This afternoon, we’re gearing up for tomorrow morning’s second Social Media Breakfast Memphis! The first breakfast was well-attended and provided great conversations and networking, so we only expect things to grow and move forward as we continue to meet.

Once again, the spirit of the “un-conference” will be alive, as attendees are encouraged to openly suggest topics and lead discussions when they have knowledge or ideas to lend. Memphis joins other big cities who are among the first in the nation to hold Social Media Breakfasts, including Boston, New York, Austin and the Twin Cities. Bryan Person, who created Social Media Breakfasts, does a wonderful job in promoting and lending expertise through his blog.

Social Media Breakfast #1 was covered in a Commercial Appeal article, which–no doubt–will help continue spreading the word about this trend in technology and how Memphis is keeping in stride with the rest of the country. Tomorrow’s breakfast will include a panel discussion by Bob Hazlett, Dave Barger and Emily Joyner. Attendees will also have a chance to discuss new tools they’ve found to be useful online, SXSW attendees will share their experiences and we’ll discuss opportunities for online interaction and networking among the Social Media Memphis group.

We look forward to a great turnout and productive discussion!

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Day 2 at SXSW and quick shout-out to attendees at Small Business Chamber “Lunch & Learn” March 14th.

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a multidisciplined (interactive, music, film) festival held in Austin, TX. Four of us from LunaWeb narrowly escaped the big Memphis blizzard and made it to the festival. SXSW Interactive activities include traditional keynote speakers, panels, group discussions, and lots of parties.

It’s inspiring to be in the midst of thousands of peer professionals from all over the world who are passionate about so many aspects of the ever evolving sphere of the interactive Web.  These conversations behold not only the latest in the current phylosophy of interactive, but also visions of how society and commerce will be affected by the social aspect of the web.

Here are a few photos from the first day at SXSW

The primary interest in LunaWeb’s attendance is on Social Media, Social Networks, and the integration with we’d likely consider the traditional Web. It is quickly evolving into a wonderful new paradigm of conversation.

Embracing “Community”
The concept of Communities to include those of Employees, Customers/Clients, and any other group of people having a commonality is turning classic realms of Marketing and Public Relations inside-out. In essence, we’re realizing a promise made by the Web made back in the 90’s wherein the Web was thought my many of us to be the great democratizer between consumers and the large corporations “commanding the airwaves”. Instead the playing field was leveled between the small business and the corporate behemouths. Now, because of the democratization of production (of content whether it’s “experiences” or “opinions”),  the democratization of the platforms (where the content can reside like YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Flickr and thousands more), and the ensuing conversation of consumers online, the market is gaining control and it’s power is in numbers. The enormity of what is essentially word-of-mouth marketing cannot be overpowered by even the grandest of Marketing / PR spin campaigns. As such, organizations are compelled to “join the conversation*.”

* Also a book by Joseph Jaffe, Join the Conversation: How to Engage Marketing-Weary Consumers with the Power of Community, Dialogue, and Partnership