Hello Jillian, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Do we want to start with you telling me a bit about yourself?
I have just completed a PhD in social media at the University of Strathclyde – I’m a Dr of social media (well, it will be official mid-August). My research explored what online sources consumers use during a purchase decision and more specifically how consumers evaluate the credibility of ‘social content’ to determine the influence of each post. However my research interests extend into a broader view of social media and from a consumer behaviour perspective. In the upcoming academic session I will be lecturing social media and contemporary consumer behaviour at the University of Strathclyde and I also run a consultancy business specialising in research and advisory for companies challenged by social media, enabling them to pursue new opportunities, business models, understand and create business value from the ‘big data’ obtained in social media.
What is your involvement with Social Media Week?
I am a returning advisory board member to Social Media Week. My thing is digital education, even when I’m developing strategies I still add in a little bit of theory knowledge to educate clients on how/why social media works. I think education on social media is very important as it can assist with digital access and use in classrooms can be inspiring and useful to students and education providers. I am actively involved with the curation of the education track, if you have a possible event please feel free to get in contact with me @jillney or on KILTR kiltr.com/jillianney.
I will be running a few of my own events during SMW, including research on ‘what social media means to you’ and introducing accredited social media qualifications for business professionals – the qualifications will be accredited through the University of Strathclyde. It is an exciting time and I’m really happy to be getting out from behind my research desk to engage [in person] with the community.
Why did you get involved?
I enjoyed being part of last year’s Social Media Week and was really happy to be involved again this year. I come from a slightly different background to the agencies and consultants normally associated with social media and it is a great opportunity for me to engage with a wider audience and to prove there is credibility in social media. As I said before I’m all about digital education and Social Media Week is the perfect place to drive forward my passions in this area and encourage wider participation.
What do you think will be this year’s biggest challenges for SMWGla this year?
I think that getting a wider audience is one of the challenges. I know from board meetings that this under control but I think we really need to drive home that Social Media Week is about more than business. Most of the events I attended last year were business focused but the only reason businesses are on social media is because of the mass human convergence there – we drive social media forward in our daily lives and it’s not all about connecting with businesses. Social media is more than business and I hope this is reflected in the event schedule and attendees this year.
What would you like to see at SMWGla this year?
A wider variety of events that is aimed at a wider audience. A large scale, crowdsourced event like Social Media Week is the ideal platform to encourage more participation and reach audiences who may not already be active in social media but where the technology could solve life issues, like communication.
How are you going to participate?
I am running my own events and I will be conducting some research, I’ll be roaming around with a video camera – watch out! I will also be hanging out at the KILTR hub at The Old Hairdressers. As an advisory board member I am helping with curating events and getting people involved, if you have an event that you want to run and want to talk it through please feel free to give me a shout.
How do you feel that you will contribute to the overall theme of ‘Empowering Change Through Collaboration’?
I love this years theme! I think the term social media can be a bit of a ‘put off’ the idea of collaboration and change is much more inspiring. All my work is collaborative, while not all direct collaboration my ethos fits nicely into the theme. If I can show the value of collaboration to others then I will have done my job!