Monthly Archives: October 2008

Research ideas for Six Degrees Students

Research Ideas for My Students

Hello folks. This is by no means a comprehensive set of resources. It more reflects sources that seemed to be of interest to two or more of you AND that I thought might not jump out at you as pertinent. It is a mix of search terms, blogs, alternative media, as well as books and scholars.

For a few of you, I had specific ideas and those are at the end.  So read through to the end. If I did not comment on your specifically all it means is that your topics are either covered below, or, I don’t have any special suggestions.

General Ideas

The FIRST place for everyone to start if they are basing their paper on a topic in Six Degrees or Tipping point is to look at the references in the back of each book.  Watts provides a guide to different topics, and Gladwell has notes with references.

Also, you can get a one on one appointment with BU librarian once you have your topic.

EVERYONE should make an appointment with a Bucknell research librarian.

You are welcome to search my blog.  You can search or simply use the tag cloud to clickt hough to a set of posts.

Also, I use a social bookmarking service called del.icio.us.com. Basically it is like a big scrapbook of links I collect.  You are welcome to look there for any tags that match your research keywords.

http://delicious.com/jordisunshine

Click on “all tags” on the left to see my tag taxonomy.  For example, Jen mentioned technology and the presidential election in her topics.  I have a politics tag, and when you click on that, you can see what are “related” tags to narrow it down.  Politics+ technology has three links. One of those, to a book called “Netroots Rising” might be useful.

How to use blogs I recommend: browse them.  Use them to identify key ideas.  Use them to look for book, or article suggestions from more reliable sources (scholarly journals, mainstream press).

How context shapes roles

Stanford Prison Experiment

□ Look for social psychology on the impact of groups or roles

How social network affects a company

□ Work by Rob Cross

David Krackhardt

David Obstfeld

How breakthroughs happen…

Mob Mentality or “Wisdom of Crowds”

□ See Swarm intelligence as a search term. Also this book and tool.

□ See Smart Mobs as a search term. Also, this site and book.

Internet and Society

Pew Research Center on Internet and American life

Financial Bubbles…

Bill Moyers with Kuttner

Interviews with Greenspan

Greenspan debate Naomi Klein, a critic (bubbles and feds role comes up)

□   Planet Money Blog

□   Big picture blog

□   Brad DeLong Blog

Fanatic communities

MeetUp

Org theory post

Size of communities (Rule of 150)

□    Gore-Tex maker

□   More on Gore

□   Another article.

□   Leaderless organization

Advertising and Marketing

Changes that the internet has brought about

Viral garden blog

□   Any search on word of mouth or viral marketing

□   Paradox of Choice.

General blogs on organizations, networks, and sociology: Search them for your topics.

Orgtheory http://orgtheory.wordpress.com/

Complexity

Connectedness

Visiblepath

Jen:

About politics and technology.  The Dean campaign of 2004, and also the Bush Campaign of 2004, started the use of web 2.0 technologies as political organizing tools.  I think this book could be useful.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594514852

Will:

It would be interesting to look at the distribution of hit records over time.  In other words, what proportion of records sold are just a few?  Were the Beatles bigger superstars than a recent “big act” measured as % of all record sales?  How has shift to consuming songs as downloads changed that perception?  Are there fewer superstars now?  What does that mean for music as a business and as a cultural activity?

Charlie:

About diseases: it would be interesting to compare biological and social factors in contagiousness of diseases.

Jeff G:

In terms of channel capacity and music: this reminds me of research now on the cognitive structure of experts vs amateurs.  An expert musician can distinguish more than 7 tones, I think.   What is the evidence that we can increase channel capacity?

Kayla

I am not sure what the best search term for outside-in emotion is.

Emma:

You can do a special kind of search called a cited reference search with a database called Web of Science.  Basically, it tells you who cited a work.  You could look at original article “The Strength of Weak Ties” and see what more current research is saying.  The reference librarians can show you how to do that kind of search.  There will be thousands of articles, so you will need to use narrowing terms.

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Filed under Business, economics, innovation, organization theory, Politics, Power, Activism, Research, Social Networks, sociology

In Defense of White Americans- Finally!

Frank Rich of the NY Time has said what i have been arguing with friends and family for awhile.  Race is a complicated matter in America. 

