Research talk by Ms Carol Soon

“No action, talk only?”: web 2.0 technologies and activating change.

Date and Time:

Wednesday, 27 April 2011
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.


CNM Playroom, AS6/03-38

Even as web 2.0 technologies have become normalized into political, commercial and social life, there remains a hazy understanding of what users of these technologies represent and their permanence in the communicative landscape. Early dismissals of bloggers as “just a bunch of guys in pajamas” (Reynolds, 2006) have lingered in the public mind, even as corporations, political campaigners and organisations design media campaigns around blogging. Carol’s study focuses on bloggers as individuals who leverage on different technologies to engender political and social change. Through in-depth interviews supported by a survey, her study uncovers the nuanced dynamics that shape technology use and activism participation. Building on a recent study by Van Laer and Van Aelst (2010), Carol’s study identifies a repertoire of collective actions facilitated by new media technologies, with applications beyond the political to the corporate sphere.

Currently an instructor in Communications and New Media, Carol’s research interests include how individuals and organisations leverage on web 2.0 technologies for change, as well as the galvanising roles of social networks and collective identity. Having published in several peer-reviewed journals and two book projects, Carol was also a recipient of the Association of Internet Researchers’ inaugural fee waiver award in 2009. Her latest work is a special issue in the Social Science and Computer Review, the fruition of a six-country project which involved researchers pursuing innovative approaches in network crawling and analysis. Upon graduation with honours in communication studies, Carol’s agency and corporate work included conceptualising and executing marketing and communication campaigns for profit and non-profit organisations. Prior to her doctoral studies, Carol was a freelance brand consultant with Activiste Brands.

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