Social Media, Activism, and Organisations (#SMAO15)

#SMAO15 Summary

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Social media, Activism, and Organizations 2015 (#SMAO15) brought together a large, international audience from a variety of disciplines. Founding chair, Dhiraj Murthy, was thrilled to receive such a strong set of submissions, which made for an exciting day of talks. #SMAO15 was fortunate to have plenary talks by Jen SchradiePaul LevyAlison Powell, Natalie Fenton, and David Karpf. Our keynote talk was by Jennifer Earl. It was a pleasure to also host the launch of Veronica Barassi’s book, Activism on the Web.

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.

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Over 1000 tweets were posted during the event and you can virtually (re)attend via the #smao15 Twitter archive or network visualization/analytics. As you can see from the network graph to the left, #smao15 tweets exhibit a focused density. Keywords in tweets (see below) illustrate the diverse themes and approaches of #smao15 papers and attendees. Thank you to those who tweeted before, during and after #smao15.

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