The Problem with Cross-Posting: Mastering Your Brand’s Identity in Social Media

This is a guest post by Kelly Meyers, CODE AND THEORY

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Posting the same piece of content across every social channel, all at the same time, without modifying a word, is something the average person would never do on their own social profiles. Yet, while the “brands should behave like people,” social media movement is far from new — agencies, marketers, and brands are all guilty of cross-posting content every single day.

Why don’t we cross-post in real life? And why shouldn’t your brand?

It’s simple. As my colleague Saeid and I discussed on Tuesday (and again on Thursday!), the Internet is made up of subcultures. Each environment has different relationship dynamics, communication styles, and cadence.

For example, I use Facebook to reach the closest people in my life, past, and present. It’s my “home” voice. Twitter is almost the complete opposite. It’s my “Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm” voice. Posting the same things on both channels could be perceived by each community as unproductive, awkward, and possibly rude.

We all use our different social profiles to participate in and build relationships with different communities. Not unlike relationships in real life, we behave differently from relationship to relationship. And your brand should too.

So, what is the solution for brands?

Ideally, when you are developing a social media strategy, you should always consider a unique approach for each platform. However, creating quality content for each channel can be time-intensive. To help decrease repeat-post offenses, here are three simple strategies you can implement today:

  1. Understand the different personality types of social media users and where they play.
    This will help you make better decisions of when it might be okay to share content across channels.
  2. Establish conversation guidelines for your community manager that will open more opportunities for real-time content on more fast-paced channels like Twitter.
  3. Don’t put Facebook first.
    Split your content creation priorities in half. For example: 50% of the content should be created with Pinterest or Tumblr in mind, 50% with Facebook, and Google+ in mind. At least you won’t seem like a one-trick pony.

Bottom line: Every Internet subculture has different needs, behaviors, and rules. The more you understand and adapt to these communities, the more impactful your brand can be.

Kicking-off Social Media Week Hacking for Education

This is a guest post by Yangbo Du.

How can social media and social business plus its technology enablers transform education?

This weekend at General Assembly New York, educators and the New York tech startup community gathered for 24 hours to design and build mobile and web applications for education. Given the importance of connection among educators, parents, and students in education (much like the company, its audience, and platforms in business), all projects involved a social component in some way; the following are a few highlights from the presentations.

Open Board transforms communication in the classroom from one-way to two-way, analogous to Salesforce Chatter and Microsoft Office Yammer for business. Messages from the teacher to students and back are displayed on a single screen, facilitating collaborative learning.

MCASTA enables teachers to evaluate tests from the test taker’s perspective and share findings with fellow teachers. While this version is specific to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it can be easily adapted to tests in place in other states.

Colloquial uses big data from digital and social media to assist English-as-a-second-language learning. The user can discover and immerse oneself in English-language content from a wide variety of genre, including content from major media outlets.

Here are the full weekend’s proceedings via Storify:

(See the second part here.)

The outcomes from #HackInteractive underscore how social media is about human-to-human connection more than anything else. It has been around since antiquity, with the Internet having facilitated its ubiquity and ease of use today. If business is social, education and other forms of human-to-human connection are social.

With the fundamental principle of social media in mind, think about how social media can empower you and your stakeholders to reach your objectives. Compelling reason to engage in the conversation during Social Media Week and share ideas and best practices.

Digital Quicksilver – How Marketers Can Harness the Power of Influence on Social Media to Drive Brand Affinity

This is a guest post by Rob McLoughlin, SVP Consumer Insights at Buzzmedia

Influence is a fluid social currency connecting those who possess knowledge or topical expertise and those that seek it. At Buzzmedia, we study these dynamics every day to provide insights into the complex relationships between brands, content and millennial consumers.

To that end, we partnered with NewStream Research on original research project to explore this important topic and are thrilled to present the results for the first time this Friday at the Lifestyle and Culture Hub at Hearst.

