Urban Social Media Demographics (Lit Review, Swanson)

Article Reviewed: Urban Social Media Demographics: An Exploration of Twitter Use in Major American Cities


This article explores intersections between place, race/ethnicity, and gender amongst American Twitter users and makes an argument that studying the intensity of tweets provides insights into how and why particular groups tweet. Given recent events in American political life such as the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri and the reactions by young, urban African Americans on Twitter, understanding the role of race, place, gender, and age is important. We observed the time between tweets of urban American Twitter users and explored whether the medium may be providing traditionally marginalized groups, such as young Black men, with potential avenues for mobilizing communication and access to resources.

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Precarious Popularity: Facebook Drinking Photos (Lit Review, Donaldson)

Article Reviewed: Precarious Popularity: Facebook, Drinking Photos, the Attention Economy, and the Regime of the Branded Self 


Precarious Popularity incorporates several different groups of young adults who use Facebook to illustrate people drinking and the implied self-based on their photos and posts. This literature article looks into different scenarios of why certain situations deal with young adults drinking. It is a time for them to dig deeper into the meaning on the self and why young people find it “cool” to post photos of themselves drinking and partying. It shows that through the various observations young adults have a deeper meaning behind their Facebook profiles.

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WOM and Social Media (Lit Review, Johnson)

Article Reviewed: WOM and social media: Presaging future directions for research and practice


The concept of word of mouth (WOM) has been a topic that has generated an increase in attention from many, especially in regards to the impact it has on brands through the use of social media.  Despite previous belief, this case study suggests that the impact WOM has is less than many have been lead to assume.  In this report, the current state of WOM and its place in marketing are reassessed to determine the true implications WOM has through online channels and to separate false, previously stated claims.  Future predictions, directions and best practices are also evaluated for marketers to take into consideration to be used through an online platform.

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The Role of Social Media Romantic Relationships (Med Lit Review) Katelyn Dennis

Article Reviewed: The Role of Social Network Sites in Romantic Relationships: Effects on Jealousy and Relationship Happiness.


From the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication comes the case study called The Role of Social Network Sites in Romantic Relationships: Effects on Jealousy and Relationship Happiness. The researchers wanted to figure out how self-esteem and jealousy play a key role in the amount of happiness in romantic relationships. Will individuals with lower self-esteem be affected more heavily by Social Network Sites than those that have a healthy self-esteem? The study took place in Amsterdam at VU University and was written by Sonja Utz and Camiel J. Beukeboom.

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Monetizing a Meme (Lit Review, Booze)

Article Reviewed: Monetizing a Meme: YouTube, Content ID, and the Harlem Shake


Using as a case study the 2013 “Harlem Shake” meme phenomenon that produced what the authors call an Internet dance craze, this article examines the “digital sharecropping” practices, specifically by YouTube, that they claim hinders cultural expression, threatens to close the open digital “commons” space and applies copyright laws unfairly. The tension between user rights and creative control and the monetization of content, combined with YouTube’s dominance in identifying so-called copyright material, leaves users who provide User-Generated Content (UGC) at the mercy of technology and unfair exploitation.

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