The goal of SoCon10 organizers, like social media in general, is for participants to share info and be a part of the show itself. In that sense, the spirit was right for Saturday’s keynote speakers and breakout sessions. For instance, I first met social media head on in 2008, and now I’m something of a poster child.
I was enjoying the first keynote speaker Saturday (1/30/2010), Carol Kruse of Coca-Cola, when a tweet (you KNOW what that is) informed me that a picture of myself and fellow citizen journalist Terri Thornton from SoCon09 was included in a banner on the auditorium stage. That’s right … I was a few feet away from the stage in the second row, yet I learned about this via Twitter. The picture below in this post says it all.
So the connections and information that come from being involved in the citizen media scene are quite tangible. And it translates into money, too, not just the thrill of seeing your picture on the virtual front page. For instance, some reliable buzz I overheard at breakfast at SoCon10 had it that there’s a direct correlation between homebuilders who did not use social media and their resulting bankruptcies. I’m getting a little weary about the so-called “free” mantra that some say is the new business model for the 21st century. Folks, that ain’t business, and it never will be.
— Bert DuMars (@bwdumars on Twitter) said his company, a consumer products giant, has some 80 people working on social media in some capacity. And he said the virtual world has totally changed the culture there; execs will respond to every negative comment, no matter how few there are. It only takes one match to start a fire.
— Dan Siroker (@dsiroker on Twitter), who was involved in Web analytics for the Obama campaign, said use of the word “please” on a donation button on the Web site made a clear difference in the amount received.
— Kruse of Coca-Cola disclosed that every Coke employee is trained to answer questions online about the brand, and that only 30% of their social media marketing efforts is what the company puts forth.
So it’s clear again that there are business benefits and repercussions in the social media world. Not to mention some great personal moments that’ll give me the warm fuzzies for some time.