Monday, September 15, 2014

Study #2: Innovation Impacts of Using Social Bookmarking Systems

Study #2: Innovation Impacts of Using Social Bookmarking Systems

Gray, P.H., Iyer, B., & Parise, S. (2011).  Innovation impacts of using social bookmarking systems.  MIS Quarterly, 35(3), 629-643. 



The purpose of this study was to determine two conclusions relating to social bookmarking.  Gray, Iyers, and Parise discuss just what drives society to innovate and reach for change.  Change often comes from preexisting material but they are recreated into new formats.  Social bookmarking is one way that professionals are using these new formats to organize and consolidate previously found resources.  One purpose of social bookmarking is to increase the possibility of locating the same information via people that have the same needs.  It should make people more efficient whilst allowing them to reach beyond their immediate resources.  Too many resources or places to look online creates less organization and less efficiency.  Social bookmarking allows users to find research or information they, otherwise, may not have ever come across.  They follow in the shadow of another user leading them to new searches.


The study was conducted through a sample of social bookmark users.  Using a firm's large employee pool, 850 social bookmarkers were studied ranging from high, medium, and low usage amounts.  The sample of employees created "structural holes" or gaps in connections.  The authors did not want any previous connections to each other's social bookmarks to ensure randomness of connections.


The authors hypothesize two theories.  The first of which looks to find the relationship between how innovative/creative a person is to how thoroughly they search using social bookmarking.  The predict that, "the number of times an individual accesses social bookmarks will positively predict his/her level of personal innovativeness" (Gray, Iyers, & Parise, 2011).  The second theory looks at the number of people one individual accesses through the use of social bookmarking.  The authors predict that, "the number of people a person connects to by accessing their social bookmarks will positively predict his/her level of personal innovativeness," (2011).


The authors concluded that social bookmarking has many benefits that contribute to one's personal innovativeness and creativity.  There are also some drawbacks attributed to this social media tool.  Through examining samples of the social bookmarks, the authors determined that individuals miss out on the opportunity to participate in mutual interactions. These interactions can be vital to accessing rich discussions.  Many social books do not allow users to specifically influence particular readers' interest.  It is generally open to the public and not always ideal for small groups.

On the other hand, a benefit owed to social bookmarking is its ability to track and bookmark resources without needing to communicate two-ways.  It makes sharing quick and efficient.  There is no fault or cost to the person bookmarking the sources.  

Overall, the authors felt their study supported the theory that innovative individuals were those that were more actively involved in social bookmarking.  They had more access to new ideas and were inspired by other resources that they may no have originally personally searched for.  It helps people fill in the missing holes of available information by expanding their initial searches.  


I was excited to find this study as it will pertain to my key assessment.  It is an overarching category that includes sites like Diigo, teacher-friendly Symbaloo, and popular Pinterest.  When I began researching what a social bookmark was, I found sites like Diigo.  As I thought about it, I realized a user-friendly version like Symbaloo can serve a similar purpose.  Perhaps the most popular (by personal observation) is Pinterest.  I feel it serves the same purpose as well.  Sites like Pinterest have grown to be a major contributor of many teachers' planning.  I enjoy that I can repost a site or a photo or resource without having to reach out the the previous finder.  As I click deeper and deeper into the posts, I have strayed far off from my original purpose but found many other resources or fresh ideas that I would not have otherwise found.  

With sites like Symbaloo, a user can again post or link resources to a user-friendly dashboard and access these in a convenient manner.  The user has the option to share publicly or keep private.  

Diigo is a site that I just linked to my blog.  A great feature of Diigo is the ability to create groups.  Like the authors mentioned previously, social bookmarking has had trouble allowing users to share specific resources to specific people.  

I am looking forward to exploring tools like Diigo and Symbaloo in my classroom planning and research needs.  I believe the benefits the authors found, outweigh the cons.

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