SMSociety 2020 – Welcome Remarks – Day 1 By Philip Mai 24 July, 2020 Comments Off on SMSociety 2020 – Welcome Remarks – Day 1 Welcome to the 11th International Conference on Social Media & Society (SMsociety). The conference is an annual gathering of leading social media researchers from around the world, Organized by the Social Media Lab at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto. This year’s conference is convened in partnership with colleagues from DePaul University’s College of Communication, Studio Chi and the Depaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media in Chicago. On behalf of the organizing committee, we like to thank everyone who made this conference possible. First and foremost, we like to thank our 400+ authors who have been busy doing exciting research, writing it up and submitting papers to the conference; Secondly, our Program Committee which consists of 124 scholars coming from 99 institutions and 22 countries. These colleagues have generously donated their time and expertise to review all submitted papers. Our editorial team and Social Media Lab members at Ryerson University for their excellent work copy-editing and preparing papers for publication. Of course, this event wouldn’t be possible if it is not for hard work of our colleagues and fellow conference chairs and members of the host committee at DePaul University! Thank you for your excellent work! We also like to thank the members of the Advisory Board, Caroline Haythornthwaite from Syracuse University and Zizi Papacharissi from the University of Illinois at Chicago, for advising the Organizing Committee on future directions of the conference, including conference themes, publication venues, and recommending keynote speakers. #SMSociety Conference 11-year History If it is your first SMSociety conference, we’d like to share a bit of history about the conference. We started as a half-day symposium in 2010, and grew into a two-day multi-session conference in 2013 and 2014, and finally to an action-packed 3-day conference with the introduction of workshops in 2015 onward. From Halifax, Nova Scotia to Toronto, to London, to Copenhagen…. and now everywhere online! We are so delighted that you have tuned in today and have decided to join our growing research community. The conference was founded at the time when social media research was still very new…. There was a lot of debate in the early days of social media about whether social media is a fad and whether academics should even be studying social media. But, as you can see from this chart, the annual number of social media related publication has increased 10-fold and reached over 9K papers last year. Now it’s a major research area that crosses disciplinary boundaries and touches on many different topics, fields, methods, and theories. For instance, this treemap shows from what areas publications on social media research are coming from, including: Communication, Computer Science, Business, Information Systems, Educational Research, Psychology, Health, and other Social Science and Humanities disciplines. As a community, SMSociety has also been contributing to this rich and diverse body of knowledge. Just in the past few years, our editors and authors published 7 proceedings available in the ACM Digital Library, and 7 special issues in various high impact journals, including Social Media+Society, Big Data & Society, American Behavioral Scientist, and Information, Communication & Society. This year, the original plan was to host the conference in Chicago, but the reality turned out to be quite different…. As you know, on March 11 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. Following this declaration, the SMSociety organizing committee decided to move the conference to a virtual format to ensure the safety of our research community and to discourage international travel that might further spread the disease. Authors of the accepted full papers and work-in-progress papers were invited to record their presentations as a 5-min spotlight talk. We received 83 video presentations, totaling over 7 hours of awesome talks on the cutting-edge of social media research. They are organized into 10 tracks. The videos are now available for your viewing on the conference YouTube page. Because the presentations are delivered asynchronously, this will probably be the first conference where you can attend all of the track and watch all presentations that you wish! As you watch each presentation, we encourage you to use YouTube’s commenting feature to provide feedback and ask questions. You can find all full papers presented at the conference in the Conference Proceedings by published by ACM. #SMSociety Awards!!! Every year, we have a few awards that we give out as part of #SMSociety. This year we have 4 awards: (1) Most Engaging Presentation – The presentation with the greatest number of comments on YouTube by July 31 will receive the “Most Engaging Presentation” Award. The result will be announced on August 1, 2020 via our Twitter account and the conference website. (2) Most Engaged Attendee on Twitter – to be announced on August 1, 2020 via our Twitter account and the conference website. So, start tweeting early and often using the conference hashtag (#SMSociety). (3) Best Method Paper & Best Paper are selected by the Track Chairs and the Organizing Committee from the pool of accepted full papers, based on the peer-review scores and feedback. The Best Method paper award goes to Belén Fernández García and Susana Salgado for “Populism by the people: An analysis of online comments in Portugal and Spain”! The Best overall Paper award goes to Kimberley R. Allison, Kay Bussey and Naomi Swellerfor “Fair Game: The Effects of Target Identity, Attack Topic and Role-Relevance in the Judgement of Online Aggression”!