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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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.

Social Media Breakfast 9

December 4, 2008

smb9daveSocial Media is booming in Memphis, and we proved it at the December Social Media Breakfast!  50 guests, ranging from social experts to brand-new beginners, came to this month’s breakfast at Owen Brennan’s on Poplar.  Many of them were drawn by the breakfast’s recent mention in the Commercial Appeal.  This was the last breakfast of the year and it proved to be an incredible turnout.  The Memphis Social Media Breakfast is hosted by Dave Barger of LunaWeb.

The morning kicked off “officially” with a home-run presentation.  We were lucky to have Jason Orendorff from Mozilla as our guest speaker this month.  He showed us some great Firefox features and some very useful social tools built into the browser.  Jason also gave us insight into the intricacies of running a company like Mozilla using thousands of volunteers and a mere 150 paid employees.

smb9jasonAfter Jason’s presentation, we broke out into groups to discuss topics that were chosen by the audience in traditional BarCamp style.  Discussions included everything from “Social Media 101” to “What’s Broken on the Web.”  Several of the attendees left their groups with plans to meet again later in the month to continue their conversations.

We’re truly excited to watch our next project, the Social Media Expedition, evolve, and we foresee it bringing lot of positive growth to the Memphis business community and beyond.  If you were unable to attend, you can look for information on the next breakfast at our meetup page.  Make sure you’re there next month to join the Expedition!

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Social Media is providing some great resources for small businesses to draw from during the current economic downturn. Coming up on October 29, Network Solutions is hosting the Solutions Stars Video Conference. The conference will be free, and will allow participants to stream video from industry leaders while chatting live with the self proclaimed Social Media Swami Shashi Bellamkonda and Geoff Livingston, author of Now is Gone.

The conference, which will be held between 12:00 pm and 2:30 pm CST, will feature insight from industry leaders on how small businesses can use the internet to their advantage. There will be a large range of topics to choose from, including You Need Social Networks and To Blog or Not to Blog. For a full rundown of speakers and topics for the event see the conference’s website and Facebook event.

Memphis, of course, is doing its part as well! The monthly Social Media Breakfast is getting bigger and better with each passing meeting. Attendees of the Social Media Breakfast meet on the first Wednesday of every month to discuss the latest trends and tools in Social Media for businesses. The breakfast has been a huge success with each month showing greater interest from the public, and consistently eye-opening presentations.

The next Social Media Breakfast will be on November 5 at the Crescent Club in East Memphis, and is open to the public. You can see details, as well as RSVP for the event at the group’s Meetup page.

Be sure to take advantage of these upcoming opportunities to see what Social Media has to offer!

Social Media Breakfast #7

October 6, 2008

It’s hard to believe, but the Social Media Breakfasts seem to keep getting better! This month we had our largest group yet meet at the Crescent Club in Midtown Memphis for what promised to be a great way to start the morning. There were plenty of familiar faces mixed in with a great group of Social Media newcomers.

LunaWeb President, Dave Barger, hosted the event and kept everything running smoothly, as well as answering questions on all thing Social from a crowd that eagerly supplied both answers and inquiries. After some initial discussion, long time Social Media Breakfast attendee, Bob Hazlett, gave a hilariously informative presentation on Social Media campaigns gone wrong entitled, “You Suck at Social Media.” He effectively walked us through the best of the best on down to the abysmally low in Social success (from Zappos shoes to Microsoft’s twitter presence).

As always though, the best of Social Media Breakfast happened before and after the official presentations. Staying true to the idea of being “social” there were plenty of opportunities for networking, catching up, meeting new connections, and sharing new Social Media information.

You can already RSVP for the next Social Media Breakfast on the MeetUp page. And be sure to check out photos from SMB #7 here! If you haven’t already been to one of the Social Media Breakfasts, talk to one of the people who have. We’ll see you at the next one!