New Journal: Social Media+Society

The inaugural issue of Social Media+Society is out.  SM+S is a new open access, peer-reviewed journal from SAGE dedicated to the study of social media and its implications for home-coversociety. Look for the journal to  publish interdisciplinary work that draws from the social sciences, humanities and computational social sciences, reaches out to the arts and natural sciences,  and endorses mixed methods and methodologies.

Writes editor Zizi Papacharissi in January, “Our first issue, designed to be a manifesto for the journal, is scheduled to come out in Spring 2015. We also have two more special issues  coming out in 2015, one with Tarleton Gillespie, Hector Postigo and the Culture Digitally  group, and a second one with José van Dijk, Thomas Poell and their colleagues on Social  Media and the Transformation of Public Space. We are already working toward two more special issues to be published in 2016, one focused on Infancy Online and guest-edited by Tama Leaver and Bjorn Nansen, and another one guest-edited by Jean Burgess and Ben Light and focused on Gender, Sexuality, and Social Media.”

Of note, our own Guobin Yang and Rosemary Clark’s piece, Social Media and Time, is the first issue’s lead article.

Follow SM+S on Twitter @SocialMedia_Soc.

November CommQuote

tejuOur quote for November by writer Teju Cole is situated in an profile of him in The Guardian by Emma Brockes.  Cole, who has written straight-forward novels, is also an experimenter of the form and recent experiments have involved Twitter—such as retweeting  a group of participants’ tweets into a collective narrative (The Man on the Subway).  He takes Twitter pretty seriously as a political tool as well as a writing medium.

“Like Joyce Carol Oates and Margaret Atwood, Cole is one of the few novelists who sees Twitter as an extension of, rather than a distraction from, his work. He isn’t afraid to start a fight on social media and frequently challenges what he sees as lazy or pernicious opinions, particularly from western reporters writing about Africa. “The question could be: why are you so political?” he says. “Whereas my question would be: why aren’t you? And I think that comes from the non-American part of me which is saying that novelists in every other country, with the exception of the American or the Anglo-American sphere, actually consider it part of their work to engage.

Uniquely among Twitter users, perhaps, Cole isn’t afraid to talk about how seriously he takes it, and his tweets – jokes about current events, or cleverly compressed critiques, for example of the World Cup – “World Cup Protests Marred By Opening Ceremony” – are, he says, the fruit of as much time and thinking as anything else he writes.  ‘I write drafts.’

Of tweets?!

‘Yes, I know it’s weird. It’s a little bit annoying, also. Two drafts of a tweet? Insufferable. But what’s the point in being ashamed of your instrument? And writers in the past were pamphleteers. There are so many different ways to disseminate ideas and put them out. And this just happens to be mine. I often have to tell myself it’s OK to be a writer. And it’s OK that not everyone is. But I am, and I’m going to do that. It’s like saying, Oh, someone’s an accountant and when they’re reckoning the bill in a restaurant, they can afford to be sloppy because they’re an accountant all the time. When I tweet, I’m still a writer.’ “