Friday, October 19, 2007

Start Playing with those Fools, I Mean Tools!

Dinner at East West Bistro was a success and great start to the conference! Social media gurus, university officials and aspiring PR professionals from Durham, N.H. to Tuscaloosa, Ala. gathered upstairs in East West Bistro Friday night. Dim lighting, friendly people and the exclusive bar created an inviting and comfortable atmosphere for all. Just before dinner was a perfect time to mingle and learn more about the people there. We took advantage of this opportunity to introduce ourselves and interview social media experts such as Josh Hallett. A conversation with Paull Young allowed me the opportunity to learn to podcast with his taser-like device. (Check out the posts below to hear the interviews.)

Guests were able to order a salad(caesar or special lettuce with mandarin oranges and walnuts), an entrée(linguini, tilapia or crusted chicken) and dessert(chocolate mocha cake or tangerine sorbet). Everyone seemed to be engaged in serious conversation during dinner. Topics ranged from business ventures to interesting research ideas in Public Relations.

Just as everyone finished stuffing themselves with rich chocolate cake or tangerine sorbet, the keynote speaker, Kevin Dugan, began his presentation. He caught the audience's attention with this cool video, "Is Content King?" exploring the power of social media. The video includes an array of new media tools and the dark side of social media also. He mentioned Virgin Mobile's illegal use of a Flickr photo which I blogged about on our class blog! People really enjoyed the video as there were cheers and applause afterwards. Although he was instructed to be brief and not too detailed, Mr. Dugan really brought up some great points:
  • We>Me - WE is greater than you and me
  • Transparency, authenticity - The key to active, informed, passionate conversation is to just be honest and genuine.
  • Things are always going to change - But that is okay, just keep changing with it.
  • Search engine optimization is important
  • Page view is dead - Gone are the days where we measure levels of engagement through hits. Length of time spent and other factors are more important.
  • New tools = New rule
  • For more on what Kevin had to say click here to experience!
It is important to note that throughout the night, technology flourished . . . even without internet connection. People twittered their thoughts via text, Josh Hallett's quality camera captured the experience, KD Paine made notes to herself for future blog posts on her HP version of the iPhone, and we recorded as many conversations as possible. Kevin Dugan mentioned that in the past, if you weren't at the conference, you pretty much missed out on the information. But with all the new tools, it's almost like you were there, even if you weren't. Experience what we experienced through these tools if you were not afforded the opportunity. UGA Connect 07 is sure to be a valuable and unique experience if tonight was just the prelude!

So start playing with the tools if you haven't already!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Here's a link to the study that ranked Kevin #2 in influence, mentioned in the introduction to his speech: