This morning (April 29, 2008), I (Roger) attended a social media breakfast in Cincinnati at the Holiday Inn in Newport that was “headlined” or “emceed” (whatever term you’d prefer to toss in here works for me) by Albert Maruggi. One of the primary reasons I decided to attend was that I’ve listened to Albert’s podcast, The Marketing Edge, for quite some time and have enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s always nice to meet the human behind all of it in person versus text in an e-mail, blog posting, or Twitter exchange. Additionally, there are a few people that I’ve interacted with on-line that I thought would be nice to meet in person so this was a great opportunity to do that although early mornings are extremely rough on me and always have been.
Early morning whining aside, here’s a rundown from my perspective of the event:
Attendees in Cincinnati:
The group that made it out for the event wasn’t large in numbers, but it was obvious that there were a lot of talented folks that had opinions about social media and its place within business. WIth apologies ahead of time to anyone I neglect to mention, here is a list of people in attendance along with links to their business , primary content outlet (such as a blog or podcast site) or Twitter profile (in case you wish to follow them).
- Albert Maruggi, Provident Partners and host of The Marketing Edge podcast series
- Chris Bergman – Photrade and Hyperphocal.com
- Andy Osier – Halftone Media
- Mandy Jenkins – Cincinnati Enquirer
- Chris Ainsworth – formerly of Cincinnati Enquirer
- Aaron Forgue – GroupTweet.com
- Kevin Gerl
- Michelle Lentz –
- Kevin Dugan – FRCH Design
- Jason Falls – SocialMediaExplorer.com
- Shawn Morton – Profilactic.com
- Krista Neher – Photrade
- Cliff Ravenscraft – gspn.tv
- Scott Hoffman – one of Albert’s clients new to social media scene
- Debba Haupert – girlfriendology.com
- Daniel Johnson, Jr.
Twitter Implications for Business
The conversation began with Jason Falls sharing his experience about Twittering about Robby Gordon for Jim Beam for the Baja 1000 and how this took Jim Beam to a new level of marketing and created a unique following. Other drivers’ crews got wind of what Jason was doing and sent him updates to Twitter about them as well. This spurred on further conversation about Twitter and how it can be used for business in addition to getting to know someone better.
The recent earthquake in the Ohio Valley that shook Louisville and the Ohio Valley a bit was discussed. It was mostly agreed that all of the information the media, local and national, was begging for was readily available on Twitter if anyone elected to look there, but they seemed to request information and personal stories through more traditional mechanisms such as the telephone and e-mail. Jason estimated that it took something like 37 minutes from the time he first noticed something on Twitter about the earthquake to when a media outlet reported something.
Albert offered up the Next Newsroom initiative and how that may impact journalism as we know it today which sparked a good portion of our friendly debates this morning.
Citizen Journalism – The Future?
There was a lengthier debate about citizen journalism and how that can be effectively managed and embraced by traditional media. The suggestion was made that print media HAS to get their story right the first time whereas on-line media (blogs in particular) can go back and edit their story should there be inaccuracies. In print, this can be very damaging so traditional media errs heavily on the side of caution and verifiable sources before running with a story. Things will likely remain this way for print because of the ramifications of erroneous reporting.
It was also suggested that it’s nearly impossible for traditional media to open up the publication gates to allow herds of citizen journalists into the fray because the average reader won’t automatically get the fact that it’s not a trained writer and that the facts may not be 100% verified versus someone expressing their thoughts and opinions like they can with blogs and social media.
Albert stated that the Next Newsroom Project is offering training for citizen journalists so that they are more responsible with their reporting and can become a valued resource to the community they aim to serve. Something to keep an eye on.
Some random thoughts and out-takes:
- Newsvine is good at weeding out quality content
- Digg is not so good for community based stuff yet is good for articles and content discovery
- Cinplify.com was mentioned as a local (Cincinnati) resource that is similar to Digg
- Albert mentioned how StumbleUpon is driving a lot of traffic to his sites while others mentioned how Twitter is doing the same for theirs (personal note: I’ve seen about 1/4 of our recent referral traffic from Twitter to Zing’s main site)
- Archive.org keeps track of the history of sites and its content
- Think about how you’re going to brand yourself before you enter into the social media sphere; if you’re to use your full name, consider the implications down the road should you wish to “re-invent” yourself–that history isn’t going to disappear quickly
- Any site based on an algorithm can be gamed because it generally takes just one element of the algorithm to exploit it; once that element is figured out, the game is on!
Overall, this was a top notch meeting and a lot of healthy debate took place. I’m glad I made the trek and met more interesting people that I can socialize with on and off-line. I am looking forward to interacting more with those in attendance this morning and learning various perspectives on social media as they pertain to business. Thanks to all of you!
If you were in attendance, what was your take? Did I miss something major? Did I spell your name wrong? 😉 Please let me hear from you.