The Social Media Project: 1st Global Conference
Sunday 8th May – Tuesday 10th May 2016
Prague, Czech Republic
This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary project seeks to start a dialogue about the global impact, development, role and functions of social media in the life of individuals, groups and nations. Our experience with the world around us is informed extensively by social media, whose uses range from mobilising global awareness of a cause, to generating mass participation in philanthropic activities such as the “ice bucket challenge”, to providing entertainment through jokes, memes and human interest stories, to calling out individuals and organisation for ridicule and condemnation. Thus, social media is a double-edged sword where the benefits associated with inter-personal communication, information-sharing and leisure are balanced against the criminal activity, harassment and manipulation that takes place through the social media channels. Although many processes in life have already been transported from the ‘real’ world into cyberspace, new digital media are extending deep into the foundations of nations, cultures, societies, families, educations, businesses and politics. By now, new media have largely moved beyond initial anonymities of cyberculture, past avatars and pseudonyms, and into radical categorizations and disclosures of individual personalities to countless factions and institutions. For many of us, Internet and mobile technology accompany every aspect of life, from birth to death, and new generations are born into an understanding of constant connection with friends, partners, classmates, co-workers, children, parents, superiors or governments, for better or worse. Have these developments made us more aware of our actions and nourished a curiosity for the mundane as well as the extraordinary aspects of human life? Or, has the imperative to communicate through carefully designed virtual identities diminished the values and pleasures that lie at the essence of engaging with other human beings?
The project seeks to understand how social media influence the life of individuals in their various professions, relationships, roles and identities, how they have redefined the meaning of ‘public and private’ and established new power balances between consumers and producers of content. New media reality affords a redefinition of traditional paradigms and values such as ‘social,’ ‘friendship,’ ‘democracy,’ ‘privacy,’ ‘freedom’ and ‘memory.’ People do not only develop intense new relationships with each other, but also with their technology, whose proximity to the body has decreased as much as the physical distance between people has increased. Through this interconnectedness, people and their technology constantly feed their presence into global networks of commerce or surveillance, but also turn into regular witnesses of history in the making, creating not only infinite data, but also historical documents and ‘evidence’ for each other’s accomplishments, failures and violations.
The first international conference of the project seeks to focus on three major aspects of social media networking (SMN): “sharing,” “content creation” and “communication” with a special section reserved for the “hashtag” phenomenon. Though the hashtag originated on Twitter, its omnipresence as well as the evolution of its usage have invested this cultural phenomenon with social, political, cultural, ideological, aesthetic, linguistic, technological and economic implications that warrant closer examination.
For this launch event, the Social Media Project invites presentations from academics, professionals, artists and practitioners with specific insights, experience, practices or skills. Examples of the above can be seen in, but are not exclusive to, the following categories:
General Social Media Infrastructure
• Types and versions of social networks; histories, definitions, appearances, applications, usages, effects; Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Weibo etc., case studies, demographics
• Networking and collaboration
• Public and private, ownership and control
• Temporalities, spatiality
• Visions of humanity and civilizations, values and moralities
• Audiences, communities, producers and consumers, millennials, digital natives
• The virtual and the real, immersion
• Spectacle, performance, fame, fans and celebrities
• Identity, visualities, selfies, profiles
• Establishing love, friendships, relationships, memberships
Utilization, actions, liberties and restrictions
• Attention, spectatorship, witnessing, archiving, collecting, point of view, memory, deleting and forgetting
• File-sharing as form of social media (and its implications for intellectual property, user-generated content and artistic creation)
• Use by different age groups, professions, religions, sub-cultures, minorities, ethnicities, genders etc.
• Education, skill and knowledge acquisition
• Campaigns, activism, revolutions
• Social media in crisis, disaster, migration, war
• Business models, brands, markets and advertising; consumerism in the age of digital media, the meaning of power and capital, recommendations, peer-reviewing, consumer trust
• Everyday life changes, adaptations, gains and losses
• Archiving and collecting; memory, deleting, data accumulation, timelines, portfolios, histories
• Memes, viral videos, flash mobs, “shitstorms” and other phenomena
• Following, sharing, liking, friending, poking, tagging, commenting
• Content creation and consumption, copyright, fair use
• Gaming
• Hashtags
• GPS location services, tracking
Effects, risks and dangers
• Psychological effects and medical issues, addictions, physical and neurological symptoms
• Taboos, scandals, provocations, extremism
• Dangers, fears and security issues, crime and terror, predators
• Hate groups, trolling, bullying, harassment
• Privacy and security issues, identity theft
• Laws, governments, censorship, investigations, data mining and surveillance
• The digital divide
• Media effects
• Narrative, genre, story, reality and fiction
• Themes, topics, threads and fads
• Trolling, flame wars
• Visual and verbal communication
• Language, rhetoric, netiquette, codes
• Satire, humour, happiness and pleasure
Technology and Reception
• Mobile devices, material culture
• Wearable technology
• Media conversion
• Reception and presentation in art, on TV, in the movies and literature
• Social media criticism
• The role of smartphones and social media in times of crisis, disaster, migration or revolution
• Metrics for assessing social media engagement
• Ideological implications
• Methodologies for measuring, analysing and visualising data, hashtag datamining
• Hashtags and monetisation, hashtag campaigns, advertising, marketing and public relations, evergreen/forever hashtags
• Hashtags as paralanguage, rules, conventions and etiquette around hashtags
• Irony, wit and humour in hashtags, hashtag games (e.g. #FiveWordsToRuinADate), hashtag rap (e.g. Big Sean), poetry and art
• Hashtags as catalysts for groupthink and ‘hive mind’
• Hashtag journalism, Breaking News
• Issues of authenticity regarding feelings expressed in hashtags
• Hashtags and virtual citizenship and communities
• From hashtag to bashtag (e.g. #SochiProblems)
• Relationship between hashtag activism and offline activism
• Hashtags in institutional politics
Call for Cross-Over Presentations
The Social Media project will be meeting at the same time as a project on Apocalypse and another project on Cars in/of Culture. We welcome submissions which cross the divide between both project areas. If you would like to be considered for a cross project session, please mark your submission “Crossover Submission”.
What to Send
300 word abstracts, proposals and other forms of contribution should be submitted by Friday 4th December 2015.
All submissions be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Wednesday 16th December 2015.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 18th March 2016.
Abstracts may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Social Media Abstract Submission
Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs:
Organising Chairs:
Petra Rehling:
Rob Fisher:
This event is an inclusive interdisciplinary research and publishing project. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.
All papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook.  Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.
Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation. Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.
Contact Info: 

Rob Fisher

Priory House

149B Wroslyn Road

Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1993 882087

Fax: +44 (0)870 4601132

Contact Email: