Livin' in a Social Media World…

Sharing the Love for Social Media, Online Marketing, and Beyond. Insight from Emer Lawn.

BlogTalk 2010 – Day Two – Streams, Facebook vs. Everyone Again, and Location based Social Networks August 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — EmerLawn @ 11:58 am

The second day of the conference proved just as valuable as the first, starting with Stowe Boyd talking us through his Web of Flow theory and how it’s all about the streams. Followed on by Ruairi McKiernan inspiring the crowd with, Fergus Hurley talking on Silicon Valley, Laurent Walter Goix bringing it back to Context from a telecoms perspective, and Ronan Skehill outlining how Apps are bad, leading us into lunch after a healthily debate. Perhaps one of my favourite sessions from the conference was Deanna Lee‘s talking about engagement and The New York Public Library. Various other presentations filled the afternoon; but again highlight of the day was the Panel discussion on location based social networks.

Location Based Social Networking Panel Discussion

The panel discussion was one of great interest to most people in the audience, particularly for those of us in Ireland (since we’re the only ones in the country using them so far) but also because of the impact such technology has on our behaviour. Mark Cahill led the discussion, walking us through the various location based networks: Foursquare of course,, Google Latitude, Gowalla, Plancast and now Facebook Places. Mark put it very simply: it’s about relevance and if you’re in the right place, right time…that’s relevant. Fergus Hurley outlined that despite the launch of Facebook Places, Foursquare still has potential due to it’s gaming elements. I’d have to agree, considering this is the appeal that it has for me also at the moment. But I think what we needed to contemplate was what would be the motivation for “checking in”? Hurley also touched on this when he said that he thought people would check in somewhere that they wanted other people to know about. Say for example, me checking in in Spain when I was on holidays to remind everyone that I was somewhere sunny and when they were probably stuck in the Irish rain! A debate ensued about the behaviour from one generation to another (and how “generations” may not mean years now but months) and that younger generations will adapt to sharing where they are at all times. Only question left to answer is which one of the networks will be king. It seemed Facebook was the popular, but very unpopular, choice for most.

I also managed to get a good chunk of the panel discussion, with loads of feedback from the audience. I’ve uploaded to Vimeo and shared below:

BlogTalk 2010 – Location Based Social Networks Panel Discussion – Led by Mark Cahill from Emer Lawn on Vimeo.

We should all Support

Ruairi McKiernan spoke about in one of the morning slots and I think most of the BlogTalk crowd learned a thing or two about social media for non-profit organisations. The organisation is using social media to activate the young people in Ireland, across a number of different issues or challenges they may face. What we can learn from their case study? Always involve your target audience. want to engage young people, so they have young people on the board and involved in making key decisions for the organisation. And remember to learn from one market to another. Use social media to share ideas and learnings but remember to bring it back to your local audience.

Clixtr presented by Fergus Hurley

I managed to catch the intro to Fergus Hurley’s presentation on video, and have included this snippet below. He walked us through what it takes to go from Galway to Silicon Valley. His network, Clixtr, is one that I admit to not hearing about before the conference and will certainly use now in the future. His presentation had a lot of great resources so looking forward to getting the slides. He also gave us a sneak peak at PicBounce which appears to be a faster version of uploading your pictures to sites like Twitter.

Engagement is Key from NYPL

Deanna Lee of the New York Public Library gave us a great presentation on how she has seen success in the social space. The title of her presentation “Communications 2.0” is something that stuck with me, because she made the point that while the rest of us have moved on to Web 3.0 and beyond, for institutions and corportations, many of them are still stuck in 2.0. I’d agree that this is the challenge from a marketing perspective that we face all the time, where consumers have advanced their behaviour; but organisations are still fearful of diving head first into this space.  The key point from the presentation was that we have to think about ways for our Content to stand out. We cannot live by the “build it and they will come” motto, as social media is about being proactive. We have to create new ways to be noticed in the sea of content.  She refers us back to the Basics of Storytelling and in that to always be relevant.  She gave us a lot of great examples of what makes content stand out, take the Ghostbusters in the NYPL or the Skateboarding dog. As someone who has always been a fan of the library, she was able to draw from this emotion by making the NYPL’s campaign, not a brand’s campaign; but a people’s campaign.

She’s much better at explaining her own points than I am, so I managed to catch a good chunk of her presentation with some references to the videos I speak about above. I’ve shared this video on Vimeo and below:

BlogTalk 2010 – Deanna Lee of New York Public Library and “Communications 2.0” from Emer Lawn on Vimeo.

Additional points worth noting?

In addition to the highlights featured above, there were several presentation that sparked intrigue and got me thinking about all of the things I now have to follow up on! Some of them have been noted here below; but would love for others to add some of their highlights!

  • Consider the Six Degrees of Collaboration; and apply to your LinkedIn strategy. Ted Vickey presented his thoughts on the power of LinkedIn and outlined several ways he has used the network to build his own network and others. Reach out to your network on LinkedIn and source contacts that can help you provide solutions to problems. His example outlined Hank Von Ess’ iPhone battery problem, which was posted as a question on LinkedIn, and then resulted in six different collaborators able to help provide a product that is now able to extend the battery life for our iPhones.
  • How often do we ask ourselves “Who Am I?” when thinking about how we are presented in our social profiles online. Gabriela Avran (University of Limerick) and Brian O’Donovan (IBM) presented their academic observations about social identity construction. They outlined IBM’s internal social network, BluePages, as an example for their research. They pointed out that internal social networks are used with promotion in mind. Their slides definately provided some food for thought.
  • A really interesting perspective was provided by Dr. Werner Breitfuss of Hypios, who presented his company’s Problem Solving platform that really shows the power of social media for our future. In my basic understanding of his product, Hypios helps people Find Experts with Social Media. If you have a problem that needs a solution, source the people that know the answers best. Take his Kraft example, where a small restaurant in Italy ended up providing the answer to something that Kraft was trying to solve on their own. The small restaurant was found using social media.
  • I haven’t commented on Ronan Skehill’s argument for why “Apps are Bad” because I’m afraid I’d need to do a bit of research before I would be able to participate in that debate! 🙂 His presentation did prove valuable in providing us with key stats about the future of Native Apps vs. Web Apps; and really drilled down the growth in this area. I had heard about Android’s growth, but didn’t realise that they had increased market share from 2% to 10% from Q1 2009 to Q1 2010.
  • And lastly, Laurent Walter Goix of Telecom Italia was able to give us insight into our changing social behaviour from a mobile network’s perspective. His presentation was all about Context. He outlined that we must always be Context Aware, considering the Where, When, How, By What, and By which network? WIth this context awareness, there will a new role for telcos; whereby they may become the “Context sensors” for the data we share and consume across the mobile social web. He also pointed out the importance of being filtering or sensoring content on your Mobile due to the small display screens on mobile devices.

All in all, the conference was really valuable for a social media marketer/enthusiast due to its fresh perspective in speakers, as mentioned in my post about BlogTalk 2010 Day One! From someone looking at social media with my Brand and Organisation hat on, it was useful to think about the Technology behind what makes social networks work. And the debates about the future of social media left us all buzzing. I look forward to staying in touch with those that myself and Aoife Murphy (of Radical) met along the way; as well as keeping up to speed on the blogs, videos and opinions shared from the speakers on the day. Thanks to John Breslin and other event organisers.

Please do share more feedback on the event here or view more Highlights from the event over at


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