Here’s a preview of what we found:

+ Social media plays a critically important role in the dynamic relationship between brands, content and influencers. Seventy-six percent of millennials follow brands on social media and when seeking to obtain information about brands and products, social media influences four in ten millennials. Recommendations from friends and family are most influential, but recommendations from a perceived topic expert carry nearly equal weight in social media. Over 70 percent of millennials share items from brands and nearly 40 percent of millennials have had their view of a brand and site changed positively due to a mutual association. Branded content on social media is influential and helps drive positive and sometimes immediate action for brands. Influential content has driven over 82 percent of millennials to visit a brand website and over two-thirds of millennials have purchased, saved or shared something that they viewed as influential or interesting.

+ There exists a strong synergistic relationship between brands, online content and individual influencers. Each element adds logic and strength to one another in the consumer mindset. The combination of all three can help to reinforce the core values of the consumer, but it is a relationship that has preconditions and needs to be actively managed with care in order to truly be considered influential. Over 80 percent of millennials rank “trustworthiness,” “credibility” and “authenticity” as either the first, second or third most important element that impacts whether content, brands or people (influencers) are influential to them online.

+ Millennials consumers hold strong and definitive impressions about brands. These impressions are developed over time based on a mix of both online and offline experiences. Eighty-one percent of millennials view brands as a “measure of quality” and 77 percent consider brands to be “what distinguishes a product,” and therefore they are seen as “more than just companies.”  In order to build trust and foster credibility and authenticity, brands need to actively manage interactions to ensure that each exposure is constructive and fostering increased affinity and loyalty towards the brand.

+ Brand characteristics are incredibly important in creating influence among millennials. Brands that are viewed as “creative,” “innovative,” “compassionate” and “stylish” are key characteristics cited by millennials as helping to create and sustain influence. Female millennials in particular are slightly more likely to think that creativity is what makes a brand influential. Females are also more likely than men to consider “compassion” and “style” important brand characteristics for driving influence.

+ Brands can also drive influence via actions to connect with millennials and increase affinity. Millennial consumers see value in brands that provide “excellent customer service,” that create and share “humorous and engaging advertising” and “contributing to charitable causes.”  Additional actions that drive affinity include brands that “sponsor online content or events of consumer interest” and brands that “partner with companies that are perceived as cool or cutting edge.” Brands that execute these actions for consumers stand to reap significant rewards in terms of increased affinity and loyalty.

+ Millennials have strong opinions about the relationship between the type of information they seek online and the person they deem most credible at delivering that information. We asked millennials to rate four different types of influencers based on their credibility when delivering information on various product categories as well as their influence on a variety of brand dimensions. Across all product categories, topical expertise is most important for driving influence. Millennials feel that topic experts with broad fame and topic experts with contextual fame are most influential for sharing credible information across every product category.

+ Brands, content and influencers live a complex and ever changing ecosystem. In order to obtain, build and sustain influence and affinity with millennials, each must build a relationship that is based on a foundation of trust, credibility and authenticity. Influence is not an entity and therefore does not reside within one individual, site or brand. Influence is a process – and every piece of the process needs to be managed properly to have an impact.

Join us tomorrow to learn more!

Zero-Distancing: The Collapsing Distance Between Fan & Celebrity

This is a Guest Post by MTV Insights’ Alison Hillhouse

It’s no longer unusual for the biggest pop star in the world to wish you luck on your math test, or for a reality star to forgo therapy and solicit advice from 8 million teen fans. The pedestal has been dismantled by social media tools in the hands of a generation that loves to flatten hierarchies. We indeed live in a flat world where fans demand not just a VIP pass to celebs, artists and entertainment experiences, but an eye-to-eye view.

This is the age of “Zero-distancing.”

As Julian, 21, says “Today, artists can be your best friends.” So conversations like this between Nicole (@trukardashfan) and Khole Kardashian about Nicole’s upcoming midterms aren’t unusual:

As Nicole says, “Khloé always makes time to talk to all of her fans. Whenever I get a tweet from her it makes me so happy because it feels like we are close since we communicate often.”

