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Persistence and Change in Social Media


Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society Volume 30, Number 5, ISSN 0270-4676


In "Star Trek," Scotty suggests that Transwarp beaming is "like trying to hit a bullet with a smaller bullet, whilst wearing a blindfold, riding a horse." The study of social media faces similar challenges because new tools are developed at a rapid pace and existing tools are constantly being updated with new features, policies, and applications. Users tend to migrate, in often unpredictable ways, to new tools as well as to adopt multiple tools simultaneously, without showing consistent media preferences and habits. As a result, for scholars it sometimes feels as if the social media landscape changes too quickly to fully grasp and leaves scholars permanently lagging behind. The authors argue in this article that beyond the ebb and flow of everyday events and seemingly idiosyncratic usage, trends exist underlying long-term trajectories, persistent social practices, and discernible cultural patterns. The goal of this article on persistence and change in social media is to take the findings from the articles compiled in this special issue and extend these claims with an eye toward the aspects of social media that may persist for years, if not decades. They hope that their discussion of social media practice will provide an overarching framework from which future research can draw. (Contains 1 note.)


Hogan, B. & Quan-Haase, A. (2010). Persistence and Change in Social Media. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 30(5), 309-315. Retrieved December 14, 2019 from .

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