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Advantages of using social media professionally

Everyday Media
FundingDeutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Project description

More than half a billion people worldwide use professional social online networks such as LinkedIn. The objective of this DFG-funded project is to learn more about the positive effects social networking use provides for knowledge workers. 

Professional social online networks promise their members access to contacts and information and, as a result, increased job performance and career opportunities. Their pervasiveness shows that workers indeed expect benefits from using these networks. However, only few empirical studies have investigated the actual professional benefits of using professional social online networks for workers in the short and long term.  

Members of professional social online networks get the opportunity to exchange information and ideas on these platformsThey primarily do so via status updates and posts – messages that are visible to many other members of the network. Most messages on social media are only skimmed and not read attentively. However, regular skimming of such messages is by no means useless, but can help to develop so-called ambient awareness, an awareness of who is doing what and who knows what in the network. Based on preliminary work from the ERC project ReDeftie, we will conduct a series of experiments to test the extent to which online networking behaviours shape an individual’s informational environment and how information on social media is processed afterwards. This part of the project is closely related to the project „Extracting Expertise from Tweets“ of the Cluster of Excellence Machine Learning for Science. 

In a large prospective measurement burst field study, we will furthermore examine how successful networkers differ from less successful networkers and to what degree transient alterations in online networking behaviours result in short-term and long-term changes in informational benefits and creativity.  

  • Prof. Dr. Isabel ValeraDepartment of Computer Science at Saarland University in Saarbrücken 
  • Dr. Páblo Sanchez-Martín, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen 
  • Dr. Ana Levordashka, Department of Psychology at University of Bath (United Kingdom) 


Dr. Christine Anderl Dr. Christine Anderl
Tel.: +49 7071 979-329

Project team

Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz