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Title: Social media/ted practice @ the interface
Author: Jones, R.
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2013
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This research contributes to the evolving field of New Media Studies through an empirical examination of social media design in real-time practice at the computer interface. In recent years questions of technology and design have started to figure more prominently in research into Social Network Sites (SNSs) but critical analysis of design in practice, at the interface remains under-researched. The interface is becoming an increasingly important analytical concept in the digital age as it is the space where machine readable code is translated into the cultural codes which are accessible to the everyday users of digital media technology. Furthermore, there have been recent calls for an expansion of the traditional media practice paradigm encouraging practice approaches to media which take seriously the mediating role of technologies in emergent forms of digital media practice. This thesis carries out empirical research into social media/ted practice; it critically examines sites and real-time interactions at the interface, to understand the interrelationships between the specific design of platforms and evolving forms of social media/ted practice. The thesis draws on Media Studies, New Media Studies, Sociology and Social Studies of Technology to explicate an original interdisciplinary analytical framework for studying people’s interactions with social media technologies at the interface. This framework is referred to as the triple articulation of social media/ted practice. The triple articulation of social media/ted practice acknowledges the interplay between the materiality of social media technologies, the cultural coding of social media technologies and active practice with social media technologies. The term social media/ted practice has been coined specifically to emphasise the mediating role of technology in social media use. Using SNSs as a case study the thesis combines critical site analysis with interviews at the interface which illuminate the interpretive and constructive elements of the micro-interactions between people and SNSs that underpin related forms of social media/ted practice. Whilst this thesis is focused on SNSs, the analytical framework has wider applicability in New Media Studies and media-orientated Sociology. The central argument of this thesis is that design matters for social media/ted practice. Site-specific ‘micro’ architectures, affordances and algorithmic processes continue to shape social media/ted practice at the interface. The user-interface works to render aspects of the technology visible, accessible, meaningful and useful. This thesis calls attention to the user-interface as a key site for: (1), mediating social practice (2), understanding emerging social trends (3), site governance and (4), developing critical digital media literacies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy