I was privileged to be on the committees for two interesting theses in Journalism in the past two days.

One challenged some of the assumptions of the Sundar study about recommendation source. Could customization be such a strong positive factor that recommendation source makes no difference at all? One of the findings of this forthcoming paper says it can be and is.

What causes students to decide to watch and pass on commercial messages they find on YouTube? The strongest reported responses were personalization and humor. If it ain’t funny, higher that average funny, it won’t get passed on.

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