5 Minutes With Faris Yakob

Named one of 10 modern day Madmen by Fast Company, Advisory Board Member, Faris Yakob, shares his take on current state, and future, of social media.

1. What is your or your organization’s greatest success with social media to date?

My greatest success with social media to date has been, without doubt, the lovely people who I have met and become friends with. Professionally, probably a series of socially created and distributed documentaries I conceived of for BMW first electric vehicle.

2. What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the emerging technology and/or new media space right now?

Robots. I truly believe the next big megamonopoly company, like MSFT and GOOG, will be built on robots.

3. What speaker or event are you most looking forward to at SMW NYC?

Anil Dash: We Are All Makers: Participating in the Design of Our Future: Dale Dougherty and Anil Dash
Alexis Ohanian: Open and Unfiltered: Defending the Internet, Featuring Alexis Ohanian and Eli Pariser
Cindy Gallup (because she never fails to include sex toys): Money, News & Sex: Stories of Challenging 3 Industries from Cindy Gallop, Jessica Jackley & Katie Orenstein

4. What prompted you to join Social Media Week’s Advisory Board?

I enjoy helping people when I can. I think a conference, a trade body, can function as a community hub, a way of giving people a voice and helping them help each.

5. What is the most creative way you’ve seen social media used?

What does most creative mean? I think we use the word that way we mean least obvious connection point. So, The Curators of Sweden, whilst brilliant, is so strategically relevant that it’s hard to push it as most creative, in this sense. Social, new media artists, I think help push the boundaries of the possible, beyond solutions: art can be R&D for humanity. The endless reviews on Amazon, Wikipedia itself, the composite creativity of the many, I find those things staggering.
And, um, something on Facebook.

Faris Yakob is a strategist, writer, public speaker, creative director and geek. Most recently he was Chief Innovation Officer of MDC and founding partner of Spies&Assassins, the creative technology boutique. Previously, he was Chief Digital Officer at McCann Erickson, and Digital Ninja at Naked Communications. He’s won and judged numerous awards, strategic and creative, served as chairman of the Content&Contact and Integrated juries for the Clios, created the NEW category for the London International Awards, and teaches at Miami Ad School. He was named one of the top 50 creatives in the world by the Clios, and one of 10 modern day Madmen by Fast Company. He writes and speaks on technology, media, brands and creativity, all over the world and was featured in Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. If you want him to write, speak, think about things or have ideas for you, you can find him online @faris and farisyakob.com.

 

5 Minutes with BuzzFeed’s Jon Steinberg

We sat down with SMWNYC Supporting Sponsor Buzzfeed’s Jon Steinberg to talk journalism, branding and more. BuzzFeed is the leading social news organization, intensely focused on delivering high-quality original reporting, insight, and social content across a rapidly expanding array of subject areas. Here’s what he had to say:

What is BuzzFeed’s greatest success with social media to date?
I’d largely attribute it to our singular focus on social, which really comes from Jonah’s vision and focus for the company from day one. Our technology, editorial, and ad products all focus on creating and optimizing things that excite and inspire people to share. This has allowed us to grow the site rapidly and do only truly social advertising in lieu of banners.

What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the emerging technology and/or new media space right now?
Well, it’s certainly the big move to social and mobile. And I think that’s one trend. This summer, the BuzzFeed Partner, which includes 300 million unique visitors from sites like Time, Daily Mail, and Huff Post got more traffic in aggregate from Facebook than from Google. And at BuzzFeed we now get about 30% to 40% of traffic from mobile. People are literally discovering and consuming media in a completely different channel then even a few years ago.

What are you looking forward to most at SMWNYC 2013?
I always like to hear about what brands that I’m unfamiliar with are doing. It’s always a great place to get ideas, and the sessions tend to always have people who are eager to chat after their panels. I love catching a few sessions each day.

Tell us about your goals for SMW. As the 2013 Official Supporting Sponsor and a host of several events, what do you hope attendees will take away from the experience?
I hope that people who have never heard of us will get to understand what BuzzFeed does in Social Advertising and that those who are curious already will attend events and panels where we can answer their questions.

What is the most creative way you’ve seen social media used?
I love these new social illustrations and infographics we’re doing for brands like AT&T and AMC’s Walking Dead.

…………………

It’s a new genre for our social ad products that our new Chief Creative Officer Jeff Greenspan has rolled out.  They are very native to the web are a designed to be shareable and relatable to fans (of say Zombies) or people interested in a given area (Classic Literature).

This year, our global theme is “Open & Connected: Principles for a Collaborative World.” How does BuzzFeed embody or support this idea? 
In many ways BuzzFeed is a site that couldn’t exist without a connected world where people collaborated to share and and inform each other with all varieties of content. BuzzFeed is the oposite of an isolated, individual in front-of-a-disconnected-terminal scenario.

