Because with instagram, everyone is a professional photographer.
blogworld la recap.
When I won a one-day pass (a $377 value) from John Chow to BlogWorld LA, I was beyond excited. The conference is the social media nerd’s mecca. Most of the top thought leaders and industry influencers were in attendance, and it was tough to choose which speaker events to attend.
I went solo to the conference, and made sure to get there early on Saturday. I only had one day to enjoy it. I did feel a bit young there — it seemed like most people were in their thirties, with well-established careers as marketing and social media managers. I went around to the exhibits and saw many startups, trying to get the word out about their products. Blekko was one of the more interesting ones. It’s basically a search engine that cuts out the spam by having Wikipedia-like editors for topics. I’m looking forward to playing with it a bit more, but I’m wondering who exactly they’re targeting with this new search engine based on “slashtags” — since very few searchers would leave Google.
Larger companies like Ford also had booths in the exhibit hall; incidentally, Ford is on a whole other level of digital engagement with their customers. There was a demo of a community they have, where you can create your own Mustang and rate it by interacting with other members of the community. I missed Scott Monty‘s (Social Media Manager for Ford) keynote speech on Friday unfortunately, but I had no idea how in-touch the company was with utilizing social media.
I decided to skip Jason Falls‘ keynote in order to see David Armano, EVP of Global Innovation at Edelman Digital. Edelman is a big player in the PR industry, and its digital hub is a huge thought leader in digital media. David spoke about how chaotic social media initiatives aren’t enough anymore – the effort has to be integrated throughout the entire organization, creating a social business. David constantly creates graphs and infographics on the topic, and this influence map blew my mind. I even got to meet him after the event – the first person of the day whom I had interacted with on Twitter, and then met in real life.
I went over to see Shel Holtz‘s presentation on why companies should love open employee access to social media. According to Shel, 54% of companies block social media access at work! He talked about every argument that the c-suite would make in favor of blocking access, and had a logical rebuttal for each. The main point was originally from Jay Baer: If you don’t trust your employees to do social media well, you don’t have a social media problem, you have a hiring problem. Social media crises are driven by lack of internal education and lack of a trained staff to handle the situation. I also thought it was interesting how Shel said that social customer relationship management can only happen if the employees are allowed to participate. If the employees are well-trained on how to use social media to respond to problems, customer service magic can happen.
Finally, I was able to see DJ Waldow‘s presentation on using social media to land a job. His personal example was bold, and his presentation had a lot of great tips for job seekers and for people looking to improve their online presence in general. I also got to meet him afterwards – person number 2 from Twitter to real life!
Even though I wish I could have attended all three days of the conference, I was lucky to even get to one. I met some amazing people, learned a lot, and got re-energized for the second half of this quarter in business school. Thanks BlogWorld — see you next year, if I can afford it — or if I win another contest!View comments →