Social Media:
Making Sense of Signals
AACUSS 2014
Bonnie Stewart
@bonstewart
University of Prince Edward Island
June 2014
Overwhelmed by Networks
h"ph"p//www.marke,ngpilgrim.com/2014/01/facebook-­‐is-­‐the-­‐most-­‐visited-­‐social-­‐network-­‐...
Oversimplified Cultural Messages
…create black & white positions
h"p://gossipgenie.com/viewpoint-­‐im-­‐a-­‐social-­‐media-­‐addict/	
  
“The truth about stories is
that’s all we are.”
Overwhelmed by Stories
Saturated with Signals
How do we make sense of this,
24/7?
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/jenny-­‐pics/13973860825	
  
3 Stories
•  Technologies as culture
•  Social media signals
•  Making a difference
Stories of Culture
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/94342662@N00/3869483214/	
  
The dark side
of social media
#YesAllWomen	
  
#YesAllWomen	
  
#YesAllWomen	
  
#YesAllWomen	
  
#YesAllWomen	
  
#YesAllWomen	
  
Many of the stories were from 20+
years ago.
The Breakfast Club, 1985
Revenge of the Nerds, 1984
“Y” is for your sister
So. We have a problem.
But when we stick that problem in
a box called ‘cyberbullying,’ we
limit our capacity to understand...
What we do with our technologies is a
symptom of culture
…at the same time it shapes culture
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfgangfoto/2170329428	
  
Social media, as a technology, enables
cyberbullying and MRA forums.
It also enables #yesallwomen, and other
forms of shar...
Stories of Signals
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelrperry/2221259599	
  
Social Media Broadcast Media
h"p://ezasseenontv.com/tag/as-­‐seen-­‐on-­‐tv-­‐store/	
  
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/ooohoooh/1350774613/	
  
Social networks are not just for
consuming, but connecting.
…with the whole room.
And beyond.
To understand stories of social
media, we need to understand
many-to-many
communications.	
  
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tmesis/21126825/
Social networks are made
of people
Networks are not about
online/offline
Social media signals are relational,
like oral culture,
but leave permanent traces,
like print culture
4 qualities of social media signals
• Persistence: online signals are automatically
recorded & archived.
• Replicability: ...
Digital Footprint
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/orinoko42/5557586589/	
  
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/51764518@N02/9763729373/	
  
Built and sustained over time	
  
Good Lord. I think I’ll just opt out.
Don’t count on it.
Others can contribute to your footprint,
too
Small private signals can travel to
audiences never imagined
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/ta"oodjay/4129779298/	
  
But the effects that damage
people?
They are social. They are cultural.
They reflect the values *we* side
with, as a culture.
Gotcha.
Going home to cry now.
How can we make a difference?
WAIT
Stop pretending our problems are new
Learn to talk about privilege &
power relations
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/nuwandalice/	
  
Talk. Signal. Model.
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/100144679@N04/13629511575	
  
…if you decide to go online,
three things:
1. Your online signals need an identity
let’s be clear:
colleges & universities do NOT
need 23 separate
Twitter & Facebook accounts for
every single department on...
but they totally need 23 – or 53 –
or 503 – caring people who want to
connect and contribute to a
changing campus culture ...
2. Your online signals need to be visible
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/vinothchandar/5251078306	
  
Amplifying your intended audience
is a GREAT way to become more
visible to them
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/stopdown/28370...
(saving others’ signals about you =
good too)
(warning: strong language incoming)
	
  
3. Your online signals need to be
signals you (and your institution)
can live with
redacted
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21031300@N02/4076687726/
It’s public. It’s people.
Always take the high road.
Success = lather, rinse, repeat
h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/repairgenius/7258035052	
  
Social media = part of the problem.
It can also be part of making it better.
What signals will you send?
h"ps://www.flickr....
Thank you.
@bonstewart
bstewart@upei.ca
Social Media: Making Sense of Signals
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Social Media: Making Sense of Signals

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Keynote for the 2014 AACUSS Conference - Social Media, Campus Culture, and Higher Ed.

In the midst of the changing culture of contemporary higher ed, social media can be one of the areas where frontline staff are left feeling least equipped. This presentation explores social media as both a symptom of society and a factor in shaping it, and explores how social networks operate as a communications medium.

