While the biggest roadblock to getting involved remains knowing where to start, Graphing Social Patterns and BlogPotomac show just how much we’ve regained our position on the map. Read on for highlights and a discussion of these events.
Graphing Social Patterns East
Graphing Social Patterns brought many engaging industry leaders in social networking to the nation’s capitol. Dave McClure (the main organizer and emcee for the event) kept us entertained as we learned what’s in store for Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Hi5, MyAOL, Friendster, and others.
The highlight for me was the great people I got to spend time with. But the event was no doubt full of valuable information. If you’re in the social networking development or advisory community, some of the snippets worth noting:
- I always like reminders that the US is very different than the rest of the world online. Benjamin Joffe’s presentation explains both the social networks in Asia and their penetration amongst mobile users. This is especially relevant since much of technology’s early adoption takes place there first
- Surprisingly few developers complained at the talk of the new Facebook Profile page designs that are coming (more discussion here) (recent update here)
- Dave McClure teased some insight out of Facebook’s team–the payment processing will be “coming soon,” for instance. [Dave’s a fun moderator—since the Facebook folks normally just spew PR-speak]
- I suppose this is nothing new, but games like Playfish’s Bowling Buddies surprised me with their rich designs and levels of engagement (presented by Sebastien de Halleux at Tuesday’s AppNite)
- While most of the networks are opening up some of their social graph and programming interfaces (API), Facebook is still the most proprietary. It sounds to me like that’s giving them the ability to act much faster and thus keep more developers and users interested. Example of a new feature: Facebook is now recommending applications that a user might like
For anyone looking to learn more intricate details of what’s happening in social networks…and meeting the people behind the happenings, I’d highly recommend checking out Graphing Social Patterns when it’s in town.
Geoff Livingston and Debbie Weil put on a rockin’ conference about PR and social media. They had a series of presenters who provided overviews of their topics for about 15-20 minutes and then answered questions for the remainder of the hour. It worked surprisingly well (considering there were over 200 attendees)—it kept the audience engaged and the topics relevant.
As with Graphing Social Patterns, it was the people that made this event. The DC community had a strong representation and there was a conspicuous feeling of community…even though there were mostly new faces from the largely PR-oriented attendance.
Some of the highlights:
- Dan Beyers, the Local Business editor for the Washington Post spoke of the challenges traditional media faces with blogs and user-generated content. I look forward to seeing the Washington Post offer more options for both their readers and the larger social media community to engage and interact with their reporting. You can watch the video here
- Frank Gruber of Somewhat Frank and TechCocktail, shared his story, and provided a list of the “bright and shiny objects” (web tools) he uses on a daily basis. For the largely PR crowd, he offered a view of how to get involved with both listening and participating online. It was also a fun presentation about Frank’s own transparency online—you can check out the video here soon
- KD Paine of KD Paine & Partners explained in clear and practical terms how to measure new media success. This was all news to me. When her video appears here, it’ll be well worth the watch
- Kami Huyse of Communication Overtones led a very interactive session on social media ethics—with discussions about astroturfing, using others’ content, and many topics relevant to organizations looking to maintain an online identity. Kami hosts an excellent list of articles on new media ethics on her del.icio.us page
So Much Going On In DC
I’m excited to see major events like this taking place in DC…and to realize that much of our local talent is creating such a presence in social media. Thank you so much to the organizers and sponsors who have made these events possible.
I look forward to what lies ahead as our community and the caliber of our events continues to grow.