Thursday, November 13, 2008

Social Media Hits DC with Insight

As I mentioned in my previous post, I went to the Social Media Club - DC event at the National Press Building on social searches versus Google searches (not how they phrased it but it addresses the point). The speakers were Chris Seline (@dumbfounder), Laurence Hooper (@lhooper), Jared Goralnick (@technotheory), Greg Gershman (@greggersh) and Aaron Brazell (@technosailor). The reason I have names in parenthesis are because these are all their twitter names. I'll explain that more in a bit.

They started off discussing the difference between social searches and Google searches. There were many conflicting views amongst the board but here is what I got. Google searches will get what you want but it cost time. Social searches are more customized and personalized to the user. Aaron Brazell gives the example of Thomas Hawk whose goal in life is to publish 1,000,000 photos on flickr. He has already posted about 20,000. If Aaron wanted to find a photo that Thomas took of New York a couple years ago then it would take him awhile searching Google to find that pictures. If he searched Flickr then he would speedily find what he was looking for.

These social searches interact with people because the results are based on other opinions. It comes down to the perception of trust in social networks. We tend to put a trust value on the information we find by ratings like Yelp.

Julie Minevich, who also attended, gives a good run down of the remaining questions that were discussed:

  • Is there any value in organizing and archiving old social networking actions?
  • Are mobile communities the next step in this media revolution?
  • What are the ways social networking sites are trying to create revenue?
  • Why isn’t Google more involved in this social media space?
I'll try and highlight some of the responses from the panel on these questions from the notes that I took. (Yes, I took notes with a pen and paper! I felt very lame. Especially because it was on an HP paper notepad)
  • The reason Google has not gotten involved in social searching is because they have not found a way to make money off of it. They are waiting to see how to make money off of Facebook and Twitter.
  • Blogging, twitter and all these other mobile communities are affecting the future by creating a universe in social networks. These social networks describe who we are as a person and/or company. It is becoming a way in which we create our identity.
  • Some sites for tracking social media: Trakr, Twitterbox, Radiant 6?, Blogpolls? and Relevant Noise (Someone let me know if these are correct...)
  • Facebook is behavioral advertising and behavioral marketing. The new form of advertising.
  • The great thing about social networks are that they are free. Compared to the past where you would have to pay to go to a social networking event.
  • Social Networkers are finding ways to make money by finding ways to share ads on things like FanBox.
  • Keep an eye out for Aardvark, a new start up that is like Yahoo Answers and Twitter meshed together.
The last point of discussion was on what's next. As Aaron responded, "we are finding ways to merge real life and online life. The closer you bring both together is better." We are constantly on our phones and online. For example, the best thing about this meeting was that every person was on their iPhone, Blackberry or mobile device (sadly I have not gotten an iPhone and am very uncool). While the speakers were talking everyone was on Twitter responding and making comments. As Julie said, "It was almost like there were two interconnected conversations taking place concurrently but separately. The second, the one on twitter, was, of course, a result of the in-person discussion and the twitter comments were mentioned a few times in the live discussion, but again, for the most part, they were taking place independently and simultaneously."

By the end of the night, I walked away with more than I expected. The discussion won't end due to all the new twitter friends I have attained. ( Follow me @cbenton!) It gave me a new perspective on the future and my career in life. I am looking forward to more events like these.

What are your points of view on some of the questions.

1 comment:

David said...


You haven't written for a while. Are you already in Korea?