Social Media Junction wrap-up #smj

May 19th, 2010
Simon's iPhone alarm goes off on stage, while Alistair Helms laughs

Simon's iPhone alarm goes off on stage, while Alistair Helms laughs

Didn’t make it to Social Media Junction? Missing a conference is never the same in the age of Twitter.

There’s photos, videos, and tweets. There’s a pretty darn thorough writeup in StopPress.

I got asked what I got out of it (see my comments and others’), especially considering I probably know a lot of the stuff already. Admittedly, I didn’t get a whole lot of new knowledge. But that’s not why people go to conferences.

Conferences are about making personal connections, meeting the “imaginary friends” you already know online (and making sure they’re real!).

Conferences are often about getting inspired to do what you already know you should do. Never underestimate inspiration.

I had a huge dose of inspiration from Julien Smith, one of the keynote speakers, who was also an “imaginary friend” I listen to on the Media Hacks podcast. Julien’s also co-author with Chris Brogan of the book Trust Agents.

Julien’s presentation, which kicked off the day, went to the heart of adopting social media – the need to be courageous and choose innovation. Here’s a taste of what he said.

It was great to speak to Julien before and after the conference (video coming soon), and to be challenged by this NYT bestselling author to do what I do (reasonably) well – write.

So watch this space. And it won’t be a book about social media, it’ll be about leadership, because that’s what social media will require of you. I’d better hurry up, the topic is on the radar already.

Other highlights:

  • The irrepressible Aisha Hilary’s case study of how SBS is using social media to connect with its TV audiences (yes, audiences, they have 4 main segments who are very diverse)
  • The practical (and full-of-local-examples) practitioner’s panel, chaired by Vincent Heeringa.
  • Mike Hickinbotham’s in-depth case study of culture change and social media adoption at Telstra.
  • The very entertaining Andy Beal’s very detailed and practical session on social media monitoring. Full marks for some great local examples – and pronouncing nz as en zed! :)
  • Justin Flitter gets what social media is all about – the opportunity to create a customer-centric organisation.
  • Our former neighbour Paul Reynolds (the incumbent, not the Telecom CEO) had some inspiring case studies of social media in the cultural sector.

Heard from the floor

I caught up with marketing veteran Steve Bridges, who at 69 years old has just bought an iPhone. He was loving the conference, enjoying the new information while also reassured that good marketing is what it always has been – creating a customer-centric organisation.

While Social Media Junction had good representation from telcos – with Telstra from Australia and Vodafone, Orcon and 2degrees from New Zealand – it was a bit of a mystery why Telecom weren’t part of the practitioners panel. It was a mystery to Rebecca from Telecom, too, who nevertheless was an enthusiastic live tweeter during the conference.

Fortunately, Rebecca gave a great presentation at last week’s Social Media Club Auckland. Video coming soon…

My top tips

I had the privilege of chairing a bloggers’ panel made up of some veteran bloggers (and one newcomer): Bernard Hickey, Mauricio Freitas, Russell Brown, Alistair Helm and Greer McDonald.

Themes from the panel, in no particular order:

  • Have an opinion. Bernard Hickey put it this way: the best bars have the best bar fights. Be controversial.
  • Promote your competition. Another one from Bernard, strongly echoed by Alistair. The main aim is to provide interesting stuff for your audience, whether or not it comes from you.
  • Adapt to your audience. Greer expected her audience to be people like her – penniless generation Y women. Instead, it’s “old fat rich white men” … although perhaps that’s not too surprising!
  • It’s an ongoing campaign. Mauricio runs the metrics on his blog like a perpetual campaign. He sets regular goals and keeps track of them.
  • Do it yourself. Alistair’s first post was by a PR company and he didn’t like it at all. The best content comes from inside the company.
  • Use the whole ecosystem. As other social media platforms have arisen, they’ve been very powerful as blog distribution mechanisms. I mentioned a Korean study that showed how Twitter is a broadcast medium, with the ability for dialogue when needed.

And finally, here are my top 5 tips for compelling content:

5 top tips for compelling, relevant blog content

What was your favourite part of Social Media Junction?

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter.

How social media is shaking up college sport in the US

February 4th, 2010

In the competitive world of US College Sport, something other than strength and speed is grabbing attention: goofiness.

My friend Dave Murphy from Michigan pointed to this article about Mark Titus, a reserve for the Ohio State basketball team. Titus doesn’t get on the court very often, but he’s grabbing the headlines for his blog, Club Trillion: Life views from the end of the bench.

Here’s more from Dave:

This guy is taking on a “sacred institution” – major amateur sports in America – and he’s poking fun at it in a way that’s making him more popular than his more talented and serious teammates.  There are hints of Sasha Cohen and his various crazy characters such as Ali G, Borat, etc.  Except what’s amazing is that this is happening in real time for a true team that’s competing around the country & it’s not just a staged event ala Cohen’s antics.

Americans walk this interesting fine line in which they dedicate way too much time to sports yet they’re aware of this crazy obsession and even resent the very people they follow.  So now there’s a guy who’s “penetrated” the inner circle and is goofing on the very institution he’s a part of.

Where is this headed for Titus? He’s created (or at least mastered) a new genre – real-time satirical commentary from the inside (I’m sure a better name will present itself). But will it be enough to become a career or a business?

Dave observes (with added emphasis from me):

“There have been plenty of benchwarmers in the past who might have tried something like this, but here’s the first to capitalize on his unique situation.  How’s he pulling it off?  It’s a combination of seeing a niche that others missed, as well as having the right self-deprecating touch to be given the forgiving latitude by school, staff & fans as he continues the mockery of a sacred institution from within.

This is absolutely only possible via the tech tools/media we have available today.  Perhaps before blogging and Youtube, he could have written a retrospective book…but who on earth would care about reading what a benchwarmer thinks after the fact when there are 300-400 major college teams, each with 3-4 benchwarmers per year?  It’s the immediacy provided by these current tools that makes it interesting…content is important, but immediacy and first-time-to-do-it are perhaps even more important.  People are enjoying the real time ride but won’t really care about this perspective after the fact.”

Some pretty good tips there for anyone wanting to get ahead in social media. (Although there will always be a huge need for valuable, relevant content that’s not real-time).

If you were Titus, how would you keep this good thing going? Where would you take it next?

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter.

iJumpTV 70: Vincent Heeringa on Publishing, Monetisation and Amateur Explosions

January 25th, 2010
YouTube Preview Image

Vincent Heeringa, publisher of Idealog, Good Magazine and Marketing Magazine, joins us to discuss what social media means for him as a publisher.

Vincent also talks about the explosion of amateur content that social media has enabled, a topic also covered in the book Here Comes Everybody.

Vincent’s the third mainstream media person we’ve talked with on iJumpTV; see our interviews with TVNZ’s Jason Paris and TV3’s Roger Beaumont.

As we often point out, today anyone can be a consumer, creator or curator of content. If you’re reading this, you have the power. What are you doing with it? (Not a rhetorical question; we’d love to know your answer in the comments below)

Too much information? Sign up for our fortnightly email newsletters and reduce the clutter.