The fun doesn’t stop

April 9, 2009

Last week was a busy week. Not only did we have the Social Media Expedition breakfast, but we gave a half-day workshop for the Grizzlies Foundation.

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The workshop, held at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis focused on the ways non-profit organizations can use social media to promote their message and attract supporters. We had representatives from over 50 local non-profits show up.

By all accounts, everyone was grateful and eager to learn why and how Facebook, Twitter, and blogging can all be great tools to spread your organization’s message.

But one busy week can lead to another, and another after that.

April 16, for example, marks the second time we’ll be holding TwilightCamp, the evening time equivalent to our Social Media Expedition Breakfasts. It’s the same idea, plenty of time to learn and network with fellow Memphians, and with those core conversations to tap your new friends’ minds for answers to your social media questions.

Twilight Camp will take place from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. We’re still not sure on the location- we want to be sure we can fit everybody, so please RSVP immediately.

And then, on April 23, Launch Memphis, along with Southern Growth Studio, is hosting Tech Fuel, a combination private workshop and open panel discussion. This time around, the theme is “Mastering the New Modes: Insights and Innovations from the Blending Worlds of Technology, Marketing, and Culture.”Adrian Ho and CC Chapman: Mastering the New Modes, hosted by Launch Memphis and Southern Growth Studio

The speakers for this event are Adrian Ho of Zeus Jones and C.C. Chapman of The Advance Guard. These two are leaders in innovation at the blurring intersection of marketing, interactivity, and user experience.

You’ll need to reserve your seat for the private workshop in advance. You can do that through the Launch Memphis website.

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

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Wednesday morning, April 1st, found the Social Media Expedition Breakfast at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis. After some opening remarks from Social Media Expedition’s Dave Barger, The mic was handed over to Kris Markman, Ph.D., from the University of Memphis, for her presentation, “A Species Driven to Connect.”

Dr. Markman’s presentation focused on how society functions with technology. Her central assertion is that social technologies are nothing new. Though they use new tools to cover greater distances faster, it all essentially sums up to basic communication – Facebook, even as it nears ubiquity, is just a fancy version of cave painting communication.

Humans, she continued, simply need other humans for survival.

So we communicate as we always have, and we find brand new ways to communicate. One pattern Dr. Markman has noticed is that society is beginning to stratify naturally among those who can more readily adapt to new modes of communication.

Markman cites Pew Internet and American Life numbers that show that Americans, along with being divided along lines of behavior, can also be divided among the age groups and economic traits that allow them this behavior – but that doesn’t necessarily fall along the same lines as would be expected.

For example, podcasting is more common among the Generation X set, even though they aren’t as into things like Facebook or Massively Multiplayer Games.

Essentially, what Markman seems to be saying is that what makes online communications so interesting is that it’s so difficult to pin down the demographics of it in a general sense, because the information skews from example to example.

After the presentation, as always, we broke into smaller group discussions, including topics such as blogging, Facebook for business, Twitter, and social bookmarking. There was even some demand for information about Yahoo! Pipes – if you’ve got an interest in or knowledge of Yahoo! Pipes, (or Twitter, Facebook, or any other tools) please, by all means, join us for the next Social Media Expedition Breakfast, the first Wednesday of May.

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We all know the song, many of us have been on the ride; it is a small world, after all. With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites popping up and making their way to the mainstream every day, it keeps getting smaller. And we’re the ones shrinking it.

What makes us as a species so drawn to creating these connections between one another, whether we even know one another or not? What is it, from a psychological perspective, that drives us to online meeting spaces?

Kris Markman, Ph.D., from the University of Memphis might have an answer. She has been studying the the social impacts of new media since 2001. She’ll be the guest speaker at April’s Social Media Expedition Breakfast, 7 a.m., April 1 at the U of M Holiday Inn. Her presentation will be titled “A Species Driven to Connect.”

