Twitter and yammer as microblogging tools are the most recent social phenomena of Web 2.0 enabling users to broadcast information about their activities and opinion, as well as to receive quick notifications. The researchers have carried out a thematic analysis of literature collected in 2012, comprising around 30 papers on enterprise microblogging (EMB) and around 25 papers on microblogging in education (MIE). The analysis led to the development of a generic framework identifying themes of the uses and risks of microblogging in the two settings.
The two literatures from which the papers are drawn have their own distinctive theoretical traditions, methods and terminology and clearly the two sectors have different underlying purposes, yet it is hoped that the framework allows useful comparisons to be found. For example, the framework is suggestive of some actions that those working in education need to take to ensure experiments with microblogging maximise impact on employability.
As regards use, the framework identifies themes only found in organisational microblogging are forming relationships andcoordination. Awareness/sense of connectedness through microblogging has also been an influential concept in organisational contexts much more than in educational settings, but seems to be potentially applicable there too. Themes of uses only found in MIE, include learning community, sustained interaction and engagement and collaborative learning.
As regards risks, those identified in EMB literature include difficulty in using microblogging, distraction and wasting time, and noise-to-value ratio. Through the framework, a number of possible guidelines and policies to address such risk concerns can be discussed. For instance continuously emphasizing the usefulness of internal systems, and providing training for early users.
The framework has been introduced as a useful guide for other researchers to graphically represent issues around microblogging in different settings. The framework 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, or use the framework for comparing other technologies apart from web2.0/microblogging.
University of Sheffield
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