Blog Post

New Year, New Research!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that as your semester is starting up that it comes with the opportunity for new research opportunities or the chance to return to work with fresh eyes as winter break comes to a close.


I have the joy of a few new projects about to get under way as a few others come to a close that I'll work to blog and share about in the coming weeks, that I'll preview here for you:


1. Women's Leadership Institute at KU- I've been asked to help teach researching and presentation skills for the WLI that KU hosts each year, giving me the opportunity to discuss digital access and technology use with young women from Bahrain, Yemen, and Egypt. I'm very excited to get the chance to help out with our great leaders of the program, Dr. Banwart and Dr. D'Enbeau, and hope to provide some insight in the next month as I get to know these amazing women and the aspirations that they have.

2. GOP Candidates use of Social Media- as we enter the heavy season of primaries across the country, I've decided to conduct a content analysis of how GOP candidates use twitter and FB within their campaigns. I've already begun to collect data, and find it fascinating how different candidates engage so differently with this new media technology, from posting images to links to articles to personal updates, the use ranges and keeps things interesting. I'm definitely looking forward to delving deeper into this project!

3. Its the year of politics for me in general (I can't help it- its an election year!) I've also decided that I'm going to work on a project cross-university with a few good friends of mine that will be an experimental design of how following candidates on Facebook and Twitter might impact things like political knowledge, efficacy, and likeliehood to vote in the presidential election in the Fall. I admit this makes my first project all that much more interesting to me, given how differently each GOP candidate uses social media, it will be fascinating to see how the winner compares to Obama in the fall.


I also have a few projects coming to a close that I hope to blog and share with you my reflections on; both are projects I've worked on for the last year and a half and its weird to think I won't be spending just about every day on them anymore, but I'm definitely excited for all the new:


1. Grief Communication and Social Media- my research on grief and Facebook stemmed from the loss of a friend of my own, and I've learned so much in the process. 3 articles and 1 soon to be written book chapter later, I know that I have learned a lot and look forward to sharing what I learned about how digital technology can impact the grieving process in a mediated world. Look for more posts about the book chapter I'm writing (due out Spring 2013!) as well as the specific findings of each article I wrote.

2. Impression Management and Facebook- this project has been such a blast with my advisor, Dr. Jeff Hall. We've had 3 main articles written based on the data gathered; a lens model analysis of the big five personality traits, an article on humor, and an article on self-monitoring. I definitely enjoyed this project and look forward to sharing the specific findings of each article as we prepare to send them out for publication.

I hope everyone else has some new (or old) research that they look forward to getting back into as the semester gets under way, happy researching!




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