Social Media Collective

Established: July 6, 2010

Over the last decade, social media has become a central part of people’s engagement with technology. From email to Twitter, mobile phones to Facebook, people are using a vast array of social technologies as a part of their daily lives. This work in this project explores people’s practices from a variety of different theoretical and analytical angles.

People use a vast array of social media and communications technologies as part of their everyday lives and practices. This research collective brings together social scientists and humanists from sociology, communications, anthropology, media studies, information science, and cultural studies to examine how social media fits into people’s practices.  We examine social media practices through various methodological and theoretical lenses and provide insight into how social media is reconfiguring daily life.  Much of our work centers on emergent Web 2.0 technologies, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. but we also look to situate these emergent practices in the history of computer-mediated communication.


The Social Media Collective maintains a blog at:

Teens and Twitter

One major research initiative at the Social Media Collective is understanding how young people make use of social media.

While most of this research has focused on MySpace and Facebook, we are currently looking at teen (13-19) use of Twitter, particularly participation in trending topics.

As part of this research, we are interviewing young people about Twitter. Some of these interviews are long-form ethnographic interviews, and some are quick 140-character discussions on Twitter. We are looking at participants in two trending topics: #IGoToASchool and #IGoToASchoolWhere. We are also looking for teens who maintain popular “quote” accounts like @teenthings and @teenquotes.

If you choose to participate in this research, what you tell us may appear in a future blog post, research paper or academic journal article. You’ll be helping us better understand technology use and teen engagement with social media specifically.

For this project, we will be using pseudonyms for all Twitter accounts.

To see previous papers we have written on Twitter, see Publications below.

To see some of our other papers about young people and social media, click here.

Our blog is at

If you have questions, please email Alice Marwick (co-researcher on the project) at She tweets from @alicetiara.