What brands do you think are leading the way in innovation with social and digital?
I look every week at the campaigns we’re running and think about which one interests me the most and why. I’d honestly say the answer is different every week. This week I’m loving the AT&T and AMC campaigns. From a longer term perspective, GE and Virgin Mobile have been working with us in a deep and long term fashion and are consistently pushing and innovating in what it means to be a social, always-on publisher.

 
We couldn’t be more excited to have Buzzfeed on board for SMW NYC! Stay tuned to the special announcements coming out on Buzzfeed, like this video reminding us how to do social media. Then, see them in action during the week at JWT with Genuine Appeal — Creativity and Authenticity in the Social Age on Wednesday, February 20th; at The Golden Age of Storytelling on Thursday at Hearst; Longform in a Shortform World at 92Y on Friday; and at our Opening Reception on Tuesday!

5 Minutes with Susan McPherson

(Photo: Susan McPherson, third from the left, at SMW NYC 2012)

Next up in our Advisory Board interview series is Susan McPherson, Senior Vice President and Director of Global Marketing at Fenton Communications:

1. What is you or your organization’s greatest success with social media to date?

With Fenton’s support, I’ve had the opportunity to launch and grow #CSRchat, a biweekly Twitter chat that focuses on a range of corporate social responsibility issues. Over the last two years, I’ve facilitated conversations with a growing group of extremely intelligent and engaged people who come to the CSR field from a variety of perspectives. Special guests have ranged from Microsoft’s Citizenship Team to reporting guru Elaine Cohen to the Inteland Cisco CSR teams to the Director of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy. It’s amazing to see this community come together twice a month and take a deep dive into important questions, issues, and solutions that drive the CSR field forward. The more rewarding part is when I’m at conferences and events, I get the chance to meet #CSRchat participants in person—and they already feel like old friends.

2. What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the emerging technology and/or new media space right now?

There are so many exciting things happening in the technology space, but I’m partial to innovations that use new media to create social change. Social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and corporations are doing amazing things to improve the lives of communities across the globe. For an example, check out 10×10, a groundbreaking global campaign that uses documentary film, photos, blogs, videos, books, social media, and strategic partnerships to deliver a single message: educating girls in developing nations will change the world. With Intel as a founding partner, 10×10 really exemplifies a storytelling-driven campaign that strategically integrates relevant media channels, relationships, and events—all with the purpose of changing the world.

3. What speaker or event are you most looking forward to at SMW NYC?

Fenton is co-hosting “Giving Gangnam Style,” an interactive ideathon with 92Y, Mashable, and the UN Foundation centered around #GivingTuesday, the new national day of giving that launched last fall. The success of the inaugural Giving Tuesday proved that social is transforming how people give and that it’s turning everyday citizens into philanthropists. At this event, we’ll invite participants to share ideas and announce plans for how to participate in Giving Tuesday 2013. Based on the current attendee list, I truly cannot wait to see what the audience comes up with. It promises to be an inspiring and unique event. Another event I’m particularly excited about is “Money, News & Sex: Stories of Challenging Three Industries from Cindy Gallop, Jessica Jackley and Katie Orenstein.” I count all three as amazing friends who have paved tremendous paths for women everywhere.

4. What prompted you to join Social Media Week’s Advisory Board? What do you think is SMW’s greatest value add to the tech/media space?

I believe social media is a wonderful tool for facilitating connections, generating engagement, building communities, and inspiring change. But we all have to remember that it’s just a tool. Without offline engagement and relationships, social media loses a lot of its value. That’s what I think is so great about Social Media Week. It celebrates what’s so great about social media, but brings us all physically together to do so, creating a unique space where offline and online engagement fuse together, and paving the way for true innovation.

5. What is the most creative way you’ve seen social media used?

It’s not the most recent, but I LOVE Tipp-Ex’s YouTube Tippexperience. Essentially, you watch a YouTube video titled “A Hunter Shoots a Bear.” The hunter in the video then reaches for the Tipp-Ex white-out tape (sitting in an ad to the right of the frame), crosses out “shoots,” and invites you to choose your own verb. Depending on what you choose (from “kisses” to “punches” to “eats”), the video will change accordingly. So cool and shareable. Check it out and try it for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/user/tippexperience

Susan McPherson is a serial connector, passionate cause marketer, writer and corporate responsibility expert. As SVP/Director of Global Marketing at Fenton Communications, she focuses on creating visibility for the firm running its CSR practice. She’s a regular writer and contributor for the Harvard Business Review, Triple Pundit and Forbes and has 20+ years experience in marketing, public relations, sustainability communications. Prior to joining Fenton, McPherson was vice president, CSR services at PR Newswire. McPherson serves on the board of Bpeace, an organization dedicated to assisting women in regions of conflict and post-conflict start businesses and Earth 2 Hub, a London-based innovative media platform for science and technology. She also is a member of Echoing Green’s Social Investment Council and Social Media Week’s New York Advisory Council. Additionally, she serves as an adviser to the non-profits: Girls Who Code, Plant A Fish, She’s The First, The Adventure Project and The OpEd Project. Recently, McPherson was selected as a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador.