Millennials also crave intimate glimpses into the mundane daily activities of their favorite celebrities, such as Taylor’s cat claw clipping:

We hear from Millennials that they click through various social media channels to get different perspectives into a celeb’s life just like different video camera angles at a live performance. Each social media channel serves a distinct & unique purpose:

+ Facebook is the most “formal and official outlet” for tour updates and information
+ Twitter offers a “blow-by-blow feed” and highlights interactions with other celebrities
+ Instagram provides a direct line into their literal world-view, like “seeing the world through their eyes”
+ Tumblr is the most intimate glimpse into an artists’ psyche/spirit. Jessica, 25, explains that it allows fans to get an authentic glimpse into an artist’s creative inspiration and process… it “shows how artists express themselves, the aesthetic that makes them tick.”

@MTVInsights will be speaking more about “zero-distancing” on February 20th during New York’s Social Media Week. We’ll start with a teen panel who will speak about their virtually-intimate relationships with celebs in social media, and then be joined by Viacom stars who will speak about their experience interacting with fans:

+ Nev Schulman from MTV’s “Catfish: The TV Show”
+ Drita D’Avanzo from VH1’s “Mob Wives”
+ Cody Alan from CMT’s “Hot 20 Countdown” and nightly syndicated radio show, “CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan”
+ Ivy Winters from Logo’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

MTV is just one of over 300 Event Partners taking over SMW to help make SMW NYC a success. Sign up for their event here or for our other events here!

How to Become a SMW Top 10

This is a guest post from She’s the First volunteer Andrea Bartz. 

Last February, the non-profit She’s the First (STF) had the opportunity to host an event for Social Media Week, in the official Social Good hub. STF, a social media-loving organization that funds girls’ educations in the developing world, started with all of the usual event ideas: Should we do a presentation? A regular ol’ panel? A (snooze) Powerpoint presentation?

Thankfully, we were struck with the idea we could shake things up with a talk show-style event featuring the most genius talking heads in social good, a DJ, Twitter cupcakes, and the best live studio audience ever. The presentation was, literally, standing-room-only, and the campaign around our event landed us a spot in the top 10 moments of Social Media Week worldwide.

Here are the three ingredients that made the event, dubbed “The New Face of Social Good – How to Create Your Own Social Media Magic,” such a blast:

A solid theme

Call it a shtick if you must. Sticking to the talk show theme, we booked a live DJ, gifts for every attendee (one-week yoga passes and some free app downloads from AppTerrier), and delicious cupcakes courtesy of Sprinkles. The organizing principle turned an ordinary panel into a party.

A cool campaign to spread the word and—more importantly—do good

In one night, we changed an entire year in the life of Eli in Tanzania — we encouraged fans to tweet #SMWMagic, and for every tweet, The Think Cloud generously donated $1. Thanks to the magic of social media, we sponsored her senior year of high school—an example, in real time, of how She’s the First’s work can directly empower young women to become the first in their families to graduate.

A killer line-up

Mashable’s (@mashable) managing editor, Emily Banks, introduced four dynamic and charming guests—Tammy Tibbetts (@shesthefirst), She’s the First Founder and President; Adam Braun (@pencilsofpromis), Founder and Executive Director of Pencils of Promise; Mike Padparvar (@HOLSTEE), Co-Founder of HOLSTEE; and Susan McPherson (@susanmcp1), Global Marketing VP of CSR/Fenton Communications—who each shared little-known stories on how ONE social media status update created a spark or started a ripple effect that ultimately launched huge movements and programs, changed lives, and achieved meaningful social change. Attendees (online and in person) were encouraged to tweet in their questions using #stfmagic; they walked away with solid techniques and tips for creating their own social media miracles.

International fashion icon Alek Wek (@TheRealAlekWek), the legendary Sudanese supermodel who had just turned to Twitter and Skype to be a stronger advocate for refugees in Sudan, introduced the event. The star-studded speakers were insightful and passionate, and by casting a wide net, the event drew in journalists, social entrepreneurs, and techies of all stripes—even the ones with an interest in fashion!

Check out the Storify recap of the campaign and event here. See you at SMW again in February!

Andrea Bartz is a STF volunteer and a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Brooklyn and can be found on Twitter at @andibartz.

