User motivation in the use of social media

Assignment 1a topic – User motivation in the use of social media

 In 2012, Facebook floated on the New York stock exchange marking its transition from a private to a public company.  The Facebook IPO was the largest tech stock offering by market capitalization in NASDAQ history, eclipsing Google’s debut years earlier[1].  Market capitalization reflected investor optimism that Facebook’s huge user base could be translated into company profits.

Why has Facebook become so important to so many users?  What factors and attitudes shape user motivation with Facebook?  In this assignment, we will research user motivation with this popular social media tool.


With almost any kind of information system, user motivation to use the system means success or failure to the engineers, business analysts, interface designers and other professionals who have contributed to the design and implementation effort. If you want your project to succeed, you need to have a grasp of barriers and drivers to user adoption of systems.  For Facebook, we will begin this study by scoping the factors that detract or add to user motivation.  When you come to build your own systems, you will need to do the same, keeping a keen eye on human/computer interaction and factors that work for and against success.

For Assignment 1a, you will need to submit:

  1. a concept map (Task 1);
  2. examples of argumentative, analytical and expository thesis statements created from topics/concepts represented in the map (Task 2).
  3. a summary reflection on concept mapping and learner reflection (500 words) (Task 3);

 Task 1 – Concept map:

  • The concept map should demonstrate your understanding of attitudes and factors that shape user motivation to use Facebook, including factors that both promote or detract from Facebook acceptance and use. For example, the number of peers a person has with a presence on Facebook, might be a factor in user   Facebook use might also be related to the size of social networks, with users with larger social networks showing greater propensity to use.  Age and gender might also be factors, along with enjoyment or perceived usefulness.

There may be more factors.  With the concept map (Task 1), map as many as you can.   Your map should be based on evidence found in the
peer-reviewed literature, as well as other sources. In subsequent assignments, we will develop our foundation understanding of user motivation into an investigation of Facebook user behaviour produced as a research report.

You may use concept mapping software (CMap, FreeMind, BubblUs – look for some) or MS Word

Task 2 – Thesis statements

Lecture 4 ‘Thesis statements and Internet Information Literacy’ introduces the idea of a thesis statement – a point that you want to make in a piece of academic writing.  For example, our research might have convinced us that:

Facebook motivation is related to user attitude to privacy

Three kinds of thesis statements are discussed in the lecture:

  • Argumentation
  • Analysis; and
  • Exposition

For Task 2, provide an example of each based on your research and reading of motivational factors.

Task 3- Your summary paragraph (500-1000 words – approx 1 A4 page) should contain:

  1. A description of concept mapping;
  2. An explanation of why we use concept mapping as a thinking and organisational tool; and
  3. A learner reflection on your experience carrying out Tasks 1 & 2.


Include in-text references in the summary paragraph about concept mapping and an end of text reference list. Check the plagiarism information at the end of this task sheet.



Concept mapping software (free):

Thesis Statement

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