In 2012, I had an idea of how I could make the upcoming annual conference of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies a little easier to navigate. Inspired by my experience at THATCamp Philly, I decided to try my hand at creating a mobile conference program using the Guidebook app.
I am not a coder or a programmer, but I feel fairly comfortable with databases and web-based content management systems, so I figured I’d try it out. I put together an online conference program that allowed participants to customize and share their conference schedules, search for titles, presenters, or sponsoring caucus, and take notes on panel sessions. I put the link on Twitter, figuring I’d share it with a few friends (the free version was capped at 100 users), and made my way to Boston for the conference.
The program (still viewable HERE with the password 8c5fyqxv) was a hit at the conference, and within a few weeks I was invited by the President of SCMS to join the Information Technology Committee.
The IT Committee works toward the goal of using new media technology to improve the experience of conference-goers, and to broaden the conference’s reach to those who cannot attend. Some of the initiatives the committee has undertaken have included dispatching social media ‘reporters’ to cover the conference, livestreaming select panels across the web, and sponsoring workshops on topics like video essays, using technology in the classroom, and the role of open-access and open-source movements in cinema and media studies. Since I’ve joined the committee, I have also worked alongside Aviva Dove-Viebahn, the Society’s Web Content Manager, to build an even more expansive and functional mobile program for conference attendees, using the Sched platform.
A letter recognizing my service is viewable HERE.