Monday morning I was at Teaism in DC attending a social media breakfast put on by the Social Media Club DC chapter (SMC-DC). It’s exciting how this area has become a hotbed for social media and I’ve enjoyed some past events sponsored by the group. Some Strategic colleagues and I had rallied for the 8AM event to hear about emerging best practices and meet other communication pros. The preternaturally warm weather made the metro an easy ride.
The downstairs made for close quarters but worked for the roughly 45 attendees. It was a lot of fun to actually meet folks I follow online, like @shonali and @jaywalk1. First up were three presentations, from Geoff Livingston, Shashi Bellamkonda and Alex Howard.
Geoff’s message was very simple — get mobile. That was it, nothing specific. Last year Geoff sold his agency to Richmond-based CRT/tanaka, and it was reported he going to head up their DC office. That didn’t last long, and Geoff has now launched a new social media venture called Zoetica Media with two other partners. He’s been a leading proponent of social media in this area, but wasn’t sharing any best practices or tips this morning. He spoke for maybe three minutes tops.
Shashi holds the title of “social media swami” for Network Solutions. He gave the audience an advanced taste of results from a new NetSol survey, stating that 24% of respondents are using social media in some way. If I can get him to share the full results of the survey, I’ll update here. He also discussed social media integration into web sites, which was very interesting to me since we’re doing this for multiple clients now. After the presentations we also spoke how the right use of social media can really energize internal communications and employee morale.
Alex works for TechTarget as an associate editor. He definitely put the most effort in for the audience, pulling together a lengthy presentation that covered many emerging trends, including the fact that social media is surpassing search in generating traffic. He touched on the rise of niche networks, the premature declaration of death for privacy online and increased targeting via geolocation. He also mentioned the return of a very interesting debate, pitting the Walled Garden approach vs. the Open Internet. Or put more simply, why do I have to keep registered to participate?
His presentation didn’t work at Teaism Monday morning, but he’s got it up on Prezi.com and was kind enough to supply the link here.
Afterwards conversations ensued about the above and other topics. One fascinating if philosophical question is around the future of social media, if as research suggests only 10% of people online actually contribute – and only 1-2% actively. What are the ramifications of that? I tweeted about this recently and shared research data.
All in all a good start to the week. We’ve got a lot of smart socmed people in this area — follow any or all of the people above to stay in the know.
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