Sample topics I may be interested in advising include
- Identifying the most influential members of a specific social network
- Sampling the use of a strategic approach or the lack of it in an industry’s online presence
- An experimental study on the effect of social network tie on message adoption
- Investigating/prototyping and/or market evaluation of radically new technology-based products or services
- An investigation into the use of specific Digital Marketing strategies within specific industries/products/services (e.g. benchmarking)
- Impact of digital marketing on specific industries
- Research upcoming technology and foresight its impact on markets
- An experimental study on the effect of web interface variants on Reach, CTR, Engagement or Sales
- Comparing and contrasting different social/email/search/display campaign tactics for competing products
- Building a classification framework of current Data Visualisations for presenting complex digital marketing or social network data
- Research at the intersection of Marketing and Recommender Systems
- Quantifying fake social media profiles and their effectiveness of message believability if any
- Comparing and contrasting the believability of online vs. television political ads
- Benchmarking average CTR by industry and/or advert type
- How many ads do average customers consume in a day?
Academic papers I lately suggested reading
- For a read of my papers check out my Google Scholar page: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=SksWXfoAAAAJ&hl=en
- For social network related work check out Franco Curmi, Maria Angela Ferrario, Jon Whittle, Biometric data sharing in the wild: Investigating the effects on online sports spectators, In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 105, 2017, Pages 56-67, ISSN 1071-5819, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2017.03.008.
- Granovetter, M., 1973. “The strength of weak ties.” American Journal of Sociology, 6: 1360-1380.
- Granovetter, M., 1982. “The strength of weak ties: A network theory revisited.” In P. V. Marsden and N. Lin(eds.), Social Structure and Network Analysis: 105-1 30.
- Social network papers from Sinan Aral such as Identifying Influential and Susceptible Members of Social Networks http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2012/06/20/science.1215842.full; Exercise Contagion in a Global Social Network http://ide.mit.edu/sites/default/files/publications/IDE%20Research%20Brief_0617_0.pdf;
The future of weak ties http://ide.mit.edu/sites/default/files/publications/IDE%20Research%20Brief_0617_0.pdf or
Identifying Influential and Susceptible Individuals in Social Networks: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment https://www.misrc.umn.edu/wise/papers/1b-3.pdf
- Creating Social Contagion Through Viral Product Design: A Randomized Trial of Peer Influence in Networks: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3919/19c8a42afe6daa7ea6e32b20021f4e7dd27c.pdf
- I am particularly interested in areas of user experience in online product design. For the most cutting-edge and highly cited papers in this area search for papers published in ACM SIGCHI (ACM Conference on Human-Computer Interaction): https://dl.acm.org/sig.cfm?id=SP923
- If you are interested in Social Science related research, I would recommend this reading in research methods: John Law – After method, mess in social science research. The text may be slightly heavy for Masters level but would be worth reading particularly if you intend to explore further studies later on.
Other less intensive non-academic bedtime reading
- The wealth of Networks – http://www.benkler.org/Benkler_Wealth_Of_Networks.pdf
- Why information grows – https://www.amazon.com/Why-Information-Grows-Evolution-Economies/dp/0465048994
- The blockchain revolution – https://www.amazon.com/Blockchain-Revolution-Technology-Changing-Business/dp/1101980133
- Two’s company, Three’s complexity – https://www.amazon.com/Twos-Company-Three-Complexity-Johnson/dp/1851684883
- The wisdom of the crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations – https://www.amazon.com/Wisdom-Crowds-Collective-Economies-Societies/dp/0385503865/
- Information Rules – https://www.amazon.com/Information-Rules-Strategic-Network-Economy/dp/087584863X
- To save everything click here – https://www.amazon.com/Save-Everything-Click-Here-Technological/dp/1610393708
Can you be my dissertation advisor?
Yes and no.
Yes, I am willing to advise any hard-working student who is interested (ideally passionate) to conduct research in an area that falls within my area of specialisation.
No, if your research interest does not match my expertise and hence I feel that I cannot guide you to the best of your abilities.
No, if the number of students I am advising has reached saturation point.
No, if the student is not committed to dedicating the right amount of time for this project. A dissertation at an MSc or MBA level needs to be conducted with rigour and should show that the student has mastered the area under observation. Best students are able to produce an academic paper that is publishable in peer-reviewed publications (though this is not mandatory for being awarded an MSc or MBA certification).
If your objective is to do the bare minimum to get a pass then I am not a good match for your needs.
How do I select a Dissertation title or research question?
Read, read, read. The next most important step then is to select an area of study that you are passionate about. Which topics do you like most? What do you see yourself doing in 3-5 years? Would this research help you build expertise that gets you closer to your ideal job? Assume that you have finished your dissertation and that you have been invited to address an audience, is your work interesting enough to present to a broader audience? Is talking about this topic exciting? Do you envisage the possibility that the outcome of your research impacts on the broader community, the university and most importantly your learning? I often recommend students to list their options, say between 3 and 10, and then select the one/s which are most feasible doing. Once you have this draft list, it is good to approach potential advisors and discuss ideas.
What makes a good dissertation?
There are a number of ingredients that influence the success or otherwise of a dissertation.
- From experience, the top key ingredients are the time that you assign to this task, perseverance and the student’s willingness to do better with an internal locus of control.
- Reading academic papers. Students who read most papers are likely to produce work of better quality. The reading of papers, or lack of it, is invariably reflected in the quality of the produced work.
- Adopting an efficient time management approach.
- Networking and exchanging ideas. Ideas are free.
- Research independently at your own pace. Identify sources of the most cutting-edge insight in your selected area.
- Enjoy doing the dissertation. In hindsight, those who do best seem to be those who enjoy doing their dissertation.
Get in touch if you have any question or request a meeting via email.
I typically reply to emails within 24hrs. If for some reason this did not happen, it is likely that your email did not find its path to my inbox. Please do send me a reminder if you did not receive a reply within 24hrs.