Accessing audiences in the internet age: Social media, blogging and the universe
Since 2001 social media has emerged as the driving force behind publishing, posting and access on the internet. Networking sites have created an incredible level of connectivity, blogging has reduced the cost and barriers of publishing to nothing and celebrity is only few clicks away. Yet science communication has been slow to capitalise on this phenomenon.With a general decline in print journalism and a move toward faster modes of communication science needs to adapt. Social media offers a chance for science to spread beyond the complicated, jargon-filled pages of peer-reviewed journals and into a form that the public is capable of accessing. This thesis is an examination of the current literature surrounding social media, blogging and accessing the internet audience. It comprises an analysis of both the literature within the domain of science communication and the literature from without, reaching from computer science to psychology. The breadth of this new field, and the methods that it employs to reach it’s time-poor audience, is beginning to influence much more than computer-based communication. Information distilled by social media is attractive, compact and has strong ‘social proof’. Adapting the lessons of social media to print media has an advantage in that it allows information to be tested with less risk than traditional publishing. In an attempt to explore this methodology an informally styled book, as per the requirements of this Masters Program, has been included in this thesis. This book, about space exploration, is informed and directed by the need for communication to reach an audience with less time, less motivation and a generally low level of science literacy.In total this thesis combines a wide range of sources to provide an in-depth examination of social media and internet science communication that has previously only been examined, within the scope of science communication, superficially and narrowly (e.g. collaborative filtering or linking motivations.) and an artefact filtered by that information for public consumption.
Advisor: Davis, Lloyd Spencer
Degree Name: Master of Science Communication
Degree Discipline: Science Communication
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Science; Communication; blogging; social media; Science communication; internet; space; physics
Research Type: Thesis