 

5 Minutes With LiveWorld


Photo: LiveWorld CEO, Peter Friedman

Our NYC Opening Party Supporting Sponsor and Event Host, we sat down with LiveWorld to talk all things social media. A user content management company, LiveWorld is a trusted partner to the world’s largest brands, including the number-one companies in retail, CPG, pharmaceutical, and financial/travel services.

1. What is LiveWorld’s greatest success with social media to date?

LiveWorld has hundreds of success stories from our stellar roster of Fortune 500 clients. To name just one story is tough, but to highlight our capabilities: we brought a Fortune 10 brand from an initial social media presence to being the #1 most engaged brand on Facebook worldwide, #1 brand for fans in the US and #1 share of Twitter voice in its category. We achieved this by deploying our proprietary user content management technology and working closely with the client on social strategy, insight analysis, engagement content and moderation.

2. What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the emerging technology and/or new media space right now, as it relates to the health and pharmaceutical sector?

Healthcare is undergoing significant change in this country. Everyone is feeling it, and consumers have more questions regarding their healthcare and an increasing need for emotional and content support from other consumers and brands. Healthcare and Pharma have an unprecedented opportunity to become trusted sources of information and support for consumers, but are constantly caught battling legal and regulatory stipulations that hinder their ability to engage in social media. At LiveWorld, working these issues is our core strength. Our solution ensures regulatory and legal considerations are met through careful content monitoring, moderation, engagement, and crisis management protocols.

3. Tell us about your goals for SMW? What do you hope attendees will take away from your installation and reception?

All brands, including those in healthcare, must be actively engaged in social media across all of their strategically important markets. This worldwide and highly targeted approach to social media can seem complicated and intimidating to many brands that lack the internal resources or knowledge to implement such a program.

Our goal is to impress upon our attendees the importance of a comprehensive social media strategy, integrated implementation approach, and keeping the human element at the forefront.

LiveWorld’s brand clients go beyond just being on social media – they achieve something. The programs we develop with our clients are world class. They protect the brand, obtain actionable insights, and true engagement.

4. What is the most creative way you’ve seen social media used? (This could be a meme, campaign, installation, etc.)

We highly recommend the Walmart Elves Twitter Program and Sprint/Unilever Suave Shampoo In the Motherhood Program. Through creating a dialogue and relationship with consumers, both social media programs have had a transformative power to positively affect the consumer experience and brand loyalty.

5. This year, our global theme is “Open & Connected: Principles for a Collaborative World.” How does LiveWorld support this idea overall?

“Open & Connected” is what we at LiveWorld have been evangelizing for over 28 years. User content moderation and true engagement is a challenging element of social media for many large brands, and we work hard to make sure that everyone’s voice is being heard. Sometimes, however, we encounter harassment, spam and other comments that do not contribute to the conversation. In fact, they detract from it. This is where LiveWorld steps in so that our clients’ fans have a safe and respectful atmosphere in which to interact.

We like to think of social media as the brand’s big, online party. You want to create an engaging memorable party that your customers will recommend and want to come back to. We always ask our clients to consider questions like: “What kind of party are you throwing?”, “Who is invited?”, “What is the topic of conversation?”, “How will your customers experience your brand, when the primary method is through conversations with other customers?”.

Social media is all about human beings connecting, dialoguing, and building relationships. Our approach from strategy, to moderation, to engagement, to actionable insight, keeps that human element at the forefront. If social media is a brand’s party, consider LiveWorld a brand’s party planner who brings the bouncers, ushers and DJ, all to create the best customer experience.

LiveWorld partners with Fortune 500 brands to develop social media strategies user content moderation, engagement, and insight that span across 70 different country-language combinations, over 4,000 social media properties and over 1 million pieces of user content/month. We leverage our backend social content management system technology for scale, quality, and flexibility.

Every piece of user content is seen by a real, human LiveWorld moderator. We create true relationships and understanding among consumers and with the brand.


Make sure you check out Liveworld during SMW NYC when they join up with Pfizer to talk How to Improve Social Media Engagement in Regulated Industries and Consumer Sensitive Markets. It’s bound to be a day full of knowledge and information.

You’ve Built A Fan Base, Now What?

 


EngageSciences was set up to build a platform that would help social media managers deliver measurable return for enterprise marketing departments. So it stands to reason they have partnered with us to sponsor this year’s Advertising and Marketing Content Hub at JWT.

In addition to acting as the sponsor, they have put together an incredible event: You’ve Built A Fan Base, Now What? which explores the idea that while building an engaged fan base is important, CMOs are now looking for tangible proof that measurable commerce and brand value can be driven from social marketing activities. During the event, attendees will learn how famous brands are achieving social marketing success by analyzing, tracking and activating their community to achieve marketing goals.

