'The Selfie Generation', a term that reflects the wave of young people growing up not just knowing the Internet, but living openly on it. As they reach maturity and take their place in society and higher education what can we learn about them and from them and the environments they inhabit, that will help us to serve this community now and in the future?
The 'selfie' has become a vital form of self-expression, like clothing or a hairstyle. It defines a generation who are happy to project their image and opinions to mass audiences and judge their popularity by the number of 'likes' they receive. They have a propensity to share and even over-share on social media. They are claiming the digital world as their own by acquiring the technical skills they need at an increasingly early age. Educators can't adapt their curricula fast enough for these young enthusiasts. Coding clubs and hacking weekends are giving them the programming skills to influence how the Web is shaped. This year's Meeting will explore how we can service the needs of the 'selfie generation', when their relationship to all things digital is fundamentally different from our own.
The city of Madrid boasts one of the first galleries in the world devoted to Instagramers. Where better to explore how social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube have become the hangout of millions, for recording and spreading personal histories, interests and ideas.
Libraries, archives and museums are connecting via these platforms to engage with the 'selfie generation' and beyond, to bring attention to their services, their collections and their knowledge. In the worst case, these platforms can feel like empty rooms where reaction and interaction is limited. In the best case, we see content and ideas go viral, capture the public imagination and jettison people and brands from obscurity. So as we become emboldened to use these tools, we will draw on the experience of industry experts to expose the dos and don'ts of this important space.
This event is targeted at decision-makers in our member institutions who are challenging themselves to think beyond their current audience. Working with new tools and preparing to engage in new ways, as this generation of digital natives undoubtedly demands it from us.
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