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Social Media: Making Sense of Signals

  1. 1. Social Media: Making Sense of Signals AACUSS 2014 Bonnie Stewart @bonstewart University of Prince Edward Island June 2014
  2. 2. Overwhelmed by Networks h"ph"p//www.marke,ngpilgrim.com/2014/01/facebook-­‐is-­‐the-­‐most-­‐visited-­‐social-­‐network-­‐twi"er-­‐and-­‐google-­‐,ed-­‐for-­‐3rd.html  
  3. 3. Oversimplified Cultural Messages
  4. 4. …create black & white positions h"p://gossipgenie.com/viewpoint-­‐im-­‐a-­‐social-­‐media-­‐addict/  
  5. 5. “The truth about stories is that’s all we are.”
  6. 6. Overwhelmed by Stories
  7. 7. Saturated with Signals
  8. 8. How do we make sense of this, 24/7? h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/jenny-­‐pics/13973860825  
  9. 9. 3 Stories •  Technologies as culture •  Social media signals •  Making a difference
  10. 10. Stories of Culture h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/94342662@N00/3869483214/  
  11. 11. The dark side of social media
  12. 12. #YesAllWomen  
  13. 13. #YesAllWomen  
  14. 14. #YesAllWomen  
  15. 15. #YesAllWomen  
  16. 16. #YesAllWomen  
  17. 17. #YesAllWomen  
  18. 18. Many of the stories were from 20+ years ago.
  19. 19. The Breakfast Club, 1985
  20. 20. Revenge of the Nerds, 1984
  21. 21. “Y” is for your sister
  22. 22. So. We have a problem. But when we stick that problem in a box called ‘cyberbullying,’ we limit our capacity to understand how deep and broad it is.
  23. 23. What we do with our technologies is a symptom of culture
  24. 24. …at the same time it shapes culture h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfgangfoto/2170329428  
  25. 25. Social media, as a technology, enables cyberbullying and MRA forums. It also enables #yesallwomen, and other forms of sharing and speaking back.
  26. 26. Stories of Signals h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelrperry/2221259599  
  27. 27. Social Media Broadcast Media h"p://ezasseenontv.com/tag/as-­‐seen-­‐on-­‐tv-­‐store/  
  28. 28. h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/ooohoooh/1350774613/   Social networks are not just for consuming, but connecting.
  29. 29. …with the whole room. And beyond.
  30. 30. To understand stories of social media, we need to understand many-to-many communications.  
  31. 31. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tmesis/21126825/ Social networks are made of people
  32. 32. Networks are not about online/offline
  33. 33. Social media signals are relational, like oral culture, but leave permanent traces, like print culture
  34. 34. 4 qualities of social media signals • Persistence: online signals are automatically recorded & archived. • Replicability: signals made out of bits can be duplicated. • Scalability: there is potential for massive visibility. • Searchability: signals can be accessed through search. - danah boyd, 2010
  35. 35. Digital Footprint h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/orinoko42/5557586589/  
  36. 36. h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/51764518@N02/9763729373/   Built and sustained over time  
  37. 37. Good Lord. I think I’ll just opt out.
  38. 38. Don’t count on it.
  39. 39. Others can contribute to your footprint, too
  40. 40. Small private signals can travel to audiences never imagined h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/ta"oodjay/4129779298/  
  41. 41. But the effects that damage people? They are social. They are cultural. They reflect the values *we* side with, as a culture.
  42. 42. Gotcha. Going home to cry now.
  43. 43. How can we make a difference? WAIT
  44. 44. Stop pretending our problems are new
  45. 45. Learn to talk about privilege & power relations h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/nuwandalice/  
  46. 46. Talk. Signal. Model. h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/100144679@N04/13629511575  
  47. 47. …if you decide to go online, three things:
  48. 48. 1. Your online signals need an identity
  49. 49. let’s be clear: colleges & universities do NOT need 23 separate Twitter & Facebook accounts for every single department on campus
  50. 50. but they totally need 23 – or 53 – or 503 – caring people who want to connect and contribute to a changing campus culture by engaging with students online and off.
  51. 51. 2. Your online signals need to be visible h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/vinothchandar/5251078306  
  52. 52. Amplifying your intended audience is a GREAT way to become more visible to them h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/stopdown/2837077634/  
  53. 53. (saving others’ signals about you = good too)
  54. 54. (warning: strong language incoming)   3. Your online signals need to be signals you (and your institution) can live with
  55. 55. redacted
  56. 56. http://www.flickr.com/photos/21031300@N02/4076687726/ It’s public. It’s people. Always take the high road.
  57. 57. Success = lather, rinse, repeat h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/repairgenius/7258035052  
  58. 58. Social media = part of the problem. It can also be part of making it better. What signals will you send? h"ps://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/6292534445/  
  59. 59. Thank you. @bonstewart bstewart@upei.ca

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