The Social Media Technology Conference and Workshop was co-founded by Howard University and Bowie State University in 2009. The Social Media Technology Conference & Workshop brings together scholars and professionals who are experts in the area of social media to share their perspectives on the shifting paradigm in the academia, governmental and non-governmental organizations orchestrated by digital and social media in this era of technological determinism. As social media continue to influence all areas of our lives, it is important to examine and debate not only the use of various social media tools in different contexts, but how they change the manner in which individuals, academics, business owners and the government make use of this media.
This conference usually combines panel discussions, posters sessions, roundtables and hands-on workshops designed to enlighten scholars and practitioners about social media and provide them with the knowledge to create and effectively utilize social media in different contexts. The 8th Annual Social Media Technology Conference & Workshop is scheduled for October 4, 2018 on the campus of Howard University. This year’s theme – Social Media: Safe Spaces or Dangerous Terrain focuses on dissecting how the beneficial social connections provided by social media are being jeopardized by dark forces that threaten our individual voices, our privacy and security and even our democracy. Social media have transformed the ways in which we connect, offering international collaborative relationships, easy and instant communication and real-time access to news and information. Some say the unfettered authority we’ve ceded to the social media titans is responsible for the rise in malignant bots, cyborg-created fake news, foreign-based internet trolls and emerging risks that may rival the benefits of social connectedness and collaborative online relationships.
Working with past presenters and other researchers, the conference organizers have edited two social media books. The first was published in 2014 entitled Social Media: Pedagogy and Practice. The second book, Social Media: Culture and Identity, was published in 2017 through Lexington Books.