Social Media Research Project

This section defines terms used as part of this research project.

Social Media Use in the Bay Area Library Student and Professional Community

Definition of Terms

Online social networking
The activity of connecting and interacting with a community of users via social media platforms.
Professional groups
Groups must be information science student, paraprofessional, and/or professional groups. These can include professional associations, unions, social clubs, networking groups, or other information science groups that meet in-person or virtually. Organizations such as libraries, archives and museums are not being considered as part of this research. However, information science professional or paraprofessional groups affiliated with a library or other information organization, such as "Librarians Association of the University of California" may be considered.
San Francisco Bay Area
For the purposes of this study, the San Francisco Bay Area is defined as anywhere within the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma. For reference, see this area map from the Association of Bay Area Governments.
Social media
Social media are primarily social media platforms designed for user-generated content, and used primarily for online social networking (eg. Facebook) and microblogging (eg. Twitter). This includes forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos) (Merriam-Webster, 2012). When used by organizations and professional groups, marketing and branding are key functions of social media.
Social media platforms
Platforms include, but are not limited to Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and others.