I’m fairly certain now that i’ll be doing a dissertation on social media, i think it’s the most sensible choice for me for a variety of different reasons…
Database administration, server administration, networking, hardware… it’s much too technical for my liking. Not enough freedom & not enough creativity for me. Social media is my type of thing… much more interesting and creative.
I’ll be spending all of next semester working on a project, so it’s very important i’m interested in the topic. My love for twitter, facebook, blogging etc… hasn’t worn off in my 4 years + online so choosing this particular area is a smart move – i know it’s highly unlikely i’ll get bored with it.
It’s where the party’s at
Want to sell something? It can be done through social media… want to buy something? you can get recommendations through social media… want to complain about something? review something? talk to experts, strangers, friends? Yip, it can all be done with a few buttons and clicks thanks to social media.
It’s hot and it’s only gonna become hotter, so if i can carve out my own angle on social media or do something innovative, it won’t just get me a decent grade, i can use the power of social media to publish my findings beyond the college library walls
I’ve seen it grow
One major disadvantage with doing project on operating systems or systems architecture or something is that the foundations of those things were build long before i was born. I grew up with the internet from the mid-90’s onwards. So my memory of technology goes back about 1995.
Social media as we know it is really only been around 7/8 years old max, so i’ve seen it grow from day 1. I’ve grown up with it which means i’m less likely to get out-classed by the people correcting my work. I can safely say i know more about social media than all of my lecturers, so provided i can sell it well, they shouldn’t be able to break me down with awkward questions, this is an area i talk & write about regularly.
Avoiding the mousetrap
Pick a subject like operating systems or something which lecturers teach / a subject that is on the curriculum and i’m like a mouse just about to grab the cheese from a mousetrap… i’m playing in to their hands because they’ve got far more experience and expertise in their areas than i do.
Lecturers will be marking this & i have to present it to them & handle questions, so it’s important i look at my strengths & their weaknesses. Can i get creative with a network design? No. Do i know more about that than my lecturers? No. Can i learn all about it in a few months? No. So let’s be smart here… when it comes to question time, i’ll can get grilled easily – just like i could grill lecturers on social media – i’ve got far more experience than they do using it.
So yes, this is also a very strategic, defensive decision on my part, designed to play to my strengths and avoid banana skins.
Narrowing it down
So social media is the general area i’m happy with… i now have to justify doing it. “How is it related to IT management?” (course i’m doing). If it’s not related, it will fail at the approval stage.
So i have to be creative here and first of all look at the definition of IT Management and what our course involves. Here’s what it’s all about;
IT services is a key function in any medium or large organisation. You will learn to analyse, evaluate, design and manage information technology systems and services. This programme enables you to take a hands-on role in shaping the IT infrastructure and services within an organisation. The programme is build on top of the BSc in Computing in Application and Support and the BSc in Computing in Networking and Support.
As a graduate of this programme you will be able to:
- plan and deliver quality IT systems and IT services
- manage the transition to new technologies
- ensure the integrity of computer and network systems
- manage the human and budgetary resources in an IT facility
Excellent, so i have to ‘manage IT services’ – social media is a service or an IT link between customer and business. I also have to ‘plan and deliver IT services’ so i could perhaps talk about best practices in social media for a business. You can see what i’m doing… i’m trying to make social media fit somehow. Really it’s just a case of wording it properly.
Off the top of my head, i could perhaps come at this from a business angle which complements the word ‘management';
- online reputation management
- social media strategy for business
Coming up with an exact title or question won’t be easy. But i’m already bookmarking whitepapers & studies on social media to help give me ideas and also to act as references in the future. One problem with this area is that it moves rapidly… a couple of years ago, myspace was at it’s peak, bebo was hot and twitter wasn’t a household name. Foursquare didn’t exist. So research done back then is basically irrelevant today. In fact by the time i finish this project, all of it can probably be thrown straight in the shredder