A veteran of public radio, Markman is currently collecting research about independent podcasters – those producing programs unaffiliated with traditional media at all.

Be sure to RSVP for this breakfast at MeetUp. Admission is $20, or $15 each for you and a guest.

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

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The Leadership Academy’s launch party for memphisconnect.com was alive with smiles for the community blog in excitement and participation.  Rob Carter was the featured guest speaker and energized the over 100 attendees with purpose, forward thinking, and his own unique story of an unexpected appreciation for Memphis.

The blog itself embodies the vision of Elizabeth Lemmonds who reviewed its key aspects to the crowd assembled in the amazing conference venue called “The Zone” at the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of  Memphis.

Attendees visited among live art, poetry, comedy, great food & drink, and a variety of new media journalists capturing the event.

memphisconnect.com is a community blog encouraging citizens to share their Memphis stories.

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

Our next Social Media Expedition breakfast is approaching quickly. This month we will be taking a look into what drives us as creatures to connect and interact with one another online. We’ll be trying to understand what drives us to these online spaces from a psychological perspective. The presentation will be “A Species Driven to Connect”.

We will have Kris Markman, Ph. D. from the University of Memphis as our presenter this month. Kris is an educator and researcher interested in how people use new media in their everyday lives. A former public radio professional, Kris caught the internet bug in the mid-90s and has been studying social aspects of new media since 2001. Currently she teaches courses in communication at the University of Memphis and is conducting research on independent audio podcasters.

We look forward to seeing you at what promises to be an insightful and fascinating conversation. RSVP on our Meetup site!

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

The Rejected Connected

March 20, 2009

Dave Barger, from LunaWeb, was able to make it to the interactive portion of South By SouthWest (SXSW) this past week.  This massive, Austin, TX based, conference has a heavy focus on learning and sharing information on technology and Web 2.0.  But what has typically been a festive, party atmosphere, took on a more serious tone in the face of  a sinking a economy populated by businesses struggling to stay afloat.

One bright spot in the midst of this gathering, was the serendipitous and spontaneous creation of several unconference-like core conversations.  Dave was lucky enough to be a part of one of these conversation, when several SXSW attendees converged on a session that had reached max capacity.  These 50+ rejects went on to form there own conversation group, “The Rejected Connected”.

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TweetHall – Rejected Connected from LunaWeb on Vimeo.

The discussion became a valuable mindshare of best practices for Twitter.  The group ranged from people brand new to Twitter, to Twitter application developers.  Everyone was able to contribute, and everyone walked away with a headful of new ideas to ponder.  The key takeaways for the session from Dave’s blog were:

– Using a good photo of only your face.
– Share your twitter handle everywhere.
– Don’t use the profile URL to merely link back to your twitter page.
– Multiple users of one org’s twitter account can end tweets in “/fl” that being /(first initial)(last initial) or state the person tweeting in the profile description.
– Be genuine and don’t be uptight about tweeting, just get out there.
– Don’t protect your tweets and still try and seek out people to follow (the analogy of “going to a cocktail party and locking yourself in the bathroom” was shared).

There was great discussion on the best way to manage a corporate identity on Twitter. Deceptively tricky questions like, “How much of myself do I put into my corporate Twitter account?” and “If I choose to have multiple Twitter accounts, what’s the best way to keep up with them?” were debated at length.

Tiffany Winman, one of the attendees, did a great job of nailing down the rationale behind marketers using Twitter. “Awareness/traffic; viral buzz; lead generation; increased customer satisfaction and loyalty via increased community networking, identifying and fostering relationships among employees and customers; generally decreases in costs and resources from traditional marketing methods; research on brand image, public sentiment, hot topics to improve messaging and product/service development.”

Otis Maxwell also had some valuable insight into how a previous session at SXSW provided further illumination on the spontaneous hallway discussion.

If you’d like to see the twitter conversation that resulted from this ad hoc gathering, search for #tweethall on twitter.

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