I was going to write a long post in defence of Birmingham City University’s new MA in Social Media after it got an inevitable, but still sad, “shock horror” response from the press (eg. in the Telegraph), but luckily David Stuart has already done that for me:

“Being able to use blogs, social networks, twitter, wikis, podcasts etc, is obviously not the same as understanding the role they play in society, but acknowledging that would have got in the way of a ‘good’ story. Obviously it is only a good story for the ‘gone to hell in a handcart’ brigade, but those are idiots who read the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.”

In essence, it’s important that real research and quaility (that means academically minded and structured) training goes on in this field — it’s almost unique in having a huge amount of information available for research, but very little work being done well.