Explore the Scope of Social Media and Networking for Research
The extent to which people are now connected through social media is simply amazing. Every minute you are present on one or the other social networking platform, whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, Watsapp, Google plus, twitter or any other space. Do you just use these sites for recreation and casual communication, or have you thought of leveraging them for academic work? If you make the right use of these networking sites, they can provide an impetus to your research project.
Being constantly able to reach a humungous social base means that you have access to that many sources of information, which can prove to be a great plus point for your research. Your questionnaires can be mailed to the people on your friends/contact list. Similarly you can conduct an online survey or poll by just posting the questions and options for answers on these sites. So, the population base from which you choose your sample group is much enhanced. Instead of approaching unknown people on the streets, you can reach respondents whom you are familiar with. Such surveys or questionnaires are especially beneficial for social science or humanities studies.
Another advantage which networking platforms can provide is better interaction between peer groups. Several PhD discussion forums and groups are present where the members can post their queries and get answers from peers. You can put forth a new idea and get reactions. Nowadays, most sites allow creation of separate groups with limited members, enabling you to share your ideas with a restricted crowd. Such discussions can be used for finding topics, reference material, or data sources. Numerous scholars share their challenges on these forums and get valuable advice. And when you share your small achievements, getting appreciation from such a group is motivating.
Then there is the option of following people or organizations on many platforms. By following them, you will be able to receive news updates related to them. So, if you are conducting research on a topic related to a certain industry, you can follow companies and influential people in that sector.
Lastly, the social networking phenomenon itself is something that you can study in depth. Whether it is the technology behind them, marketing techniques used, or psychology of people accessing the sites, there is ample opportunity of research for all domains. So, make the most of the social media platforms for enhancing the speed and value of your research.