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.
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.
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.
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
□ Look for social psychology on the impact of groups or roles
How social network affects a company
□ Work by Rob Cross
Mob Mentality or “Wisdom of Crowds”
□ See Swarm intelligence as a search term. Also this book and tool.
Internet and Society
□ Brad DeLong Blog
Size of communities (Rule of 150)
Advertising and Marketing
□ Any search on word of mouth or viral marketing
General blogs on organizations, networks, and sociology: Search them for your topics.
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
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?
About diseases: it would be interesting to compare biological and social factors in contagiousness of diseases.
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?
I am not sure what the best search term for outside-in emotion is.
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.