Op-Ed Columnist – In Defense of White Americans – NYTimes.com
When Obama cited her in his speech on race last spring, the right immediately accused him of “throwing his grandmother under the bus.” But Obama’s critics were merely projecting their own racial hang-ups. He still loves his grandmother. He was merely speaking candidly and generously — like an adult — about the strange, complex and ever-changing racial dynamics of America. He hit a chord because many of us have had white relatives of our own like his, and we, too, see them in full and often love them anyway.

Many of my white, educated friends (just the people supposedly immune to racial stereotyping or prejudice) openly acknowledge our shock at the amount of subtle racist thinking that shows up in tests like the implicit racial bias test. Unions, pop culture (Eminem anyone?  Or Hootie and the Blowfish?), sports teams, public school, and, of course, the original integrator, the US military have done a lot to create millions of moments for people to know each other as individuals and forge some sense of solidarity.  My point is that racial bias, in its subtle form, extends everywhere (ask Hispanics or Koreans about Blacks, for example, or vice verse) and that social fact CAN and DOES exist in quirky disharmony with the human capacity to interact and relate across a myriad divides and misunderstandings.

Racism in the face of the yawning maw of economic collapse is a luxury only zealous ideologues can afford.  And most Americans are pretty pragmatic.


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Filed under Politics, Power, Activism, sociology

BlogHUD : Get a Second Life Blog

BlogHUD : Get a Second Life Blog – Second Life blogging community network and tools
what is a blogHUD?
The ‘blogHUD’ is a tool to let you blog from Second Life and crosspost your text posts or image postcards to your own blog or photo-sharing account.

This looks like it oculd be a useful tool for undergrads doing on-line ethnography.

Has anyone used it?

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Filed under blogging, Information and Communication Technology, Research, virtual worlds

Fields in Institutional Theory

Every time I write about fields from an institutional theory perspective, I get hung up on what they mean.   I suppose that means I should write more about them.  Or that there are underlying tensions in how different scholars use them?

Somewhere in the various Virtual Worlds paper drafts that litter my “My Documents” like the broken and sunken galleons rising out of the Carribean Sea are probably the various definitions.  Maybe I should pull them all together and have that as my own reference file.

This post also represents the level of musing, free writing, and beginnings of conversations that I imagine I might use this blog for.  Sometimes I look at what I put here and it seems so NOT representational of the scholarship I am doing or currently working through.  It ends up looking more like my miscellaneous folder.  This is partly due to a concern  about not wanting to expose the messy writing process.  It is party because somehow I worry about giving away good ideas.  It is partly because fuller treatments of core ideas or puzzles I am working on require more time to write well and then it seems like the blog is time wasting instead of useful scholarly communication.

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Filed under organization theory, sociology, writing

The Reckoning – Agency’s ’04 Rule Let Banks Pile Up New Debt, and Risk – Series – NYTimes.com

The Reckoning – Agency’s ’04 Rule Let Banks Pile Up New Debt, and Risk – Series – NYTimes.com
In loosening the capital rules, which are supposed to provide a buffer in turbulent times, the agency also decided to rely on the firms’ own computer models for determining the riskiness of investments, essentially outsourcing the job of monitoring risk to the banks themselves.

I am glad the NYT is talking about this.  Why did the SEC rely on the banks’ models?  Ideological blindness or simply the complacency of being amongst familiar faces?  Or perhaps simply ignorance in the face of complexity leading decision-makers to rely on proxies of sound choice.

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Filed under Banking, Business, Government, Orgs Stuff (theory, science, studies)

What happens in SL stays in SL

I was thoinking about the businesses that people start up in SL or other virtual worlds.  That got me thinking about this word again that I invented (as far as I know). Digital + Indigenous= “Digindigenous.”  Prounced as “dij-in-dij-en-us.”  It is growing on me.  For example, a norm that emerges in SL (as opposed to something imported from RW) is said to be digindiegnous.

Here is original post form 2007:

I like to play with words.  When obtuse or overly specialized, this can become jargon in the worst sense of the word: words which deliberately obfuscate and insulate insiders.  When there is a new experience, a new phenomenon, the desire to name wells up and starts playing with words.

Operationalize is jargon.

Podcast is not.

I have seen people refer to the residents of virtual worlds (aside from editorializing them as geeks or nerds) as residents, digital natives, and so on.

Perhaps there is a whole category of practices and objects that are digitally native.

Hence, I humbly offer digital+indigenous= digindigenous.

Digindienous is not short and sweet, but it has a certain rhythm in saying it.

Maybe there is something better?

Digigenous?  Sounds like stuttering
Digenous?   Sounds to much like disingenuous.

Thoughts?

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Filed under sociology, virtual worlds, words