Leading this panel, is Richard Jones, founder and CEO of Engage Sciences, joined by Brad Spikes, Head of Social Media & Influencer Marketing, North America, Nokia and Gretchen Ramsey, VP, Strategy MRM, who will explain the strategies and tactics they are implementing to acquire fans, engage their followers and amplify the voice of their advocates. They will also illustrate how social content and social data can drive performance across multiple marketing channels, illustrated by the impressive outcomes they achieve.

Though this event is currently full, there’s good news! Pass holders can still walk in and grab a seat. So, if you haven’t snagged one of our passes yet, purchase one here. See you there!

Best in Show: LiveWorld at SMW NYC

With only a few weeks until Social Media Week New York, we are daydreaming constantly about one thing: the opening party. Our partner LiveWorld, a user content management company and trusted partner to the world’s largest brands, is one of several sponsors making it happen. Along with Nokia, BuzzFeed and Whole Foods, LiveWorld is throwing a most fabulous VIP fete at the Metropolitan Pavilion – home to our new Global HQ.

Featuring, interactive installations, a mobile photo studio, a live simulcast lounge and food and drink, the event will mark the 5th anniversary of SMW NYC. As an added bonus, you’ll also have the opportunity to strike a pose at LiveWorld’s flip book photo booth and nab a complimentary copy of Ekaterina Walter’s bestselling book “Think Like Zuck”, which illustrates how to make your mark in the world using the five success principles of Facebook.

(Please note: The Opening event is by invitation only, however, if you wish to attend there are a limited number of Insider Passes available, which grant you access to both the official Opening and Closing events, Ideas Connected at Global HQ and full access to all four Official Content Hubs.)

But LiveWorld didn’t stop there! They, along with Pfizer, are hosting an afternoon long series of events at Pfizer Headquarters, focused on social media engagement for regulated and consumer sensitive markets such as Healthcare, Financial Services and CPG. This event will appeal to communicators and marketers in Healthcare, Pharma and other regulated industries. See the agenda, below:

  • 2 PM to 3 PM: Case StudyBuilding A Global Brand Through Content Marketing, Cleveland Clinic
  • 3 PM to 3:30 PM: Coffee break
  • 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM: Panel — Legal & Marketing Social Media Allies or Enemies
  • 4:30 PM to 5:15 PM: Keynote by Peter Pitts — Social Media and Pharma: The age of Reality
  • 5:15 PM to 6:45 PM: Cocktail Reception

To see the full details of this day, and register for the event, click here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Clear Your Cache

(A Guest Blog by our friends at Breathe Repeat) We aren’t the most tech savvy women, but that didn’t hold us back from building BreatheRepeat.com. Handstands are a breeze compared to the challenges we faced starting this business. Terms like “coding” and “transferring to the live server” and “staging sites”… I mean, could you give it to us in Sanskrit please?

PHP, J Query, SRS, Cache? We didn’t even know we had a cache until our valiant coder, Bennett, asked us to clear it.

“The cache temporarily stores images, scripts, and other parts of websites while you’re browsing,” Bennett explained patiently. “When I make changes to the code you have to clear your cache, so that you can access the new, improved version of the site instead of getting the older version.”

Hmmm, clearing your cache… With a click of the mouse, we can clear away the old stuff that isn’t serving us and let the new, improved version come forward? We started wondering… if it’s a piece of cake to clear your cache in the virtual world, how do we clear our caches in the real, flesh-and-blood world?

The first step is to “build our new code”. Our mind-body-machinery is much more complex than a computer’s, because we are indeed living, breathing beings with many interrelated systems. So, what is the gateway in? Ahhhhh — through the breath. By using our breath and subtly manipulating the posture of our body, we begin to redirect the blood flow and neural impulses in our body which help to carry our biological code.

For updating your code in a flash, we here at Breathe Repeat are big fans of breathing and twisting! Anyone can do it, regardless of fitness level, it’s detoxifying, and it’s something you can do right in your desk chair. Alright… let’s get started.

The double-helix, clear your cache twist maneuver:

  • First things first, sit up so that your breath begins to come and go more easily.
  • Place your left foot firmly on the floor, turned a few degrees to the right.
  • Cross your right leg over your left, and allow your legs to fall to the right naturally – it won’t be much. This will begin to take your hips and torso to the right as well – like you are a winding strand of DNA being built from the ground up. Go with it!
  •  Now place your left hand on your knee and your right hand on the side or back of your chair. Notice if the breath is still coming and going easily – this is as important as keeping the power of your computer turned on.
  • The spine will have the greatest opportunity to twist if you start from the base. So let your pelvis turn, then swivel your low back, then start to engage the arms to wind the upper torso around and up. Still breathing easy?
  •  Now, you’re going to have to look away for a moment, but before you go, here are some tips: Allow the head and neck to follow the twist of the torso rather than lead it. You can even turn your eyes to gaze in the same direction as the twist. Stay as long as the breath remains easy or until your body naturally unwinds back to neutral.
  •  Don’t forget the other side… take your time… we’re in no hurry. Perhaps it’s this last part, this turning of the head for a minute to look away from your computer and gaining a new perspective that helps us wipe the slate clean.

