22 February 2018

Research Picks Weekly – 22 Feb 2018

Twitter for social dialogue
Twitter has become one of the most popular forms of social communication in just over a decade online. It is particularly important in the socio-political arena where opinions can be diverted by prominent users including public figures, celebrities, and politicians themselves. It provides an essentially live means by which the public can receive news and views and share their own. A new investigation by researchers in South Korea suggests that in contrast to conventional media, news outlets, and communications tools, users perceive Twitter as a place where conversation happens. Moreover, conversational activity is more strongly correlated with the degree to which a user is involved in civic engagement as opposed to being associated with liberal tendencies. This suggests that Twitter is recognised as a community space where social interactions take place. In other words, Twitter is not only a means of information diffusion but also a dialogical space in a social community.
Hwang, Y. (2018) ‘What does the Twitter mean for the traditional media users?’, Int. J. Mobile Communications, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp.190–208. DOI: 10.1504/IJMC.2018.089759

Mindfulness and creativity

Mindfulness is a psychological technique whereby one focuses on the present moment and the current experience rather than dwelling on the past or ruminating on the future. It perhaps has its roots in the philosophy of some religions, in particular Buddhism. It has become a useful and entirely secular tool with the aim of helping people improve their personal wellbeing and mental health. Of course, the philosophy of concentrating on the here and how, letting go of the past, and letting the future look after itself is common throughout human thinking. Nevertheless, researchers in Jordan have now looked at the role of mindfulness in strategic creativity within an organization. Their statistical analysis of employee survey results suggests that self-training and development mindfulness can boost a person’s creative energies and this will ultimately reflect positively on development within the organization itself.
Al-Zu’bi, H.A. (2018) ‘The role of mindfulness in strategic creativity: an empirical investigation’, Int. J. Business Innovation and Research, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp.269–276. DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2018.089748

Avoiding selfish peers
Peer-to-peer networks, commonly known as P2P networks, came to the fore through the concept of file sharing. This facilitated the illicit sharing of copyright materials. However, P2P networks have many legitimate functions such as allowing stakeholders in any kind of collaborative effort to share large amounts of information, hefty files, updates and other materials efficiently without the burden of serving those files being on a single central repository. However, as with any kind of sharing the optimal functioning of a P2P system relies on none of the peers being selfish in their behaviour. Researchers in China are now developing a swarm intelligence learning model that can adapt to incentive protocols in a P2P network to ensure individual peers remain equal across the system. Given that P2P networks are self-organising and self-sufficient, this should overcome selfish actions among peers, which would otherwise remain a major problem to the efficient functioning of the network.
Wang, Z. (2018) ‘A swarm intelligence learning model of adaptive incentive protocols for P2P networks’, Int. J. Communication Networks and Distributed Systems, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp.168–189. DOI: 10.1504/IJCNDS.2018.089770

The best mobile phone for the market
Researchers in Indonesia are looking at mobile phone characteristics that might allow the design of a device that could be presented to the local market optimally. Free trade is one of the major challenges facing any nation as the world continues to globalise. Ultimately, markets will simply follow the most prominent and well-advertised device in the realm of mobile phones, for instance. However, at the local level, certain features and design characteristics may not be best suited to the people the device is sold to and there may well be a better design that would suit a particular society and culture. One might imagine that in a vast and growing market present by a country such as Indonesia there is plenty of room for products to rival the big names from South Korea and the USA, for instance. Indeed, new research suggests that at the local level there is great dissatisfaction with available products and that there is a large niche market that could be opened for something designed specifically for customers in Indonesia. The same outlook might exist in other developing markets.
Siringoringo, H. and Thaeras, H.O. (2018) ‘Perceived quality of mobile cell phones: an initiative to develop local product’, Int. J. Business Innovation and Research, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp.320–339. DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2018.089751

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