Feeds

What's wrong with a Twitter degree?

I can haz Master of Arts!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

"Fantastic social media strategy"

No one has a keener nose for sniffing this out than Reg readers - as you see here. And "social media" attempts a landgrab on several agendas. Why have advertising, marketing and PR been so successful in bewitching large media executives? What is it about Web 2.0 that appeals to the dull jobsworth types - in government as well as large companies - what I call the Vertical Marketing Bureaucrat? Why is your company paying so much for it, instead of real technological innovation?

Unfortunately students won't get anywhere near such answers on Birmingham's MA in Social Media. Because Hickman is an evangelist, not an academic, he won't be asking these questions. Let's have a look at what he is adding to the sum of human knowledge.

Hickman is very excited that people attend Conservative Party conferences because of their "fantastic social media strategy". Really? He apologises twice for saying "Tories" - "I didn't mean to swear!". [*]

Social media, he says, allows "people in niches and margins" to have a voice. But that's not the same as being heard, and his list is pretty selective. "Muslim feminists" are OK - climate skeptics, probably not.

Hickman insists the MA is "rigorously assessed" and involves "planned intellectual progression, research and scholarly progression". The MA must involve "systematic understanding of knowledge and awareness of current problems".

But it isn't really about any of that. It's about promoting the commercial profile of the Birmingham City University "plc", so wealthy and gullible parents of overseas students will divert some of their trust funds towards the institution.

The problem comes later, when the graduates find themselves in the Web 2.0 marketing jobs which they hope to get. (Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, there will be any). When the bubble bursts, the Social Media graduates will have less idea of why it burst than you or me. ®

Bootnote

* That's him out of a job in 2011, then.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.