Last July, I had the pleasure of attending the International Conference on Social Media & Society in Toronto along with my research advisor and hundreds of other social media enthusiasts.
If you’re not familiar with the conference, the SMS event is a three day event organized by the Social Media Lab at Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University.
Each year, researchers from around the world gather to exchange ideas, present original research, learn about recent and ongoing studies, and network with peers. The conference, affectionately known as #SMS15, featured a keynote address, full papers, works in progress, panel presentations, workshops, and poster sessions.
Unlike many of the conferences I’ve attended in my academic career, #SMS attendees come from a wide variety of fields, which is a nod to the wide variety of research being done in the digital world. The diversity of the presentation topics, methods, and participant backgrounds helped to create a unique and energetic atmosphere at #SMS, which incorporated elements of Communication Studies, Computer Science, Education, Journalism, Information Science, Management, Sociology, and Political Ecology. As a side note, conferences like #SMS are also great because they’re one of the few places I know of where enthusiastic conversations about the need for more digital research in academia (often over the shared remnants of a pita) are actively encouraged and not just met with the knowing eye-rolls of my roommates.