it’s dissertation time!

social media

I’ve spoken before about this dissertation thing i have to do in college (I prefer to call it a ‘thesis’ because most people are more familiar with that word). It’s basically 2 or 3 months of research on a specific subject…

What am i researching?

The title of my dissertation is ‘Social Customer Relationship Management in Irish SMEs’ (Small and Medium sized Enterprises). Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while will know that i talk a lot about social media and use it a lot too. The degree course i’m doing in college is called ‘IT Management’ and i’ve explained the type of subjects that entails here.

I’d been advised to stick to a topic which is covered on my course as it would be difficult to do well in something i haven’t formally studied. Although i’d like to argue otherwise and would prefer to have a blank canvas for a dissertation topic, i settled for what i regard as something in between.

It’s a rule bender

If you want to dumb down my dissertation title, it’s ‘Social Media for Business’ which really has very little to do with ‘IT Management’. It’s venturing off in to Marketing & PR territory but this is something i have a genuine interest in and perhaps an area i could see myself working in so i decided to go for it and ‘make it fit’ with IT Management. I think i can make it interesting or at the very least informative so i’m hoping that my ability to sell & explain the subject will mask the fact i’ve bent the rules slightly or deviated from the ‘normal’ IT Management dissertation topics like cloud computing, network security or wireless technology. To me, that stuff is just yawn material and it’s highly unlikely to add value to anything other than your % mark.

Strip for the Farmville Cash
Creative Commons License photo credit: Exey Panteleev

Can my work add value to anything? Not for me to judge but i think it’s a hot topic and a growing area with a secure future. There’s a hell of a lot of information out there already on social media & even social media in business. SCRM is one of these new overnight terms which you feel is designed to create ‘SCRM experts’ but i’m not going to get too caught up in the terminology.

The meat & bones of it

In a nutshell, i’ll be explaining what CRM is, why it’s useful and why social media takes it to a whole other level. I’ll be looking at successful and not so successful examples of Irish businesses adopting some form of SCRM and i’ll also be carrying out a little experiment which i can’t reveal just yet.

Depending whether or not all of that research will add enough value (honestly, i won’t know how good it is until i’m about 75% of the way through it), i may also be creating some kind of web application or perhaps even an iphone application but if i’m stuck for time, that idea will be knocked on the head. I’m not exactly a master in app development right now (i haven’t created any so far!)…

Did you know?

So starting pretty much immediately, i’ll be chipping away at this dissertation week by week and i’ll be sharing any interesting findings as i go. To kick off the interesting findings, did you know Facebook now has over 610m users? Well on their way towards the magic 1 billion users mark. It was only 7 months ago they hit the 500m user mark so some quick math says they’ll have topped 1 billion users by mid 2013. That’s assuming nothing better comes along in those 2 years which is a pretty huge assumption to make.

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