able to spot plenty of problems with any idea i come up with, that’s probably why i’m still undecided – loads of ideas but none that hit the nail on the head and could produce accurate results.

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