Lunch with Mariann Hardey – social media PHD


Had lunch with Dr Hardey or Mariann or Maz depending on what level of social filtration she has permitted you. Mariann is has got to be one of the first in the world to get a PHD on social media this very summer. Really interesting because she walks the dangerous path of being interested in emergent areas of which academia is only partially aware. And what is not understood may not be taken seriously or attract grant funding – so I applaud her courage. Her specialism is in 'presence techniques'. When we're online we aren't trying to be somebody else, the relationships we conduct and sustain we try to make real.  So the way we manage our online profile is worthy of serious consideration and study. Her masters thesis focussed on online dating. She has also got strong views on privacy and how we manage this online.

To see her at work you have only to to visit her hilarious blog: a guide to Facebook etiquette. What she has done is to bring together the grand English tradition of manners which depends on the very particular use of language (and silences) and applied it to the shifting sands of the Facebook profile. Digital Debretts no less but much more amusing.

I'd love to relay more of the conversation but it is safer for me to put my ruminations in other posts where she and others can't be misattributed! One to watch.  When so much social media thinking seems to be seat of the pants its a pleasure to find someone thinking through the core issues this rigorously – a valuable ally for social media development projects. I expect a lot of clients (and agencies) will be beating a path to her door.

She will already know I posted this!



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