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Sport History in the Digital Era$
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Gary Osmond and Murray G. Phillips

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038938

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038938.001.0001

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“Dear Collective Brain …”

“Dear Collective Brain …”

Social Media as a Research Tool in Sport History

(p.97) 4 “Dear Collective Brain …”
Sport History in the Digital Era

Mike Cronin

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the potential of social media as a research tool. There are three key uses of social media: gaining assistance from fellow sport historians and researchers, collecting data, and accessing already-collected data through the social media archive of posts. However, there are some practical issues in using social media, the biggest of which is “simply getting the message out there.” This was a particular issue with Facebook, where the reluctance of individuals to extend their usage beyond their own social relationships and networks of friends frustrated attempts to engage the public in participating in the research projects. Twitter, the chapter proposes, has the greater potential as a research tool because of its more open access and focused style of engagement. Ultimately, for all forms of social media, accessing previously collected data is simpler than generating or “harvesting” new data.

Keywords:   social media, Facebook, research tool, Twitter, collected data, sport history

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