Presto! Consider your cache cleared!

 

You Can Do It: Words of Wisdom from a Social Media Week Veteran

This is a guest post from Joyce Sullivan, founder and CEO of SocMediaFin, which first appeared on our Global SMW blog. February is a tough time to be in NYC. It’s too cold; the holidays are over; spring is still far off; everything seems mundane, except for the arrival of one of the best networking events of the year: Social Media Week (SMW).

I got involved with SMW in Feb 2011, pitching my first event partner idea with an industry colleague. After filling out the very straightforward online SMW event form, we held our breath, and hit the ‘send’ button.

We waited to hear the results, and our topic was picked! Great.

Now, we wondered, could we possibly pull this off, and get anyone to sign up for our obscure topic? Or so we thought, at the time.

Not only did they sign up, we sold out within 2 hours of our selected venue space. What to do? How could we turn away an audience that was looking to soak up the info we were so passionate to share?

Serendipity, itself greeted us, when a larger venue became available and we were able to accommodate our 300+ attendees. For those who’d like to see what it looks like, here’s my very first SMW event info and the videotape: Financial Services Social Media Champions Tell Their Story

Having had such a great experience in Feb 2011, I returned in Feb 2012 again as both:

Speaker and Event planner: Social Media Strategy for Financial Services
Blogger and attendee: My Day as a Social Media Week Speaker

It does include lots of work; so you may ask, why be a SMW event host?

For me, the benefits include:

  • + Increasing your online influence and reputation
  • + Introducing your ideas to the world
  • + Becoming a disruptive innovator

Why I Continue to Host SMW Events

As a veteran Social Media Week event partner, there are numerous reasons I continue to get involved. I love bringing what I know to others who want to learn about social media. It also gives me an opportunity to get to know the SMW team more. The SMW team vibe is positive and supportive. In addition, by hosting an event, I get to meet the most fabulous people from around the globe. I still keep up with folks I have met in person (aka IRL = In Real Life) and those who live-tweeted around the world.


What I’ve Learned as a SMW Host
  • + The best way to hone your craft and knowledge is by sharing it with other from the SMW stage.
  • + Even though you’re only in one city, you have access to over a dozen cities around the world participating in SMW events.
  • + Even if your city is not on the list, you still get to participate virtually. I *attended* a September 2012 London event and blogged about the experience: SMW London: Export is Easier Than You Think

Tips for First Timers

I understand being intimidated. It’s work, but here are my tips to you if you’re considering taking part for the first time!

  • + Just fill out the SMW event form! We were all first timers once. You can do it and your ideas are waiting to be heard.
  • + Once you’re selected – congrats! Give your social media skills a workout by getting your friends and fans to spread the word about your event.
  • + Remember to tweet me up @JoyceMSullivan for SMW love and support. SMW event alums are here for you first timers!
  • + Keep working your SMW tweets and hashtags to get the word out about your event.
  • + Get all your details squared away ahead of time and ask questions of the SMW staff earlier than later. They can ensure you are prepared so you can rock your audience.

You can do it. No matter which city you’re in, you can make it happen. Remember, you are the only one who knows what you know.

You are amazing. Let everyone at SMW know it. Let me know it, too!



Joyce Sullivan is founder and CEO of SocMediaFin, a social media consulting firm for financial services, specialty firms and industry executives: http://SocMediaFin.com. With over 20 years experience as Vice President with firms including, Citi, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo/First Fidelity, Ms. Sullivan brings a seasoned industry perspective to the emerging world of social media. As an advisory board member of the Financial Women’s Association, she serves as their Chief Digital Strategist. Ms. Sullivan holds an MBA from the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of NY in International Finance and Marketing, a BA in Education from University of Saint Joseph, Connecticut, and the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation from the Project Management Institute.

The Three Minute Reboot

(A guest blog by our friends at Breathe Repeat)

You’ve been working your ass off, and now you’re heading into Social Media Week. It doesn’t look like you’ll be getting R and R anytime soon. Instead of heading out to Jack’s for your fourth latte of the day, why not try a little yoga instead? Don’t worry. We’re not talking about schlepping to a yoga studio and taking an hour-and-a-half class that will leave you sweaty and in desperate need of a shower. This is something that only takes three minutes, and can be done in the privacy of your own cubicle. It won’t hurt a bit. We promise.

First things first.

