Joe McVeigh is the web editor of Varieng's eSeries, Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change. He is researching "econolinguistics", or how linguistic data can be combined with marketing metadata in order to improve a product's sales figures. To investigate this topic, he is using a corpus of 33,000 email marketing subject lines, along with metadata about each subject line, such as its sales rate and send volume. Joe is also interested in the ways that scholars and linguists can approach superhero comics. He is compiling a corpus of comics in order to facilitate linguistic research into them.
My research focuses on marketing and linguistics. For an article (based on my Master’s thesis) published in Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change in English 15, I compared blogs and email marketing. The research was an investigation into the differences between blog posts and email marketing texts which share a topic and an audience, but which do not share a purpose. I used corpus linguistic methods to show the similarities and differences between the two types of texts.
I am currently investigating something I call “econolinguistics,” or the study of how linguistic and financial data about a product and its advertising can be combined to predict and improve its sales rate. This is the focus of my dissertation and I am researching a corpus of 33,000 email marketing subject lines and texts, each appended with metadata such as open rates, clickthroughs, and send dates. My hypothesis is that the language of a marketing text affects the sales potential of that text’s product in an empirically measurable way. I plan to combine methods of corpus linguistics, computer-mediated communication (CMC), genre analysis, and marketing, as well as my own personal experience in copy writing, to see whether I can find linguistic patterns in the more successful marketing texts of my corpus. I am analyzing the morpho-syntactic features and lexical frequencies of my corpus, and performing a multivariate regression analysis to test the relationship between the linguistic features in the texts and their success rates, and also the importance of the correlations.
Another area I am interested in is comic books and the ways in which scholars can approach superhero comics. I have been studying how characters with histories that span several decades and many forms of media can be incorporated into academic research. My focus is on how scholars can perform a thorough analysis of characters from superhero comics, some of which have become ubiquitous, when their character traits are conflicting in the various versions of their stories. I am also compiling a corpus of comic books to facilitate linguistic research on them.