Disputation of Chancellor Lee Aase on the Power and Efficacy of Social Media
Out of love for common sense and the desire to see it applied, the following propositions will be discussed at various conferences, under the presidency of Lee Aase, Bachelor of Science, and Chancellor of Social Media University, Global. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by comment, Tweet or blog post.
- Social media are as old as human speech, with air being the medium through which sound waves propagated.
- Electronic tools merely facilitate broader and more efficient transmission by overcoming inertia and friction.
- The mass media era was a temporary anomaly.
- Social Media are the third millennium’s defining communications trend.
- Social media affect every industry; technology grows those effects exponentially.
- Social media were originally about relationships, not technology. They still are.
- Hand-wringing about merits and dangers of social media is as productive as debating gravity.
- Just as failing to account for gravity’s effects is disastrous in aeronautics, neglecting social media’s power can cripple an organization.
- Mass media will remain powerful levers that move – and are moved by – social media buzz.
- Social media strategies can’t compensate for an inferior offering.
- Social media strategies can help make a product, service or experience better.
- Communications and marketing professionals who fail to understand social media flirt with media malpractice.
- Social media tools offer unprecedented opportunity for transformational change and productivity.
- Strategic thinking about social media is no substitute for action.
- You can hear a lot just by listening.
- Social media tools make the once-scarce power of mass media available to anyone.
- Social media are free in any ordinary sense of the word.
- As I approaches zero, ROI approaches infinity.
- MacGyver is the model for social media success.
- Social media tools enable authentic communication if you don’t purposefully complicate things.
- Technology makes things possible. People make things happen.
- Social media are an essential part of a balanced communications diet.
- Almost all Web surfers use social media today. They just may not know it.
- Compelling, remarkable content that people actually want is far more valuable than advertising time or space.
- If your product, service or experience is remarkable enough, your customers will create content for you.
- Your mileage may vary, but you’ll go a lot further if you get a car.
- Greatness, as Stephen Covey says in The 8th Habit, consists in “Finding your voice and inspiring others to find theirs.”
- Paying for advertising while not taking advantage of free online opportunities isn’t particularly astute.
- Your kids aren’t smarter than you are. They’re just not afraid to look dumb.
- You can save enough using free social tools in your current work to pay for your expanded efforts in social media.
- Unforeseen implications of social media are more likely positive than negative.
- Healthcare organizations should thoughtfully engage with social media.
- Social media will decrease diffusion time for medical research and healthcare innovations.
- Challenges of introducing social media in healthcare are not unique.
- Social technologies will transform healthcare.
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The successful production of academic writing depends on achieving a certain level of clarity; the thesis statement is a device for enhancing clarity. It is helpful to think about the thesis statement in terms of what it is used to accomplish. To enhance clarity, a thesis statement should
- state the objective of your paper,
- tell the reader what to expect from your paper, and
- present a clear position on the topic.
Typically, the thesis statement occurs early in a text—usually in the introduction—and it should be
- specific, stating your thesis in concrete terms,
- concise, providing necessary information without going into excessive detail, and
- unambiguous, avoiding vague or contradictory language.
The thesis statement should guide your readers into your paper and give them a clear idea of how to relate to it. Are they to expect a persuasive, argumentative text, for example, or is it a primarily descriptive text? In your thesis statement, you help shape your readers’ expectations.
As an example, imagine that you are writing a discussion essay. Your essay will discuss social media from various perspectives. Here is a very simple thesis statement:
A) Social media are a complex phenomenon with both positive and negative aspects.
This tells us something about what your paper will deal with, but not very much. In fact, it does little more than restate the topic. Contrast A) with the following alternative:
B) Social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are proliferating, and this essay will discuss how they take up more and more of our time and what they give us in return.
This is a stronger thesis statement, since it tells us something concrete that the essay will accomplish. Rather than simply reiterating the topic, it provides concrete examples and gives the reader a better idea of what aspects of the topic it will deal with.
Now compare example B) to example C):
C) While providing entertainment, information and an opportunity for us to keep track of old friends, social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are also becoming tools for various organizations that want to keep track of us.
This example points to the positive and negative aspects of social media by means of examples. It also indicates that there is reason to be skeptical of social media. By rephrasing the sentence slightly, it can be made to indicate a much more positive attitude to social media:
D) While social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are certainly tools for organizations that want to track our interests on the web, they also provide entertainment, information and an opportunity for us to keep track of old friends.
Both C) and D) are strong thesis statements, which indicate effectively what your essay will be about and what your perspective will be. Compared with A), they are also much more effective in arousing your reader’s interest.
While you are writing, you should be prepared to change your thesis statement if necessary. Perhaps your emphasis will change as you write, or maybe a certain perspective will emerge as more important than the others. Remember to revise your thesis statement during the writing and editing processes to make sure that it is representative of the finished essay.
The thesis statement makes clear for the reader the topic, perspective, and objective of your text.
You may wonder why the thesis statement is placed at the beginning of the text, rather than at the end. It might seem like a good idea to build up to it, or that the text will seem anti-climactic, if you “give away the secret too soon”. The problem with this reasoning is that academic writing, above all in the English-speaking world, is not about mystery, but rather about clarity. Readers are busy people with a great many things competing for their attention. You should therefore make an attempt to interest your reader in your topic and then give her an idea of what to expect. This will not only increase the likelihood that she will want to continue reading, but will also help her to make sense of the text, since each of the topics that follow will be be construed in light of the thesis that you have presented. In other words, a good thesis statement will help you to win the reader over and make your text more convincing.