Social Media and Society

Excerpt from: Beyond selfies & memes: As businesses leverage social media, do you need a degree to get it right?

By: Libby Cunningham, WCPO Cincinnati Community Manager

Hazem Said, an associate professor at UC, and the head of the School of Information Technology, is teaching a class on Social Networks and Disaster Management this spring.

It’s Said’s second time teaching the course that he says, “examines disasters and community response to disasters and how social media is used and can be used.”

The course is open to all UC students with a GPA of 3.4 or above.

“Many students do not have experience in the preparation, the before, the during and the after (of a disaster),” Said explained. “And then we look at what are the different stakeholders in the community who respond or deal with it.”

Next, students examine social media in particular, and how it is used before, during or after a disaster.

Finally, students then create an app that addresses the above challenges. The app is either a standalone mobile app or one that is tied to social networks like Facebook or Twitter, explained Said.

“I think more and more it’s very rare to find a company that doesn’t have some sort of presence on social media as organizations see that this is essential. I think students have to know how to use the tools in ways that are professional.” - Prof. Suzanne Boys, UC

“We have students from many different majors, (development) needs people coming from different places in order come up with a solution that is useable,” he said.

Social media’s influence and penetration into daily life is why it’s important for students to learn how to use it on  more than a personal level, Said explained.

“One important aspect students need to understand is the implications and impact, and how social media has become very important,” he said. “I think it’s important that students are able to utilize social media to meet the needs.”