When: Wednesday, May 28, 2008, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, the same day that Portland Lunch 2.0 @ Vidoop was taking place, though I attended the networking an hour prior and then left for Strands Beta meetup 45 minutes after the panel started.
Where: Hotel Deluxe.
What It’s About: Panel discussion about viral/nontraditional advertising through social media (does it work? To what extent?) which, while may seem a bit late (hello, this is what social media consultant has been doing for the last two years,) is also a subject that’s ripe for the picking now that it has moved into the ‘Best Practice’ area (But I want a Facebook, Hi5, Friendster and Orkut account for our Research and Trend department, too.)
Speaking of which, I suspect that the reason why a particular social network succeeds in one region but not the other (Facebook, for example, doesn’t find heavy adoption in Asia, while MySpace doesn’t with Europe) not only has to do with adoption rate, but ultimately with feature that’s suited to that region’s culture. The question is, what features in specific?
Anyway, as with any panel discussions, this one features a moderator and four panelists:
- Hashem Bajwa from Goodby Silverstein and HP.
- John Furrier from furrier.org, who LiveTweeted the whole thing and even bounced some questions to his followers.
- Michael Berkley from SplashCast, a social network video sharing service that Hillary Clinton apparent uses in her campaign.
- Dave Allen (yes, the ex-bassist of Gang of Four) from nemo design and Pampelmoose, one of the better record labels out there.
This is where it gets interesting, because two of them are agency folks, and the other two comes from the tech industry. This backgrounds reflected on their answers.
Note: I was only able to attend the first 45 minutes of LiSA, and thus am only able to post this passing note. Please feel free to contribute to this (Gaia Brown, I’m looking at you)
*** BEGIN VERY INCOMPLETE EVENT NOTATION, WITH MUCH APOLOGIES TO HASHEM FOR NOT BEING ATTENTIVE ENOUGH TO TRANSCRIBE HIS RESPONSES ***
Ken Lewis, Moderator (M): What is social media?
Dave Allen (DA): Social media fulfills a basic human need for connectedness and validation that manifest in the form of staying in touch with family and friends. In the social media space, brands needs reach out to certain groups of people. But who are those people and how can brands reach them?
Michael Berkley (MB): Social media can benefit brands if it can be inserted into the conversation. It has the ability to ambassadors among consumers. Advertising on social media means leveraging your consumer base to tell your story and be evangelists. The risk: it can backfire, because it’s about brands being invited in by consumer (not pushing in onto the consumer,) or, at least, accepted into the conversation.
John Furrier (JF): There’s one thing that’s different about Web 2.0. Web 1.0 is about website and personalized, self-serve advertising (‘self-serve’ means that audience can click if they like to or not click if they don’t. Clicks generate leads.) On Web 2.0, it’s still personal, but also about relationship with your peers and group—in other words: not self-service. Very random and disaggregated.
M: Give examples where client uses social media beyond traditional content.
JF: I’m live tweeting this question and gets answer back. THAT is social media.
MB: Can banner ads on Facebook be considered ‘social’ or ‘spam’?
*** END EVENT NOTATION ***
Technicality: ☝ ☝ ½
Translation: Think of it as a primer and best practices in social media advertising. A lot of the discussion are comprised of common (yet rarely practiced) senses. Assuming that you join one or several social networking website (and if not then pray, tell, what’s wrong with you?), technicality shouldn’t pose a problem.
Interestingness: ☝ ☝ ☝ ½
Translation: If you’re an ad guy or creative, go for the information. If you’re a geek, go for the networking. This experience may be an eye opening one for creative professionals, but not so much for the nerds among us—because we practically live and breathe it. Again, not that one approach or format is necessarily better than the other. Had you go to a more nerd-like social media panel, the discussion will get way more technical and subject specific, thus deterring creatives to contribute.
What I Learned From The Event In Six Words:
It’s about facilitating conversations, not advertising.