As an associate working on behalf of Shiftpoint Strategies today, I had the opportunity to attend the International Association of Business Communicators social media seminar "Harnessing the Power of Web 2.0".
It was my job to help with set up, Tweet, and interview speakers and organizers from the event. I I went into the day intimidated by some of the blog personalities and Twitter presences I'd be interviewing, but as it turns out, the real people behind @shellyshelly (Shelly Farnham, PhD), @Tosolini (Paolo Tosolini) and @Chrisbrogan (Chris Brogan) are very real and very helpful. After all, they're in the business of network building, information exchange and relationship development too right?
What do I take away from the event beyond the social media tactics? How fun these people are! Chris Brogan and I talked about our favorite movies (his: Fight Club, mine: Life is Beautiful); Paolo Tosolini shared how he gets excited when he can blog about Italy and travel. I guess what it comes down to is that online tools can only take you so far--people need personal interaction. Dr. Shelly Farnham, a luncheon panelist, referred to this as neighboring. Neighboring is to what extent we go to one another's homes. It's what real people do.
I won't recap the whole event because you can watch it for yourself here, but if you're in Seattle I will encourage you to check out Biznik, a social networking site similar to LinkedIn. If you're like me (a freelance professional or small business owner), Biznik provides you with a place to network both online and in person through local events. The site's co-founder, Lara Eve Feltin, spoke to the value of connecting. My favorite quote was: "Collaboration beats competition." She proved this truth by citing the fact that professionals joining Biznik jumped from 40/month in 2008 to 100/month in January and February 2009. In a rough economy people rely on their network and the more widely accepted social media becomes the more people will turn to platforms like Biznik.
Me with social media experts: Dr. Shelly Farnham (social media consultant), Lara Feltin & Dan McComb (Biznik founders), Chris Brogan (president, new Media Marketing Labs)
Look at how excited Brian Westbrook (@bmw) is to show off this new flip stand to Paolo Tosolini (@Tosolini)--they're just people who have fun with technology!
Thank you, IABC Seattle, The Adobe Group, Watchdog Graphics Production, Shiftpoint and Digital Marketing. This was a fantastic event!