Uncross your legs and put your feet on the floor. Feels weird, right? Sit up a little taller. You know, like you’re proud of the work you’ve accomplished today. Take an easy breath. We here at Breathe Repeat never advocate taking “deep breaths” – no need to be an overachiever when it comes to breathing. You do enough overachieving in your morning meeting, spin class and in your efforts to take on the world. For the next few minutes, just let your belly be soft – don’t tighten it or try to suck it in – just let it be fluid and allow the breath to just come in. Then let it go. Feels good, right? Do it again. Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Repeat.

Now it’s time to move your body! Place your left arm next to your desk and lean into it. Reach your right arm up in the air and as you press into your left arm, bend up and over to the left, stretching out the right side of your body. Press into your feet. Play around with it a little bit. Lean forward, lean back. Make more space for an easy breath. There is no right or wrong way! If you’re breathing mindfully, you’re doing yoga. It’s that simple!

Switch sides. Now your right arm is next to your desk and your leaning into it. Lift your left arm up and arc over to the right. Press into your feet. Inhale lean back a little. Exhale lean forward. Explore.

Notice a difference? Thought so.

Sometimes when everything goes haywire with your computer, you need to reboot, right? Consider this your own personal reset button. Sometimes you need to shut down your newsfeed for a minute, ground your feet on the floor, make some space in your body and breathe easy before revving up again.

Now, at the very least, no matter what else happens during the day, you’ll know you’ve done something for you. This will give you a great deal more patience when your computer freezes, your hotspot doesn’t work, your Friday meeting gets pushed back an hour, or no one likes your recent status update on Facebook.

You can do it.

Always,
Breathe Repeat

 

Event Spotlight: Internet Zero to Rock Star Shero

If you didn’t think Google+ alone could make you a household name, think again. Singer songwriter Daria Musk went from internet zero to rock star Shero in the span of a 6.5 hour online concert.

To learn more about Daria’s remarkable story and the ways in which social media can double as a star making machine, join her along with iCrossing’s Vice President of Marketing, David Deal, and Google+ Business Marketing Manager, Caro McCarthy on Wednesday, February 20th from 2:30 – 4:00pm at Hearst’s Lifestyle and Culture Content Hub. Register here.

For a quick look at Daria’s back story, check out this video:

SMW 101: The Full SMW NYC Experience

Today is the day. Registration is open. Conversations are starting. Excitement is building! If this is your first Social Media Week, however, you probably have a few questions. No problem. We’re here to break it down for you:

What is it? Social Media Week is a global event that explores how technology is shaping our lives, and how social media is impacting society, culture and economies around the world. And you’re just in time for our next series of activities — happening, simultaneously, in 10 cities around the globe — February 18th through 22nd.

Interested? You can attend SMWNYC in person or join via our SMW Livestream – which you can also access from your phone when you download our Social Media Week app. To participate:

1. Create an account or Log-in

2. Register for Events

• Visit the Schedule page and identify the events you would like to attend

• Click “Attend” (Note: A small number of our event partners choose to use 3rd-party technologies to process registration. If this is the case, the event page will clearly provide instructions on how to access the 3rd-party event registration page)

• Verify your registration by going to your profile and selecting “My Schedule

• For those joining virtually, events eligible for streaming can be identified by a camera icon on the schedule. The corresponding livestream link will be updated as soon as we have it.

• We will continue to add events through February, so keep checking back!

3. Purchase a Pass
(Though most SMW events are free, we’re shaking things up this year by introducing our first Global HQ and a number of passes that will provide a more exclusive experience. Note: if you would like to attend events at the Global HQ a pass is required.)

Insider Pass: Full access to ALL Hubs, Global HQ, VIP Opening & Closing Parties, guide & special offers. No pre-registrations needed. No walkups.

Global HQ Pass: Full access to events, classes, lounges and more at our new Global HQ (pass required), plus special offers.

Hub Pass: Unlimited access at this Hub, plus special offers. No walkups.

4. Volunteer:
Interested in a more immersive experience? Volunteer! SMWNYC relies upon volunteers to make SMW a reality. Checking in attendees and providing assistance to speakers and panelists are only a few of the many critical roles that volunteers play. Not sure what to expect, find out what past volunteer Amelia Shroyer had to say.

We’re looking forward to the most rewarding SMW NYC yet. Here’s to you for being a part of it!

Technology & Collective Intelligence: A Recipe For Impact And Success

(Part 3 of 3 in the Architects, Inventors and Collaborators Blog series.)

It’s no secret that our world has become increasingly social. I wonder, however, if those outside the technology industry have paid mind to the way in which technology has become intrinsically linked with collaboration.

Whether crowdstorming, crowdsourcing or crowdfunding, hackathons or strategic alliances, technology has become a vehicle for our world’s brain trust, and a way to tackle the most pressing issues of our time. Organizations and individuals can utilize these frameworks to problem solve, create usable software, discover new ideas and prototypes, pool money to fund initiatives, outsource tasks and even to save lives.

