Researchers are sometimes quite hard to come by. They’re usually locked up in the library or room somewhere reading endless amounts of books and articles and once in a while pops out to do some field research. However when one does come by and shares their knowledge, so much can be learned and shared with its communities of practice.
With that said, its such a pleasure for me to introduce the newest member of the research community in local government specialising in social media. Some of you might already know her, she works at Derbyshire County Council and her name is Sarah Lay. Her twitter handle is @sarahlay and her website can be found here Thought Store .
I have talked to Sarah earlier this year about all the new exciting stuff happening at DerbyshireCC and was happy to find out that she was too about to embark on a research herself for her Masters in eCommunication. Sarah had asked about getting some help on what topics that she could possibly write for her thesis on her blog here (Thoughts on my thesis). I responded to her post and recommended an area that I thought would benefit herself as a Masters student as well as the rest of the public sector community. You can see my suggestion here . There were alot of other comments by other people that I feel could be great suggestions for other potential researchers in the area of social media and local government.
I believe researchers and communities of practice should work more closely together to ensure the quality of the research is in fact a true reflection of the area of study that everyone can relate to, especially those directly involved. My first hand experience has taught me that the more you give and share, the more you receive and benefit from those relationships.
So it is my hope that Sarah also receives the same amount of cooperation and help that I have received throughout my research with local government, which has been brilliant! She is embarking on a research that is going to be truly beneficial to all of us. Here is a snipet of what its all about…
My feeling at the moment is that an ‘active research’ approach may work well and be interesting, hopefully piloting some possible social media solutions next year.
While the thesis will mainly look at problems and solutions within my own organisation I do plan to research what else is already in place across the sector.
I’m looking forward to getting started and really excited that my first bit of pilot research took place in the online space!
So Sarah, I wish you all the best and may the force be with you!
For everybody else, don’t forget to nudge Sarah once in a while and ask her what she’s up to. Research can be such a lonely world sometimes (trust me), would be nice to share and swap thoughts with other people sometimes!
Hope this was useful! xxx