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SNCR Symposium & Awards Gala Day 1

MIT Center for Civic Media

I'm attending the Society of New Communications Research symposium and awards gala, November 5th and 6th in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Hashtag for SNCR is #sncr.

Thursday involved joining other SNCR research fellows and advisory board members at the Harvard Faculty club. We received a report of the society's work in 2009, lots and lots of research conducted, a new model for the society, New Comm Forum spun off, and a new executive director hired.

The fellows brainstormed on predictions for 2010, and reviewed the potential research list for next year.

Then off to MIT's center for civic media, where Christopher Csikszentmihalyi, the center's co-director gave an overview of the center’s work. Two years old, the center has graduate students pick studies/projects that involve web 2.0 projects in the civic space. Christopher’s talk was in the middle of the lab, which was a mix of tables, ceiling mobiles, lego pieces, electronic equipment, comfy chairs, people sitting, people working, people wandering in and out, conference screens, giant flying inflatable elephants, robots, and poster displays. If you have not checked out the lab, they are doing some really cool stuff. Thanks to Greg PC for organizing the tour.

In the early evening Shel Israel gave a talk about his new book, Twitterville. I've seen Shel speak before, and I've read Twitterville and his other book Naked Conversations. Starting with his background, Shel joked with the crowd, and explained why and how twitter works. He described half a dozen stories from how Dell is using Twitter, to citizen journalism of the airplane crash in the Hudson, to photo journalists being rescued from police in Egypt through Twitter. Shel told us 14 books have been published about twitter. To me if you were to read one, Twitterville is the book to read.

Finally, late night supper with Shel and friends, I had a really good conversation with Geoff Livingston about General Motors and the deployment of social media in the enterprise. Really enjoyed having the chance to chat with Geoff extensively for the first time, and I look forward to his new venture in 2010.

Photo courtesy of Todd Van Hoosear