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Published by the School of Communications, Elon University

Spring 2011 Issue

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Is Generation Y Addicted to Social Media?

By Jaclyn Cabral

This study examines Generation Y’s need to maintain relationships with peers through social media such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn. The possibility of psychological addiction is interpreted using Griffiths’ six components that determine behavioral addiction: salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict and relapse. Results indicated that this sample of Generation Y suffers from three components: tolerance, salience and relapse. They also suffer from intrapsychic conflict, but not interpersonal conflict. Faculty mentor: Dr. David Copeland

Tweet Talking: How Modern Technology
and Social Media Are Changing Sports Communication

By Drew Hancherick

This study examines the roles that technology and social media play in sports journalism, and how those roles may affect the profession in the future. The history of modern sports (1920 – present) is analyzed, with special attention paid to the important technological advancements that pertained to sports in different eras. The study found that the basic structure of sports communication stayed intact until recent years, while the styles changed significantly. The past decade and a half can be viewed in sharp contrast to the preceding 75 years. Faculty mentor: Dr. Michael Frontani

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Citizen Perception of the Social Media Sites of Politicians

By Annie Hellweg

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This research examines how politicians can use their Facebook or Twitter pages in the most effective fashion to communicate with citizens. A mixed-method approach using content analysis and a survey revealed that voters value personable content over professional content, trustworthiness and general electability. Ultimately, a politician’s social media use significantly influenced and enriched the experience an individual has with the public figure. Faculty mentor: Dr. Glenn Scott


Online Word of Mouth in the Yelp.com Community

By Tiana Tucker

This study uses speech code theory to explain and evaluate how computer users communicate by posting reviews on the consumer-oriented website Yelp.com. A content analysis of 763 reviews identified 106 that were more closely examined. The research studies electronic word-of-mouth communications according to genre, consumer influences and opinion-leader behavior compared to traditional word-of-mouth interaction. Overall, opinion leaders on Yelp, a group of regular users who have gained elite status in the community, did carry more authority with review readers than non-elite members. Faculty mentor: Dr. Glenn Scott

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The Relationship of Online Sports Site Participation
with Fan and Commentator Self-Identities

By Evann Clingan

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This research explores how football fans who interact with sports-related news and information websites negotiate their self-identities as fans and commentators. This research examined the interaction that 10 male participants have as fans and commentators with sports-related information. The research used a baseline questionnaire, a log to track interactivity, and a second questionnaire. While there was not a significant change in fanship or commentatorship overall, participants believed their identity as a fan or a commentator decreased in some areas. Faculty mentor: Dr. Glenn Scott


From Policies to Punishments:
The Atlantic Coast Conference and Social Networking

By Stephanie Oden

This research examines the use of social networking sites by college athletes and how ACC schools are tackling this topic. Following the emergence of issues involving social media, many schools have been compelled to form policies and educate student-athletes in a way that benefited the school, programs, coaches, teams and individuals. Through 10 in-depth interviews, the author found that most ACC schools deal with social networking in similar ways. Athletic departments are informing and educating students on proper social networking use and the benefits and potential problems that could arise from using these sites. Faculty mentor: Dr. Daniel Haygood

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Elementary Education, There's an App for That:
Communication Technology in the Elementary School Classroom

By Lauren Kenney

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This research examines how various forms of communication technologies are being used as learning tools in elementary school classrooms. This study focused on rural elementary schools near the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. Using in-depth interviews with local elementary school teachers, the research revealed a positive correlation between technology in the classroom and increased student motivation and participation. Findings also showed that technology is an integral part of learning in the classroom and that students have begun to expect a seamless integration of technology into the learning process. Faculty mentor: Dr. Daniel Haygood


Going Viral:
Factors That Lead Videos to Become Internet Phenomena

By Tyler West

The study examines the top 20 viral videos as determined by Time magazine. Each video’s content was recorded for analysis of its main features. Eventually nine factors were deemed “important determinants” for a viral video: title length, run-time, laughter, element of surprise, element of irony, minority presence, music quality, youth presence and talent. This research is important because an understanding of prevelant factors within viral videos can help explain why they have become fixtures in today’s popular culture. This information will be useful for viral marketing campaigns. Faculty mentor: Dr. Glenn Scott

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The Korean Wave: The Seoul of Asia

By Sue Jin Lee

Over the past decade, Korean popular culture has spread infectiously throughout the world. The term “Korean wave” has been used to describe this rising popularity of Korean popular culture. The Korean government took advantage of this phenomenon and began aiding Korean media industries in exporting Korean pop culture. This global expansion has contributed to enhancing South Korea’s national image and its economy and has been seen as a tool for public diplomacy. This paper analyzed the Korean wave and its implications for cultural influence on neighboring countries. Furthermore, this study explored how national identity impacts framing processes related to media coverage and public response. Faculty mentor: Dr. David Copeland


Private Universities and Freedom of Expression:
Free Speech on Elon University's Campus

By Alex Ardinger

This research explores how much students are aware that free speech rights can be restricted at a private university and gauges student interest in instituting a specific area on campus for free speech. A survey with a series of questions was sent to a variety of Elon students. Based on 100 responses, results showed that many students are unaware of the differences in free speech at private and public universities. The majority of students, including those who believed they had experienced restrictions on Elon’s campus, expressed interest in various areas of free speech areas on campus. Faculty mentor: Dr. Daniel Haygood

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More Than the Consumer Eye Can See:
Guerrilla Advertising from an Agency Standpoint

By Megan Wanner

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This research analyzes the viewpoints of advertising agency professionals regarding the effectiveness of guerrilla advertising, defined as a creative, non-traditional and often interactive and low-budget production. This study compared guerrilla advertising to traditional advertising and looked at the benefits of these types of campaigns. Through one-on-one interviews with advertising professionals, the research found that while guerrilla advertising is effective, it does not necessarily replace traditional advertising. It appears more suited for small, less-established companies with a limited budget. Faculty mentor: Dr. Daniel Haygood