The Social Web at Work – Parachute 2009

Parachute, a New Zealand Christian Music Festival held at Mystery Creek, Hamilton, New Zealand, has recently finished and, while our church had its share of musicians playing at the event, I started receiving a fair number of followers during and after the event – even without attending, or referring to it. It would appear that the power of the social net is such that, by association, newcomers to a community will seek out others to follow and often it’s solely the adjacency to someone they currently follow that you will be selected as a person of potential interest.

One of these people is Vaughn Rivett who took the initiative to create a twitter identity for the event and used it to post information and public service announcements over the weekend. Vaughn has recently published an article on his blog outlining the process and what happened which makes for some interesting reading. I’ve already posted a comment suggesting the inclusion of hash tags for next years event, but click over there and make your own comments as to how he (and the organisers) could embrace the social web to gain even more traction for next year.

Since Vaughn started following me, we’ve had a bit of back and forth starting from an issue I was having posting a comment on one of his other articles, moving on to the fact I own a EEE netbook and resulting in him using some of his business contacts to actually find me a car charger that I was looking for prior to Christmas (and as a result, being able to help some other EEE owners looking for the same). Again, the social web strikes, connecting two people who didn’t know about each other until a few days ago, and resulting in unprompted offers of assistance to solve a problem.

Edit: As I drafted this article up, Vaughn has tweeted out (using a suggested hashtag) a request for retweets to do just this.

Awesome the speed of the web isn’t it?

Speaking at the UCB International ‘Online Media’ Forum

Last week I was fortunate enough to be asked to present to a group of broadcasters at the UCB International On-line Media Forum. My topic was Digital Content, Communities and Conversations – specifically, I looked at the strategies and technology choices available to a new entrant into this space.

Some very good discussion came out of the session and, despite a few interruptions due to the arrival and departure of the Prime Minister, we covered off my initial slide pack and then delved deep into what these guys wanted to know about. The session actually went 90 minutes overtime as the attendees started investigating the options now available to them and postulating on what issues they may run into going forward.
This was a pro-bono presentation for me as I believe in the work the group does (and the initial approach was made to me via a family friend). Nonetheless, I got a lot of value out of the session through exposure to thinking that was markedly different to that I’d previously encountered when discussing this subject. Mostly this was because of the completely clean slate approach they were taking to creating and engaging with communities online.
One issue which received a lot of focus was how, given the need to maintain some absolute truths, a community can steer itself while remaining consistent with what was believed to be the ‘right’ message. While on the surface this may go against the freedom of communities, there is a place for such control when discussing some subjects – especially those of a belief-based nature. My feeling is that, while initially a fair amount of control may be exerted on the conversations in the communities these people create, over time this control will be passed to the group who will self moderate, or take more ‘edgy’ discussion to another corner of the web.
This is something which I believe will play out as the group starts experimenting in the space and I trust that the recommendations I was able to make will be considered and acted upon, rather than blindly rushing into the whole Web 2.0 trend without understanding what the issue is they are trying to address. I’ve seen a whole lot of companies that the ‘Ready, Shoot, Aim’ approach to the long term detriment of their ability to integrate with the 2.0 space.

Guys, I wish you all the best as you venture into the new frontier for your business – share the love

Getting my (Online) ‘Lifestream’ going…

Photo by januszbcI’ve been using Twitter, Facebook, and friendfeed (and others) for quite some time now and, after reading this blog entry and clicking around Bwanas site a little, I found his lifestream page and decided to give it a go myself. Here’s how I did it (under WordPress)…

First we need to grab two plugins, Profilactic and SimplePie Core. SimplePie is merely an enabler and performance booster for those visiting the page, Profilactic is the plugin that does the heavy lifting…

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Twitter, live feedback and THAT Sarah Lacy Interview…

EDIT: Something went VERY weird with my links here (good for Silkcharm though 🙂 ) I’ll have to find the articles and re-edit – sorry! -Rob)

Back Story: Sarah Lacy is a writer for BusinessWeek who conducted an interview at South by Southwest (SXSW). She didn’t do a good job, in fact, she did a really bad job and there are a number of dissections of her interview (including this very good one) and the flood of Twitters which occurred during and after the interview. There is some video, some good quality – but incomplete and some bad quality.

And now you’re up to speed… on with the post.

I feel almost sorry for Ms Lacy, indeed I would feel sorry for her if (from the video) she had actually appeared to care about what her interviewee was saying (watch for the body language and lack of eye contact). She got a hard time from the crowd and ended up losing it, but her major failing has been that she still hasn’t been able to admit that she handled things badly and went so far as to tweet back to the Twittering community from her account “seriously screw all you guys. I did my best to ask a range of things” along with a few other tweets where she appears to think the interview was a success and what a rough day she’s had, but how she will soldier on.

Continue reading “Twitter, live feedback and THAT Sarah Lacy Interview…”