Universe of Dreams Tweetup

January 30, 2009

Dave Barger and Neal ConanThe Social Media Expedition explored new frontiers in their last Tweetup at the Universe of Dreams concert at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre sponsored by LunaWeb. It was an evening of great food, and otherworldly experiences.

We kicked off the night at Rain, a new sushi bar in Cordova, TN, where we experienced beautiful food, and a great atmosphere. There was a lot of enjoyable conversation, and several of us had the opportunity to meet some folks we had only known from twitter.

SushiWe left Rain just in time to have wine and hors d’oeuvres provided by the friendly people at GPAC. We spent the hour before the show chatting in the green room and looking at photographs of some of GPAC’s most memorable performers.

The Universe of Dreams performance was the highlight and centerpiece of our Tweetup. An incredible performance (as always) put on by GPAC, that feautured NPR’s Neal Conan, Ensemble Galilei, and giant projected images from the Hubble Telescope. Conan read excerpts from some the greatest minds of the past several centuries, expressing their awe at the scope of the night sky, while beautifully displayed images gave meaning to his words. Thanks to all this and an incredible score of Celtic music, the evening proved to be a wonderful multimedia event, that was truly expeditionary.

Thanks to all who participated and made it such an enjoyable night. Join our Facebook Page to stay updated on future Expedition Tweetups.

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blogpost by lunaweb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Launch MemphisAside from being a lot of fun, it turns out LaunchMemphis’ 2008 inaugural season was a huge financial success.  LaunchMemphis kicked off in May 2008 with a well-attended Tech Fuel event.  Things have only gone up since then, with several events having been hosted already, and many more on the horizon.

The best news, however, comes from a recently published LaunchMemphis financial report for 2008.  The program, since its inception, has taken $16k in investment capital and produced nearly $500k in economic impact, all right here in Memphis.

This success is attributed to a host of factors.  Among them is a very dedicated group of founders dedicated to the growth of Memphis’ entrepreneurial community. Eric Mathews, Dave Barger, Harry Brown, Sridhar Sunkara, Chris Allen, Anna Ivey, Gwin Scott, Douglas Scarboro, Marc Diaz, and Lori Turner have all dedicated immense time and effort into seeing this program accomplish all that it has.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1699139&dest=-1]

LaunchMemphis also owes a great deal of success to its sponsorship base which has consistently provided funding and resources that have helped maximize the programs potential.  FedEx Institute of Technology, Bosco’s Brewing Company, Memphis Regional Chamber, Center City Commission, Sun Microsystems, JumpBox, Cadre5, Flying Circle, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, Naked Lion Brewing Company, Starbucks Coffee, Domino’s Pizza, Neely’s Bar-B-Que, Innova, Mercury Technology Labs, Impact Memphis, Red Bull, Open Road Technologies, Small Business Chamber, Red Bull, LunaWeb, and Rendezvous BBQ, all played a crucial role in events over the past year.

Visit the 2009 schedule for upcoming LaunchMemphis events and links to more information.

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blogpost by lunaweb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Civil Rights Expedition

January 20, 2009

The Courthouse

The Courthouse

The Social Media Expedition’s journey to historic Money, MS was nothing short of eye opening.  This MLK Jr. Day, several expedition members traveled deep into delta territory to explore the events surrounding the murder of Emmett Till, a 14-Year-Old African-American youth from Chicago.

Emmett’s murder is often overlooked as one of the great catalysts to the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s.  Our mission was to visit the sites that were significant leading up to and shortly following Till’s death, and hopefully, through Web 2.0 coverage, give this tragedy some well deserved exposure.  We left even more resolute to our goal than we came.

Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market

Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market

Our first stop on the journey was the Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market, now vacant and derelict, where Till allegedly whistled at the white store owner, Carolyn Bryant.  This kind of action was considered extremely taboo in a racially divided culture and raised the ire of Carolyn’s husband Roy Bryant, and his half brother, J.W. Milam.

We also made a brief stop at the remains of J.W. Milam’s former home.  His property served as the primary location for most of the actions surrounding Till’s murder.

Very nearby, was possibly the most impacting site on our journey.  It was the cotton barn at J.W. Milam’s plantation where Emmett Till was taken to be beaten, maimed, and killed.  It was easy to look into the shed outside the barn, and wonder what might have happened there.  Eventually a fan was taken from the cotton gin and tied to Till with barbed wire before dumping him into the Tallahatchie River.   The barn itself has been turned into a makeshift museum dedicated to Emmett Till and blues musician “Sonny Boy” Williamson.

Near the end of our exploration, we visited the courthouse where the, very brief, trial took place for Emmett’s murder, and the remnants of the hotel where the jury, who acquitted Milam and Bryant in less than an hour, stayed.

Thanks to those who encouraged us to make this trip. Special thanks to Joe Spake for his participation, many insights about The Delta along the way, and his Emmett Till blog post.

This is just the first of many Expeditionary trips.  The next event is our Tweetup this Friday at GPAC.  Find us on Facebook, and we’ll keep you informed on developing details.  We hope to see you in the conversation.

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New Year, New Expedition

January 12, 2009

LunaWeb just wrapped up our first Social Media Expedition event of the new year, and thanks to everyone involved, it couldn’t have gone better! The atmosphere was energized with information and networking.

Kerry Hayes Presents

Kerry Hayes Presents

We had two presentations this month. The first, was a remote presentation by Connie Bensen from Minnesota. She spoke about Techrigy, a powerful social media monitoring tool with a lot of exciting features. She will also be hosting a webinar on January 15, talking about Social Media ROI. Please see webinar registration info here. Follow Connie on Twitter.

Our second speaker was Kerry Hayes from Mid-South Community Organizers and the Stax Museum of American Soul. He gave us a lot of great insight into lessons learned in Social Media and community organizing from the presidential election. Follow on Twitter. Checkout their meeting on Thursday night.

Core Conversations were a success again this time around, as tables broke off to discuss Social Media 101, Corporate Blogging, Web Video, Twitter, and Beyond Facebook. There were lots of interesting conversations and action as people moved from table to table trying to glean all the information they could. Keep watching the Social Media Expedition Blog, as we’ll post MP3’s of these conversations online!

Upcoming January Events

Here’s a quick recap of upcoming events for the Social Media Expedition.

  • January 9 – Anybody for caravaning to Nashville to join in on their Geek Breakfast? This is usually a valuable networking opportunity and a good chance to learn from the people around you. Contact Dave Barger for more info.
  • January 19 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day is this month. The Expedition is planning on taking a caravan to Money, MS to give 2.0 coverage to the events surrounding the murder of Emmit Till, an event that is credited with sparking the American Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s.
  • January 23LunaWeb is sponsoring the Universe of Dreams show at Germantown Performing Arts Centre. There will be a massive Tweetup beforehand and special discount tickets for Expedition members.

There was also a brief overview of The Kindness Revolution. If you’re interested in making a personal commitment to being kind (a great New Year’s resolution), you should consider looking them up on Twitter and Facebook.

If you were at this month’s breakfast or are interested in attending the next one, you can already RSVP on our Meetup page.

Are you an Online Marketer?
There’s also a meeting, Memphis E-Marketing Group, being put on by some very web savvy people from St. Jude’s. Check them out here. Thursday, February 26th from 6-8

Thanks again to all who came out. We hope to see you all again before next month, along with some new faces, to talk about everything social.

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blogpost by lunaweb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.