Technology paired with our collective intelligence is the ultimate recipe for impact and success.

Speaker Tonya Surman embodies this collaborative ethos. The founding executive director and current CEO of the Centre for Social Innovation, Tonya’s work revolves around building shared spaces and fostering cooperation among networks of social innovators. Her latest book, The Community Bond: An Innovation in Social Finance, is a testament to the efficacy of this approach, as CSI renovated its Annex location by raising $2 million dollars through community bonds.

Not just allowing, but pushing for open innovation and alliance building is critical to our future. As is incentivizing the Architects, Inventors and Collaborators that are rethinking traditional structures and developing new frameworks, manifesting their ingenuity and facilitating partnerships for impact, respectively.

One person who does this brilliantly is speaker and Quirky Founder & CEO, Ben Kaufman. To date, Quirky has developed 288 products with the help of 188 retail partners and 328,000 investors. By removing barriers for inventors, he has been able to bring two new consumer products to market each week, and share revenue with the people who helped to inform and produce them.

Essentially, Ben architected a new way of producing by connecting inventors with a larger community of collaborators: everything this year’s theme stands for.

Join Tonya, Ben and a number of other speakers at our Global HQ on Thursday, February 21st, when we continue the discussion on how to create and embody a more open, connected and collaborative world. We look forward to seeing you there.

Inventors: Blow Shit Up

As I began writing this blog, Part 2 of 3 in the Architects, Inventors, and Collaborators blog series, the name Cindy Gallop was top of mind.

You could say she’s notorious (befitting, as her apartment was once the set of a late Christopher Wallace music video) for her radical approaches to marketing, technology and advertising.

A household name in the UK, she was central to advertising firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s expansion into the Asia Pacific region and the US, where she served as the Chair. In 2003, Advertising Women of New York named her Advertising Woman of the Year, and in 2006 she started her own consultancy, Cindy Gallop LLC. It is Cindy’s work in the last three years, however, which appears to fuel her now cultish following.

During a 2009 TED talk, Gallop launched the website MakeLoveNotPorn.com, a forum for discussion on sex. Just four months ago she launched MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, a site aimed at redefining the myths that pornography perpetuates by featuring “real people” engaging in sexual activities. As she explained in an interview with the New York Times this September, “The issue I’m tackling is not porn. It’s the complete lack of open, healthy dialogue around porn and sex.”

The following year, Cindy launched IfWeRanTheWorld.com, which the site describes as “a real-world experiment in tapping good intentions and turning them into tangible, do-able microactions that anyone and everyone can help you to do.” Participants include fashion behemoth Levi’s Jeans who partnered for a campaign aimed at revitalizing the manufacturing town of Braddock, Pennsylvania.

Social Media Week believes that technology can empower individuals to direct their own future through sparking change and pursuing creative endeavors. And for that to happen, we need disruptive, audacious inventors like Cindy Gallop to keep inventing transformational tools, blazing new trails and inspiring the masses.

(Or in her words: “I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business.”)

Join Cindy and our other inventors on Wednesday, February 20th, when we discuss new tools for taking the future into our own hands, and ask “what will your role will be in this changing world and how can we help you can get there?”

 

Architecting the Future of Social Media

(Part 1 of 3 in the Architects, Inventors, and Collaborators blog series.)

The theme of Social Media Week this year, Open & Connected: Principles for a Collaborative World, has been the catalyst for a number of hot debates in the Social Media Week offices. Identifying what, exactly, openness, connectedness and collaboration mean in an increasingly social world can be, well… tricky.

As conversations around the idea continued to percolate, so did a noticeable shift in their direction. The focus was no longer how to define the social media landscape, but a question of who was defining it. Who are the influencers, producers, and shapers driving social media?

While sifting through the heaps of notable tastemakers, we discovered most belonged to one of three distinct archetypes: Architects, Inventors, or Collaborators. So, we decided to dedicate three days of the conference (and this three part blog series), to exploring what that means.

Architects: devisers, makers, creators. At a time when “openness” is zeitgeist and transparency and collaboration are the very nature of social and digital media, architects must rethink traditional structures and develop new frameworks that reflect those ideals. It’s quite the paradox: design boundary-less boundaries.

This seemingly daunting task has done little to deter trailblazers like Susan Crawford. A visiting professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and former Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy to President Barack Obama (for more on her laundry list of accomplishments, click here) her Fall class, Solving Problems Using Technology, embodies this type of progressive design process.

Her students, from both Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, partnered with three community groups and The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics in an effort to address Boston’s urban and civic challenges through technology. This month, The Mayor’s Office will select and fund the best of the student’s designs.

It’s this type of innovative approach to 21st century architecture that will inform the future of social media, and it’s imperative that we embrace and learn from these new models. To learn more about Susan’s work, and the work of other “architects”, join us at our new Global Headquarters on February 18th.

