I am Evert Van den Broeck, child of the so-called ‘generation Y’. Researchers describe us as the first ‘digital’ generation. We discern ourselves from former generations through a significant increase in use and familiarity with communication, media and technologies. We grew up in a rapidly changing society, and take for granted those technologies that changed lives of others (e.g. computers, smartphones, social media). Moreover, we were socialised in a society that defined ‘privacy’ in a completely different manner as a few decades ago. The way in which we self-disclose personal information on social media nowadays would be unthinkable back then.
Social networking sites intrigue me in particular. My interest in this medium is the reason why I enrolled in Communication Studies in 2008, . The impact of SNS on our communication is enormous. The possibility for mass communication, two-way communication between people and between brands and consumers make this a popular channel for communicating.
SNS often seek a delicate balance. In order for the medium to generate income, personal data of users is gathered and sold. Personal data became a sort of ‘online currency’.
The above ‘story’ is what motivated me to pursue a Master’s degree in Strategic Communication and to write my Master’s dissertation on the effectiveness and privacy-intrusiveness of personalised advertising on social networking sites. This dissertation was awarded a top-10 ranking at the 2012 Flemish Dissertation Awards.
After graduating Cum Laude as MSc. Strategic Communication in 2012, I pursued a Master’s degree in Organisation and Management. I deliberately chose my elective courses in the area of marketing, since I wanted to broaden my knowledge of social media advertising. After researching the ‘communication’ aspect of social media marketing in my previous study, I wanted to grasp the ‘commercial’ aspect of this matter. I graduated in 2013 Magna Cum Laude.
Since September 2013 I hold a research position at the research group MIOS (Media & ICT in Organisations & Society) of the department of Communication Studies at the University of Antwerp. And since January 2014 I am working on a PhD concerning the effectiveness and privacy intrusiveness of personalised advertisements on social networking sites.
I intend to use this blog as a medium for publishing updates on the progress of my PhD research and discerning the most interesting results.