MSUToday
Published: March 10, 2011

Faculty conversations: Cliff Lampe

Contact(s): Erica Shekell Office of Communications and Brand Strategy erica.shekell@cabs.msu.edu

Cliff Lampe has been studying social media for 15 years — before Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger even existed.

“I’m an old-school nerd,” said Lampe, an assistant professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media. “Back in the day, I was that kid who was participating in social media before we called it social media.”
 
Now, he is studying how others are participating in social media.

Lampe is among a group of researchers who recently finished a survey on how MSU staff uses Facebook. Using a framework called “social capital,” Lampe and his counterparts are seeing the various benefits people get from having friends in a social network.

“It turns out there a lot of benefits we get from both close friends and distant friends,” he said. “Facebook acts as a way for us to tap into those networks pretty quickly and easily.”

Lampe said social media, while once thought of as a fad, are much more than that now.

“I think now we’re at a point where (social media) is kind of as core to our daily lives as telephone use or other types of media use, so I think the social media are here to stay for a while.”

Other social media projects that Lampe has worked on include MichEEN (Michigan Energy Efficiency Network), GreatPlaceNetwork.Org, Great Lakes Echo, Creative Commons, Community Ties.

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Cliff Lampe, assistant professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media

Cliff Lampe, assistant professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media

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