Pakistan has seen a hyperactive social media community making its presence felt in the past year in activism, online campaigns as well as discussion. In line with this, a social media summit between Indian and Pakistani netizens titled the “Social Media Mela 2012″ has been announced and scheduled for the 13th and 14th of July 2012. By expanding its footprint across the border, the Social Media Mela 2012 aims to nurture dialogue, thought leadership, and critical engagement with entrepreneurs, journalists, activists, and creative professionals. The Summit will feature sessions that explore the creative arts, the changing face of media and politics, pop culture, slacktivism versus activism, education, innovation in the interruption economy, crowd-funding, and the business of social media.
Director of peace niche “sabeen mahmud”
Reactions on this summit/mela (fair) have been mixed in the Pakistani social media diaspora. As tempers flare and with seats being limited to 300 everyone, the netizens are divided trying to either get into the summit or shoot it down.
Taimoor malik tweeted about a session featured in this summit
@Taimoor Malik : #gvfk There will be an open mic session called “Dil Ki Bharaas” Interesting antics can be expected. #socmm12
Abdullah soomro thought the idea of a summit is crucial in his tweet
@soomro_abdullah: Much needed initiative to encourage collaboration and dialogue among social media fraternity of two countries. gvfk #socmm12
Saj Shirazi was hopeful as per his past experience on twitter
@sajshiraji : Given my last year's experience, I feel excited about #SOCMM12
Samra muslim is looking forward to this media mela as per her tweet
@samramuslim: should be extremely interesting to listen to both India and Pakistan success stories on social media and meet the ppl! #gvfk
As in any social media summit, a key element is its live streaming and coverage. Although Peace Niche has committed to live twitter feeds as well as a flicker stream, live streaming of this event has not been confirmed as yet due to the obvious security issues with our Indian friends visiting.
Puruesh Chaudry from Islamabad points out the necessity of live streaming as well.
@puruesh (Puruesh Chaudry): would love the hear the indian perspective #gvfk, will it be live webcast? #socmm12
With 3 days left and the invites just going out, Peace niche, the organization that is arranging this summit in the port city of Karachi was a beehive of activity today.
Panelists on both sides of the border featuring in this summit cannot control their excitement and were heard expressing it on social media as well.
Onir the independent film director said
@IamOnir: looking forward …. been a dream for many years to visit your city and country
Sabbah Haji, another panelist from India, is equally thrilled as she tweeted
Nighat of Bytes for all is all for unity as she tweets!
@nighatdad: BIG YES! RT @faisalkapadia: @nighatdad #pakindiasmbhaibhai :) this summit we can show the world tht pak and india can collaborate #socmm12
The schedule of this social media mela is provided here and by the looks of will be the talk of new media in Pakistan for some time to come. Whether or not it will lead to more controversy or actually bridge the teetering divide between India and Pakistan even if limited to its netizens still remains to be seen. Do follow on twitter for live updates with the hashtag #socmm12!!