I had the privilege of attending the International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media in Dublin, Ireland this month. It was an exciting and interesting conference on an array of subjects involving social media research. With 1/3 of individuals time spent on social media sites, it's no surprise that researchers are delving into some of the psychological and sociological impacts of this massive world wide phenomenon. One of my favorite studies presented at the conference was from Lada Adamic from the University of Michigan. She found that the mutation of textual memes in status updates changed and evolved in the same way as evolution. Individuals change and update memes until they become something else entirely quite like the Yule process of biological evolution. Her final statement was that "Information is Alive." Another researcher studied comments from Myspace pages of individuals that had passed away to better understand the mourning process. Other studies included analysing tweets to predict the weather and using online check-ins to gather data about a community (www.livehoods.org). The conference was mind opening and intriguing and provided a little boost and motivation needed to continue on with my own research. Check back soon as I will be posting more frequently in the future!