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The Center's New Look

CMSIYes, you are in the right place. This is the Center for Social Media website—in our new incarnation! We’re excited to relaunch, in order to best serve our historic mission as an innovation lab and research center that studies, designs and showcases media for social impact.

Our new name, Center for Media & Social Impact, helps with that mission. In the era of Twitter and Facebook, it more clearly expresses who we are. It also fits our ever-growing research agenda on measuring impact—and designing media—for social good.

As well, it gives me an opportunity to officially introduce the Center’s Creative Director, my good friend and American University professor Caty Borum Chattoo. Caty Chattoo is a leading multimedia/documentary producer and strategist (she’s worked with everyone from Norman Lear to Robert Greenwald to the Kaiser Family Foundation and even some of India’s funniest stand-up comics), and she directed our renaming and redesign.

When Caty began the redesign of the site and the Center’s new face, she said, “I had no idea how deep and rich the Center’s materials are. We need to share that knowledge better!”

We agree. You’ll find it’s now easier to find the tools you need, whether you’re a filmmaker, communications expert, researcher, teacher or student. And we understand your passion. It’s never been more urgent or important for people who want to make media that matters to strategically design their project for impact from the start.

Want to know the latest? Our homepage highlights top news about strategic media design for social impact, and events at the Center that bring in media and media makers for social good. Want to find out what the Center has on fair use and copyright, or on public media? Check out Programs!

Want to study a successful film that best matches your questions on best practices in strategic design for media impact? Go to Resources! (And then click on “Case Studies.”) Remember a great presentation at a past Media That Matters conference? Go to Programs! (You’ll find “Conference” under the new umbrella of “Media Impact.”)

Want to get the sneak-preview films in our Human Rights Film Series on your calendar? Or maybe you’re already thinking about the next Media That Matters conference? Look for all the news under Events.

With the addition of Caty’s expertise, and with the continued leadership of our Associate Director Angelica Das, we’re already expanding our work. We're working with Participant Media as part of its high-level impact media measurement efforts, and with Working Films on a deep case analysis of NGO-filmmaker partnerships. We're developing some original documentary productions. Caty also is executive-producing “Stand Up Planet,” a documentary and transmedia series that examines global poverty through the lens of stand-up comedy in the developing world; as a keynote feature of the prestigious Social Good Summit a few weeks ago, the project is gaining some early buzz.

We'll chronicle its journey right here on the CMSI website. Watch for it!

We are eagerly looking forward to your reaction. We think we just gave you the key to the Center’s deep library of resources, and we welcome your participation in the Center’s ongoing work to make media matter.