We look forward to seeing you there!

2013: A Bright, Collaborative Future

Today is the last day of 2012. It marks a number of triumphs for our team at SMW NYC, but it also marks the day before a New Year’s adventures begin.

One of those adventures, our 5th annual Social Media Week New York City, occurs in less than two months. And as you may have read in blogs prior, producing it is no small feat. It takes a number of talented individuals to pull together an event with over 11,000 attendees and more than 2,000 events. But the challenge is greater than logistics alone, it’s the thought, care and intellectual investment that goes into crafting something we hope you will enjoy.

As we develop the programs that underpin our theme Open and Connected in a Collaborative World, we continue to reflect on the new and exciting ways in which new media is created, landscapes affected, and industries impacted. You would be amazed at the conversations (yes, philosophical conversations about social media are possible!) that unfold as our staff shapes the programming. So, it‘s in this vein that we would like to invite you into these discussions: conceptual, comical and otherwise. After all, it’s you we are creating this content for!

From the Individual Industrial Revolution to Global Perspectives On Openness to Peer to Peer Economy and Crowdfunding, we are diving deep into the ways social media permeates our culture today. Starting this week, we hope to give you a front row seat into the making of SMW NYC. So please, feel free to comment, email, Facebook or tweet us. Let us know what you think of the events, speakers, and opportunities as they unfold. Make suggestions, give us feedback, or submit your own.

You should also be on the lookout for blogs by our Media Partners, Advisory Board Members, Sponsors and Speakers. We aim to include them in the conversation too!

Happy New Year from all of us at NYC’s Social Media Week team. We look forward to a bright, collaborative future ahead.

It Takes A Village: The Team Behind SMWNYC

It’s been an exciting year for Social Media Week. Our events in NYC and around the world have been a testament to the power of social media and the role it plays in furthering our connectedness; the catalyst for our new global theme Open & Connected in a Collaborative World.

As the next SMWNYC fast approaches, it’s been thrilling to watch the programming unfold. Each piece lovingly curated with the intention it will inspire you to join the conversation by attending sessions and submitting your own events. As you can imagine, planning something this large (we had over 11,000 attendees last year!) takes a team of extraordinary people. So, before the fun begins we thought you may like to learn more about them.

Brian Quinn and Jessica Lawerence are the dynamic duo leading Programs for SMWNYC. Brian has produced both concerts and consumer events for a wide range of companies in the culinary, tech, and corporate worlds, and founded a groundbreaking NYC supper club. Jessica is the Managing Director of NY Tech Meetup, a TEDx organizer, speaker, columnist, and former CEO for the Girl Scouts in Southern California. Their wide ranging expertise is a perfect fit for the scope of material featured in our 4 Content Hubs and Global HQ.

In addition to this remarkable pair is a powerhouse Advisory Board comprised of Manhattan’s premier connectors, community builders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and practitioners. Their institutional knowledge, personally and collectively, has been invaluable in creating the upcoming event. Visit our Advisory Board page and take a look around! These are the trailblazers shaping media as we know it, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their contribution to SMWNYC.

Last, but certainly not least, is our very own SMWNYC team working around the clock to create an experience you’ll never forget. Feel free to introduce yourself in February. We love meeting our attendees! And don’t forget, if you buy your tickets before December 21st you get 40% off!

It takes a village to create SMWNYC and we would love for you to be a part of it!

Our Global HQ: A New Kind Of SMW Experience

You could say we have a special type of affinity for our new Global Headquarters. Not just because it’s the first of it’s kind, but because it embodies the type of immersive experience we’ve been dreaming about. Combined with our hallmark top-notch speakers and gold standard programming, basically, it’s our very own version of Social Media Week Heaven.

The Metropolitan Pavilion will house the HQ from February 19th to the 22nd. It’s the perfect environment for the interactive installations, activities, and lounges that will complete this experiential space. Speakers Tonya Surman, CEO for the Centre for Social Innovation, Ben Kaufman, founder & CEO of Quirky, Cindy Gallop and the MakeLoveNotPorn.tv team, and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit are among the cadre of thoughtleaders that will guide conversations around our theme Open & Connected: Principles for a Collaborative World. Stay tuned, however, there are many, many announcements and surprises to come.

Each and every hub that comprises the SMW NYC experience will provide unique and valuable content for free, but the Global HQ will be the home away from home for those patrons looking to submerge themselves in our programming.

For access to the Global HQ, you’ll need to purchase one of our Premium Insider or Global HQ passes. This will not only provide access to all of the perks aforementioned, but free classes too! To ensure you snag a seat at an unbeatable price, get 40% off from now until December 21st. (Plus, if you tweet about your pass purchase with #SMWNYCPass, you can could win one of two $200 Airbnb vouchers! Only before Dec. 21)

You won’t want to miss it. Trust me.

We look forward to seeing you there!