Social media, Activism, and Organizations 2015 (#SMAO15) brought together a large, international audience from a variety of disciplines. Jen Schradie, Paul Levy, Alison Powell, Natalie Fenton, and David Karpf facilitated plenary talks while Jennifer Earl delivered the keynote.
Spaces for Change’ paper: Spaces for Change’s Digitivism: Democratizing Organizational Structures via Social Media was among the strong set of submissions, which made for an exciting day of talks. Delivering the paper, S4C’s digitivism: that is, activism powered by the use of digital spaces, Director Victoria Ohaeri discussed S4C’s youth-led social activism and campaigning activities in digital spaces, highlighting the practical approaches we have adopted to actualize the theoretical connections between transmedia action and democratic engagement.
Papers at #SMAO15 not only advanced our understandings of contemporary uses of social media use in social movements, but also the many ways in which we can critically reflect on their potential and limitations. Importantly, organizational communication perspectives were central to #SMAO15 and the contributions made give scholars in this interdisciplinary area much to think about. Questions around social media in formal and informal movement organizations were explored from a variety of methodological perspectives, including social network analysis, ethnography, surveys, participant observation and big data analytics. Papers covered regional case studies in Europe, North America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. In addition, #SMAO15 brought together practitioners, artists, and scholars. This unique constituency of attendees yielded new perspectives and approaches to studying social media, activism, and organizations.
Over 1000 tweets were posted during the event and you can virtually (re)attend via the #smao15 Twitter archive or network visualization/analytics. The event ended with the launch of Veronica Barassi’s book, Activism on the Web.