Sep 142011

In my last post I briefly mentioned that I was helping to put together an event for Social Media Week Glasgow with Edinburgh Beltane.  Having now worked out a lot more of the details, confirmed our speakers and made our event available for booking I thought I’d say a bit more about the session and why we are running it.

Social Media Week Banner

The Social Media Week Logo and Banner

EDINA and Edinburgh Beltane, Beacon for Public Engagement, will be jointly running the Social Media in Academia (#socac) event from 3.30pm on Wednesday 21st September at the University of Glasgow Library. The event is part of  Social Media Week Glasgow (SMAgla) which takes place from Monday 19th to Friday 23rd September 2011. Glasgow is one of 12 cities taking part in this Social Media Week (they take place every 6 months) with others  including Berlin, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Moscow and Vancouver. The last SMW took place in London and there was only one offshoot Social Media Week event in Scotland – a drinks reception from Big Mouth Media – so it’s very exciting that Glasgow is playing host this time.

I was really keen to put on something for an academic audience and delighted that Edinburgh Beltane were keen to join EDINA in organising an event as Social Media Week is a high profile affair and almost all sessions are free and open to all making it a great opportunity to raise the profile of academic use of social media and public engagement. The programme also looked likely to have relatively few events lined up be/for those  wanting to discuss specific academia related social media issues.

The event will begin with a panel discussion and be followed by a social media surgery which will allow opportunity for attendees to get more personalised advice and ask more detailed questions. So often when you run a training session or talk all the great questions and issues get raised at or after the end so this extra hour is intended to ensure there is an informal space available to continue discussions and hit those “this is only relavent to my organisation but…” or “I’m sure it’s not interesting to others but how do you do…”

Images of our speakers for the social media week event

Our marvellous speakers!

The particularly focus for the event is the use of social media in academia, particularly for public engagement where collaboration and communicating research to wider audience can create greater social impact for research. With that in mind we have assembled a fantastic line up of speakers:

  • Dr Peter Matthews, lecturer in the School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University. Peter tweets and blogs and, bravely, blogged his most recent research bid in draft form so that he could obtain feedback and suggestions online. Peter will be of particular interest to those looking at how to engage fellow academics and wider publics in their work, and for anyone interested in thinking about effective ways to make their work more collaborative and/or transparent.
  • Dr Chris Speed, researcher in Digital Architecture, Human Geography and Social Computing, Edinburgh College of Art. Chis has worked on the Walking Through Time and Tales of Things projects and has a real passion for novel uses of phones, ipads and similarly disruptive interfaces. We think his talk will be of interest to anyone needing a little inspiration in weaving social and mobile technology into their own practice.
  • Jen Ross, Associate Lecturer on the MSc in E-Learning programme and part of the Digital Cultures and Education research group at the School of Education, University of Edinburgh. Jen does some fantastic innovative teaching and research work via social media and we know her contribution will be of particular interest to those involved in teaching and learning, elearning, and research into digital culture and media.
  • William Nixon, Digital Library Development Manager at the University of Glasgow. William is a keen social media user for his own professional networking and will bring a library perspective to our panel. The University of Glasgow repository has been experimenting with social media, such as tweeting links to newly deposited content and we think that William’s contribution will therefore be of particular interest to academics, researchers, and librarians thinking about how to make their research outputs more visible, sharable and available to wider publics.

Myself and Heather Rea, Project Manager for Edinburgh Beltane, Beacon for Public Engagement will be joining forces with the panel at the end to answer questions, give individual advice and give practical support on social media for academic and public engagement uses.

We still have places available for the session so please do book now – and/or pass on to friends – via the Social Media Week page:

image of booking page

Click here to Register!

We will be liveblogging and tweeting the event so do keep an eye here and on the #socac hashtag on Wednesday afternoon!