This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Star Trek and Social Media

#sxsw #TrekClass

Is Twitter the Borg? Will social media help solve our global challenges? Who's the better captain -- Kirk or Picard? We'll answer these and many other questions from Professor Rotolo's course, "Star Trek and the Information Age," which explores modern issues of technology, society and leadership through examples from Star Trek. The session will also highlight how social media are used as a central component of the course, providing tips and best practices.



Anthony Rotolo Professor Syracuse University

Anthony Rotolo is a professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool), where he specializes in Social Media and the study of real-time information. He is also the "Chief Explorer" at NEXIS, a center dedicated to "New Explorations in Information Science", such as social media, data visualization and data science.

Rotolo's signature course, “Social Media in the Enterprise” (more popularly known as #RotoloClass on Twitter), addresses the changing expectations of information users and how businesses and organizations of all sizes can leverage social media to achieve strategic goals. This course at the Syracuse University iSchool leverages real-time social media to deliver a fast-paced, hands-on experience and has developed its own online community of learners, practitioners and experts who join the class each week via Twitter.

Professor Rotolo’s other course, “Star Trek and the Information Age,” is an exploration of issues related to current technology, as well as societal and leadership challenges as viewed through the lens of Gene Roddenberry’s sci-fi franchise. Using episodes of Star Trek as launching points for discussion, the course incorporates an innovative mix of social media as a primary method of student engagement, including collaborative blogging at The Collective (, named for the Borg and its infamous “hive mind.” Like Star Trek itself, the class seeks to spark a passion for pursuing science and technology. It has even become a featured blog on CBS’s, written monthly by Professor Rotolo.

In 2009, Rotolo was appointed Syracuse University’s Social Media Strategist, which was the first position of its kind at the university. In this role, he directed a team of staff and students to develop and implement a strategy that established Syracuse as a leader in the use of social media among its peers in higher education. Less than one year later, Klout, an organization that ranks online influence, rated Syracuse as the second-most influential college in social media, behind first-place Stanford and ahead of third-place Harvard.

Rotolo has been a contributing writer for Mashable, SocialFresh, PRSA Tactics and other widely read publications and blogs. He has also been featured in articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, ABC News and other news outlets.

Our Awesome 2012 Sponsors