The Second Annual Social Media Week kicked off today at the Paley Center in New York with more than 100 digital innovators and members of the press in attendance.
Instantly stealing the show was PepsiCo, which this morning unveiled its Refresh campaign. Pepsi will donate $20 million to ideas big and small that strive to move communities forward, said Frank Cooper, Chief Consumer Engagement Officer of PepsiCo. For more information, check out our Q&A with Cooper right here on the SMW blog.
This campaign comes on the heels of PepsiCo’s ongoing commitment to top-to-bottom rebranding with social media platforms. Starting today, anyone can go online to submit ideas and vote on their favorites.
Toby Daniels, Social Media Week’s founder, pulled off an impressive lineup this year. He doubled global participation to 6,000 and scheduled nearly 200 events for the week that will take place simultaneously in New York, San Francisco, Berlin, London, Toronto and San Paulo.
A testament to the conference’s multinational scope, festival organizers in each city made real-time cameos during the opening press event to share their event lineups for the week.
“Through these events and real-time communication tools like Twitter and Meebo, we are fostering cross-collaboration and learning how to leverage social media for future benefits,” Daniels said.
Pip Marquez de la Plata of Meebo – Social Media Week’s Global Headline Sponsor – discussed the difficulty of defining social media. He read a Wikipedia definition to the audience before adding, “We need this week to further clarify what this media is and what it can do.”
Ian Shafer, founder of Deep Focus, was especially passionate. He told the crowd that social media brings us closer to the world around us. For example, it can force government to listen to people and get corporations to listen to customers.
“This week, I’m really looking forward to conflicting points of view,” he said. “We can agree that everything in media has been disrupted. And everyone thinks they are right — which is exciting.”
These lively debates will increase as the week’s events unfold. Don’t forget to continue the conversation right here on the blog (via comments), and on Twitter by using the #smw hashtag.