Uses and risks of microblogging in organisations

A session at Twitter and Microblogging: Political, Professional and Personal Practices

  • Soureh Latif Shabgahi

Wednesday 10th April, 2013

3:15pm to 3:45pm

The latest predictions suggest that Twitter will have 250 million active users by the end of 2012. Microblogging, on Twitter and using other tools such as weibo and yammer, is the most recent social phenomena of Web 2.0 enabling users to broadcast information about their activities, opinions and status, as well as to receive quick notifications. Users can stay connected to others through their computers and mobile phones. This paper reviews research studies of the effects of microblogging in organisational settings partly with a view to establishing an empirical basis for local policies on how to manage risk.

The review is based on a thematic analysis of literature collected in October 2012, comprising around 30 papers on enterprise microblogging (EMB), defined as use of microblogging primarily with internal audiences behind the firewall. The analysis led to the development of a generic framework identifying themes of enterprise microblogging.

As regards use of microblogging, the framework identifies several concepts that have been very influential among researchers in the field, such as awareness/sense of connectedness. In addition, forming relationships, discussion, sharing knowledge/information, learning, record information for future reference, coordination and reputation management have been further uses found in EMB.

As regards risks, themes identified in EMB literature include difficulty/unfamiliarity in using microblogging, distraction and wasting time, noise-to-value ratio, privacy of users, security of the organisation and restrictions on messages.

The review discusses possible guidelines and policies to manage perceived risk. For instance, continuously emphasizing the usefulness of internal systems and providing training for early adopters and users is commonly proposed as a way to help reduce difficulty/unfamiliarity in using microblogging, distraction and issue of time.

The framework has been introduced as a useful guide for other researchers to graphically represent issues around microblogging and it is hospitable to expansion for use in further contexts. Other researchers could apply the framework and compare existing findings with microblogging users in other sectors, such as educators using microblogging for research and in teaching. The framework could also be used for comparing other technologies apart from web2.0/microblogging.

About the speaker

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Soureh Latif Shabgahi

University of Sheffield

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Time 3:15pm3:45pm GMT

Date Wed 10th April 2013

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