Power of Social Media MOOC Panel Session

Author: Thomas Davidson 

I can only open this blog post by saying “I hope you’re not sick of me yet”! This has by far and away been one of my busiest weeks as a DigiChamp at Southampton, but I have enjoyed every bit of it. I just hope you have enjoyed hearing about it as well!

A Shot of the Live Panel
A Shot of the Live Panel

With the week drawing to a close, the final event we had was a livestreamed panel session to round off the Power of Social Media MOOC. This was the second panel I’ve been to this week which included Les Carr (who must be getting almost as sick of me as you guys reading this), as well as Lisa Harris, Nic Fair, David Millard and a Web Science PhD student, Cat Morgan. The panel were therefore all equally qualified to discuss Social Media, and after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing with the video technology we were underway only a tiny bit behind time.

The first question was in reference to an article recently published in the New York Times, written by Cal Newport. The person asking the question was keen to know whether any of the panel had read it, and what their thoughts were. Most had heard of the article but had read it a while ago so Les Carr gave himself a few minutes to skim through and refresh his memory before answering the question. This led to a discussion on the merits of Social Media at work which had a distinctly practical element, before onto the more conceptual area of online activism and social media’s role in this. This again provoked discussion, with Cat’s input being especially valuable given it is her area of interest. This discussion led to an audience question about politicians and how they might engage with their constituents through social media on a local level.

It was hard to cram such detailed debates into a short space of time, yet the panel managed it well, even having time to discussing the changing trends of the media itself, away from platforms such as Facebook, to SnapChat and Instagram which allow for more creative expression.

I couldn’t tell if the pain in my fingers at the end of the livestream came from the cold temperature in the room, or the rapidity of my tweets, but one thing is for sure, and that’s that I’ve almost doubled my tweet count in the past week. It has been a fantastic week, one which has shown me again the value in being a DigiChamp at the University and also, very appropriately given the nature of this panel, the power of social media.

Have a good weekend all!

The video will be uploaded shortly, but please click here to view my Storify from the event

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