Good friend of FutureGov Dan McQuillan is starting something exciting and new in the world of social media and social innovation. Given our shared passions, we wanted to help get the word out and give him a chance to tell you all about it…
I’ve been exploring the boundaries of social media and social innovation for some time, especially through my involvement in founding Social Innovation Camp. Now, as an academic, I’ve packed a lot of that savvy in helping to create a new MA/MSc in Creating Social Media.
“What does social media look like after recent events in North Africa and the UK? What will you create?”
At Goldsmiths, we’ve created a unique theory/practice programme that combines computing and cultural studies to provide people with the practical and critical skills to shape the future of social media. The MA/MSc is a collaborative theory/practice programme across the Department of Computing and the Centre for Cultural Studies, and is part of the newly launched Centre for Creative and Social Technologies.
Based on global examples, we will explore the technological and intellectual questions that have risen to prominence with the social web. We’ll critique existing approaches and tools, and plan, develop, hack and implement ground-breaking applications and campaigns. We will not only analyse: we will create.
New social media platforms, at their best, develop new online forms of connecting, relating, sharing and competing. Effective and innovative social media creation, therefore, involves deep theoretical and practical knowledge of both software development and social processes.
The MA/MSc will teach people how to develop and hack social media software, how social worlds operate, how software tools enable different forms of social practice, and how new social media projects can be launched successfully. Graduates will accelerate the impact of social media in their chosen field.
Participants will become proficient in
- Computing skills in software development for new social media platforms, mashups, apps, and tools. This includes both coding and data skills, and a hacker approach
- Theories of social processes and in methods to research them.
- Adapting social media to a variety of technological contexts and to the needs of specific communities
- Surfacing the assumptions and limitations embedded in software
- Critically assessing contemporary discourses about social media and social change
- Project managing social media ventures, and keeping users included at all stages
- Creating social media interventions that address social processes in new ways.
There’s more detail on the official Goldsmiths page and also on our developers blog where you can read about the Digital Sandbox, Mediating the Social, Software Studies, Digital Research Methods and our Innovation Internships. The course will draw together people from a wide spectrum, some with a technical background and others who’s main focus has been communications, society or politics. Our collaborative crash-course in hacktivism will turn out people who can not only appreciate the implications of social technology but help to produce the prototypes and projects that form the future-facing part of any organisation in our digital age.
I’m always happy to answer questions and share my enthusiasm and you can find me at d.mcquillan [AT] gold.ac.uk.