Thesis topics related to the Internet
October 28, 2009 10:40 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a thesis topic related to the internet and society...please help give me some direction!

I'm looking for Masters thesis topics related to the internet. The topic can be anything related to the internet, from the impact of Tor on Burma to peer production methods in Wikipedia to internet security.

What questions do you have about the Internet that you wish someone would take a year and some research funds to answer?

(Any other resources you may have on generating research questions from vague ideas would be VERY helpful. (I did a search, of course, but didn't find very much.))
posted by metametababe to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've always wanted a comparison of the economies of low and high population servers in World of Warcraft.
posted by demiurge at 10:49 AM on October 28, 2009

This was pretty interesting.
posted by jgirl at 10:51 AM on October 28, 2009

You might consider the idea of privacy or security "arms races" as Googles and Facebooks and governments escalate their data collection and groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation counter by offering anonymizers and circumvention techniques. Or, in a similar vein, the "arms race" between DRM devs and crackers. These ongoing standoffs are exciting and timely, and it's anyone's guess how they'll ultimately end (if they end at all).
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:51 AM on October 28, 2009

We just had a front page post regarding Facebook. Much of the discussion, some of it mine, came from the use of "friends." The use of the word "friend" to cover so much, and the impact it has had on people's choices of their social networks, would certainly be ripe for both qualitative and quantitative studies.
posted by adipocere at 10:54 AM on October 28, 2009

What discipline are you in?
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:26 AM on October 28, 2009

How soon before all (most?) access Internet is conducted via smartphones? What else will we be able to do online thanks to smartphones?

Similar to The Winsome Parker Lewis' suggestions, the race between virus writers and anti-virus software writers.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 11:42 AM on October 28, 2009

Given your username, maybe you should write about the reception of lewistate's dissertation project in metatalk? That is, don't do his project, do the meta of his project's introduction to its subject. Only half kidding about this.
posted by Mngo at 11:58 AM on October 28, 2009

The implications of a commercial entity owning information about, in some ways creating, and in effect owning people's social networks, especially if Facebook and its ilk become more dominant as primary means of communication. The big telephone companies were private entities which were (and to a point still are) dominant in interpersonal and business communications, but they were highly regulated. This new direction is troubling, or at least not well understood, and I think it could be very important; the technology is much more detailed.
posted by amtho at 12:20 PM on October 28, 2009

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