September 9, 2010

Research into how to capture, organize, and share the voluminous content put forth by users of social media sites continues at Rutgers' School of Communication and Information (SC&I) with a $25,000 grant from Nokia to Assistant Professor Mor Naaman, who will study the behaviors of music lovers and concertgoers.

“The research will address the practices, goals, and motivations of capture of content during events, as well as sharing of the content through YouTube and on other social media services like Twitter and Facebook,” Naaman wrote in his proposal to Nokia’s US University Collaboration. The work is part of a research agenda that examines how social media enhance and extend the human experience. Naaman has already received funding from Google to understand how to rate and rank the influence of Twitter users.

Under the Nokia grant, Naaman, together with Assistant Professor Joe Sanchez, and their research team – Jessica Lingel and Aaron Trammell, doctoral students at the School of Communication and Information – will study the behaviors of some of the most native users of social media: music lovers and, specifically, concertgoers.

Naaman not only plans to publish academic papers based on the new research, but also to prototype and launch a number of web-based event services. He has experience with developing web products from his years at Yahoo! as a research scientist. Both Naaman and Sanchez are faculty members in the school’s Department of Library and Information Science.

“These services will transform the way events are viewed and experienced either live or in retrospect, building on content already shared in other social media sites,” Naaman said. “At the same time, they will allow users to create new content to share via their existing social media channels.”

The nomination process for Nokia’s US University Collaboration program is highly competitive. The multinational communications corporation based in Finland was looking to fund projects with “business relevance and with an eye for social responsibility, a value highly regarded by Nokia,” according to the company’s website.

Nokia also awarded money to researchers at the University of Maryland, Stanford University, University of Minnesota, Drexel University and Carnegie Mellon University.


Ashanti M. Martin
Director of Public Communications
School of Communication and Information
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

732-932-7500, ext. 8012
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