Sunday, February 11, 2007

SoCon07: I came, I saw, I participated

I attended SoCon07 yesterday, not quite knowing what to expect when I registered. It was billed as an un-conference, which meant nothing to me. I was just hoping to learn more about using blogs and other forms of social media as marketing tools. I didn’t care what format the program took to do that. Early on I didn’t see how it wasn’t just like any other symposium, other than the laptops in use by many of the attendees. (In a way it reminded me of grad school, except these people were blogging the speakers. Professor lectures were never shared with the world as they were being given, thus the need to attend class. Natch.)

But the two-way dialogue between the speakers and the audience members was interesting. Leonard Witt kicked off the fun with a great exchange of ideas before turning the program over to Christopher Klaus, who spoke at length about his newest venture, Kaneva. There are plenty of pro and con sentiments about each of these speakers in the blog roll on the SoCon07 site, so I won’t regurgitate those opinions here. “Transparency” was mentioned during the kickoff session and continued to resonate with me personally, as so much of social media involves creating a meaningful and honest dialogue.

At lunch I enjoyed talking with Leonard before heading back for the afternoon sessions. Of the two I attended (Marketing & PR first and online communities second), Josh’s session was a little more interesting in that it was more of a group discussion. I appreciate the passion of the communities session leader, and he made some great points, it would have been more enjoyable if we had been able to spend more time if the participants had been able to share some of their intellect into developing various types of communities/programs.

All in all, it was nice to see some familiar faces such as Josh, Mark and Toby and meet the author of the Spacey Gracey Review, whom I’ve enjoyed reading. (Where were you Earthling?) And it was nice to meet so many new (to me) people too. But next time, I’d like it better if the size of the SoCon graphic and the participant’s names were inverted on the nametags. We knew where we are, but I’d like to know who you are when you’re too far away to read your name subtly.

All in all it was a good experience and I left more knowledgeable than when I got there and with a few ideas I’d like to try in the future.

Now that I have set a new personal record for hyperlinks in a single post, I’m off to look up the dozen or so sites I learned of yesterday. Happy blogging!


Jeff Haynie said...

Great point about the badges. I'll make sure to make the names bigger next time around. I thought they would be big enough - and the main problem when I made them bigger is that we had quite a few long names that made them run off the edge of the paper... However, point taken and I'll try and find a better size/fit next time... Thanks for attending!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I missed it. I was in Pasadena all week for team meetings, and got back late in the pm on Saturday. I had brunch with Josh yesterday while he was in town though, and he gave me some of the scoop -- reading more on it here and elsewhere.

Toby said...

Thanks for the shout out. It was really great to see you too. Hope our paths cross soon.