Today my post will be on the subject of my Masters Thesis and how I aim to present it at the end of this semester. Not my full thesis, but my layout, ideas and the thoughts I`v made on how I’m going to present it once it reaches full-scale.
My topic, for those of you who are wondering, is going to be The Silent Majority.
Now what is this silent majority you say? It is the hundreds of millions of internet users, that during their time online, ever so seldom, or never participate in a productive way. When I say productive, I mean participating in online discussion on open forums, so that its available to those who would like to see it. It are those who only use instagram/twitter/pinterest/imgur to browse pictures or look up people, without engaging with the community. Perhaps some will leave a comment, but I do not count #cool as a means of participating in a productive way.
My thesis will focus on 3 main aspects ( might change ).
1. What is the Silent Majority – how do I define it in my thesis and how do I separate meaningful participation from meaningless participation.
2. How do you reach the Silent Majority and how can you increase the “want” to participate
3. How do you increase participation in a group that avoids just that and what would it take to make this happen. Also, what would be the potential consequences of a vastly increased amount of participation in the online communities.
For the end of this semester, I will focus on the first topic, what is the Silent Majority. I will use the introduction and the definition to build anticipation and interest in my thesis and the work I will have ahead of me.
It will be in comparison to the first chapters of a book, in where you get to know the protagonists, where they come from, and get the gist of how the plot will develop.
For my research, I will be reading on the topic of Participatory culture, since it is my goal to have the Silent Majority engage in just this. I will also look at those I call the Vocal Minority. The group of people who actually are very active and produce not only a great deal of public content, but actively engage each other in discussion and in creating communities where they thrive.
I will look at why they are active, what they stand to gain from creating public content, i.e.g guides for computer games, learning guides on forums and/or streaming sites. The reason I will look to this group aswell, is to get a ground for comparison with my findings on the silent majority.
I feel it is of great importance to represent both sides in a matter, even though my focus will be mostly on the silent majority.
My biggest fear on this thesis is the lack of work done previously around the silent majority and participatory culture. So I will have a hard time finding relevant literature, but that will not discourage me from pursuing this topic.
A short post from me this time, but that is basically what I have to offer on the insight on my thesis at the moment. I am just in the opening phase of my writing, so there are bound to be changes along the way, but my topic will very much remain.
As always, leave a comment if you have one.