Have you wondered what is Social Media and what it offers? Who should use it and whether this new medium can be leveraged by companies, entrepreneurs and others alike? If you did, you should plan on attending the one day "Social Communications Summit" being held in New York City, on Feb 10th. Jeff Pulver, producer of this summit, wrote "We are living in a time where our phones have become Social Communication devices and that presence is quickly becoming a trigger point for communication".
As a society, we are becoming more and more connected and mobile, able to do things while being mobile. Personal Presence is still evolving as we speak. This evolution of presence, Pulver states "has huge implications for advertising, media and telecom". For me personally, as a Co-Founder of MOBOW, a startup developing products in the mobile presence arena , this aspect of presence made this summit a must attend.
The summit is interesting because it offers a preliminary glimpse as to how the various aspects of social media will play out. Pulver has invited members from the Media, Internet, Communications and Entertainment industries as speakers. I am personally interested in understanding the Investment appetite in this area, Effect of social communication on media and enterprise adoption as well.
Investment: Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures and an early investor in Twitter is one of the speakers. I am interested in his outlook on investment in mobile in general , and also in this area of social communications. I hope to be able to understand the implications of micro-social expression as he sees it in the enterprise arena. Twitter has been a great consumer application with lots of users and large scale adoption. I myself am a ardent fan of twitter. However , enterprise adoption of twitter-like applications are facing an uphill battle. I believe that's due to the fact that many users in large companies already work in small teams and creation/maintenance of a shared micro expression feed to expressly state what they are working on is seen as a waste of time. I believe that applications that address "goal/task oriented micro expression" with ties into existing content creation mechanisms, along with an identity/contact/group management component to identify relevant participants and smooth mobile content delivery are the keys to success in this emerging nexus between adoption of social media and the reluctant enterprise arena.
Effect on Media: David Kirkpatrick (Senior Editor - Fortune Magazine) recently interviewed Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) on stage at DLD09. David is currently writing a book about "The Facebook Effect" . It would be interesting to hear what David has to share from DLD09 regarding Facebook. Apparently Facebook's Connect will be a big focus for FB in 2009. This ties in well with Jeff Pulver's talk at the #soc09, the theme of which is "Connected Culture".
Some of the other interesting speakers are Jeff Jarvis who wrote "What would Google do". He recently spoke about the "Life is a beta" culture about how Google produces products. I have heard him speak at the NY tech meetup and he was also on the Brian Lehrer show today (Feb 6th 2009). While his fascination for Google and the way they do business or product development will be interesting to hear, I would also like to see him address how Social Communications in the realm of "Let your customers decide features", will be adopted by Enterprise Companies, particularly those apprehensive about IP protection.Engaging Social Media for marketing: Marketing campaigns have to be carefully plotted out. Clueless campaings can face backlash especially by the watchful eyes and ears of the powerful group of Mommy-Bloggers. As many of us know, a small but vociferous self-professed "Motrin Moms", derailed an entire Johnson & Johnson Motrin television and print campaign. The campaign was met with such resistance by the likes of Katja Presnal that eventually executives apologized publicly for allegedly being insensitive and pulled the entire campaign. This incident was a little unsettling for marketers, because it proved that in this day and age of Facebook, twitter and other means of expression (where people have a huge following), news, especially one that angers a subset of the population travels fast. Has this caused companies like J&J to be reluctant to leverage Social Media or should they actually work with focus groups, before releasing campaigns publicly?
There are other tracks which discuss music, and entertainment especially as it applies to social gaming. Overall, I think that the Social Communication conference is a great opportunity for evaluating new means of communication, leveraging presence in a relevant way, advertising, investment and other opportunities in this area. Come, mingle and be a part of the new Social media revolution.