The beginning stages in the planning of Barcamp Memphis: Flux Your Paradigm are already well underway and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved!  Thanks to a new wiki site, there is more and more information getting posted every day outlining what’s already been done for the Barcamp as well as what you can do to help.

Barcamp is an “un-conference,” with a “by the people, and for the people” attitude in which attendees have the opportunity to recommend topics, vote on what is discussed at some of the breakout meetings, and even present on a topic.  The new site already has pages for you to volunteer to help with the planning or execution of the Barcamp, suggest topics to be discussed, and most importantly, register to reserve your spot to attend Barcamp Memphis.

Barcamp gives you the opportunity to make it exactly what you want it to be, but you have to make your voice heard!  It will be held at Emerge Memphis on November 7-8.  Aside from the main site you can also follow news and updates on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Recently, we’ve been attending several events where we are called upon to give some insight into current events in the Social Media realm.  Throughout the process of documenting these speaking engagements, I’ve had the chance to watch the wide-range of reactions that are brought on by these types of discussions.  This has brought me to one unwavering paradigm of absolute and immovable truth…

Everyone laughs at the word “Twitter.”

If you don’t believe me, try it on your friends and co-workers.  It works!  The conversation will really start to turn south if you begin to throw in words like “Tweet,” “Tweet-up,” and (if your childhood was heavily influenced by Disney) “twitterpated.”

After the initial reaction, though, what is truly interesting is watching as people begin realize the massive impact you can have with a website that limits your entries to a meager 140 characters.  The initial reflex to giggle at, admittedly, funny vocabulary gives way to a “wow” factor that few sites can create.

Companies that are making good use of Twitter are being talked about, a lot.  Comcast, for example, is making leaps and bounds with its customer service by watching for tweets from unhappy Comcast users and responding, not eventually, but immediately!  These customers that were once broadcasting their unhappiness with their cable provider are now the ones preaching its virtues at meetings, blog posts, and, you guessed it, Twitter.

There’s no doubt that twitter.com is a website with a funny name that is making a big difference!

We’re always happy to see people get excited about Social Media, and at yesterday’s Small Business Chamber Quarterly Membership Luncheon we were ecstatic!   More than 80 members and visitors packed into a conference hall to hear how their business can take advantage of new Social Media tools and to see the unveiling of the Chamber’s new Social Networking site.

Small Business Chamber President/Founder, Robert Staub, was quick to get the crowd excited about the opportunities this new tool would create, not only for small business owners, but for the entire Memphis area.  Chamber members were given the opportunity to have us make brief video clips to promote their business, as well as photographs to use on their Social Networking sites.

LunaWeb’s own, Dave Barger helped the audience find “Substance in the Chaos” with a great presentation that showed the business value of several Social Networking tools, including a quick tutorial on how to make use of the Chamber’s new site.  Afterwards he was able to answer questions from an eager group and several members shared success stories they had experienced while using Social Media.

Thanks to a great crowd and a great new site, we were able to spread the good news of Social Networking and help support a great project from the Small Business Chamber.

Sarah Lacy, is bringing her User Generated Book Tour (UGBT) to Memphis just a month from now!  Sarah has gained notoriety with dizzying velocity over her career, most recently, as a columnist for Business Week, host of Yahoo TechTicker, and a closely followed blogger.

She has become one of the most polarizing figures in the world of Web 2.0 with many people expressing a “love her or hate her” attitude.  Sarah’s proponents often appreciate her deeply personal inside knowledge of many of today’s seemingly inaccessible business giants.  However, many are quick to cite what is perhaps one of the most infamous public interviews of the last several years, between Lacy and Facebook mastermind, Mark Zuckerberg at last year’s SXSW conference, which spawned a great deal of online debate and criticism.

Her latest tour is to promote her new book Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0.  At tour stops so far, Lacy has been discussing the ideas in her book, doing Q&A sessions with bloggers and columnists, and keeping news from the whole event posted on her blog. 

Her stop on the Memphis leg of her tour will be at Emerge Memphis on Sept. 18 at 5:00 pm.  The event is sponsored by Launch Memphis, a group of Memphis businesses and individuals devoted to promoting entrepreneurship in the greater Memphis area.  Be there, log on, and get ready to blog!

Startup Weekend Reunion

August 14, 2008

The reunion for Startup Weekend was a great success this past week. Launch Memphis, a conglomerate of individuals and organizations dedicated to helping entrepreneurs find the tools they need to market their ideas to the Memphis area, was the driving force behind the event that was held at the Emerge Memphis building.

The evening was centered around sharing the success stories that came out of the Startup Weekend event that was held several months ago (May 31- June 1). There were big wins across the board ranging from new ideas to help already existing businesses to the eventual launch of a new social networking application called Spynnr. The application will be designed to create an interactive online community for ultimate frisbee players.

The impact of Startup Weekend was apparent throughout the room and it looks like there are more great things to come from everyone working with Launch Memphis. Check out launchmemphis.com and get involved!

Social Media Breakfast 5

August 7, 2008


The 5th Memphis Social Media Breakfast met Wednesday morning to discuss all the latest and greatest in the world of social networking. Dave Barger, President/CEO of LunaWeb, Inc., hosted the event at Mantia’s resaurant.

As the morning kicked off, Justin McGregor from Southwest Tennessee Community College gave a great presentation that put RSS (Really Simple Syndication), “in plain english.” This led into a discussion on the RSS tools that are available now and what the market might hold for future syndication sites. Barger wrapped up the meeting with a brief discussion on the business applications of the host of social networking sites available (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Friendfeed).

Thanks to a good breakfast and even better discussion, first timers and regulars to the Social Media Breakfasts were able to walk away with something new to bring to their business.

The Social Media Breakfast is held every month and is open to anyone who wishes to attend. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, September 3rd. For more information and to RSVP see our page on Meetup.com or join the Social Media Memphis group on Facebook.com. We’ll see you there!

Facebook Group

MeetUp Page