A Student’s Perspective: The Future of Social Technology

Mehrunnisa Wani is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism. She is one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC- all from the student’s perspective. She is providing her report from Future of Social Technology.
 
Every day there are emerging social platforms, startups, which marketers are adapting to and focusing their campaigns on.

Time and time again, almost since its very inception, people expounded about the idea of too much engagement, that they aren’t interested in hearing about where their Facebook friend is headed, or what time they woke up. The conundrum is that designers are still discovering or defining the fine line between innovation and overload.

Kincaid’s worries are that social technology will penetrate too much of society and encroaching on privacy and life – and that there should be a cessation. When do we know to stop? For the future, with this oversaturation people are likelier to embrace niche networks and disconnectedness.

Ogince’s contention was that social technology needs to be humanized. He’s disappointed in it, saying it’s failed to a certain extent. It needs to be personalized and aim at assuaging to the general public with social health programs (for example, have physicians advise patients, or an app that encourages people to quit smoking).

If not that, at the very least, the programs that now exist should sharpen skills, or built on them.

Social technology is still in its infancy and it has a long way to go but both Ogince and Kincaid articulated the need for a shift in the direction that its heading towards.

http://vimeo.com/37374940

 

Mehrunnisa Wani hails from Kashmir, India. She is currently a masters candidate at the Columbia School of Journalism learning to report stories in various mediums, all the while familiarizing herself with the digital media boom so she can utilize those skills to connect the world one story at a time. In the future she hopes to cover conflict zones, learn to code and change the world – simultaneously. She resides in Queens, New York. Follow her on @mehrwani.

A Student’s Perspective: Rappathon- Hacking for Change: A New Way of Collaboration

Mehrunnisa Wani is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism. She is one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC- all from the student’s perspective. She is providing her report from Rappathon- Hacking for Change: A New Way of Collaboration.
 

“What’s the best thing you’ve created? I don’t know. Come around tomorrow.” – Camilo LaCruz

Believe it or not, the ingredients for social change are collaboration, creative minds, and a days worth of idea generating.

With their collaborative methodology RAPP hosted it’s first rappathon workshop, tailored to bring developers and designers together to explore concepts that might someday enrich thousands, if not millions, of lives.

In league, they worked towards creating technology that could work for the people, by the people. This hackathon, much like the others sprouting across the tech scene, are increasingly involving people.

After pairing up individuals and a tidbit of mix –and-matching, groups moved from station to station picking up where the last team left off so others could expand on the idea or share their two cents.

The web apps that came out of this aimed to improve the lives of individuals, or at the very least assist people in some regard. One of the ideas yielded was a map that would track a daily commute, keeping in mind the money, number of calories burned, and the carbon footprint. This would be linked to a social network, which would inform friends, family, coworkers of the commute and in the end, the data would be accumulated over a period of time so that the commuter can ascertain what method is cheaper, less time-consuming, or less arduous.

The apps weren’t launched but the organizers graciously shared the ideas in hopes of someone developing it. It’s still about experimentation and there are still ways of transforming life. If there is a social need, an app can fulfill it.

http://vimeo.com/37074187

 

Mehrunnisa Wani hails from Kashmir, India. She is currently a masters candidate at the Columbia School of Journalism learning to report stories in various mediums, all the while familiarizing herself with the digital media boom so she can utilize those skills to connect the world one story at a time. In the future she hopes to cover conflict zones, learn to code and change the world – simultaneously. She resides in Queens, New York. Follow her on @mehrwani.

A Student’s Perspective: The Guardian Interviews Alec Ross

Mehrunnisa Wani is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism. She is one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC- all from the student’s perspective. She is providing her report from The Guardian Interviews Alec Ross.

“What does the Internet have to with foreign policy and diplomacy? In this day and age, if you care about human rights you have to care about the Internet,” said Alec Ross, senior advisor for innovation, Office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

As evident from the Arab (Internet) Spring, social media was an effective vent for the outrage and the wave of the frustration that swept through Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and, most recently, Syria.

Tweeples, Facebookers, and YouTubers worldwide were all proponents of this change. With their succinct slogans, videos, and blog entries they encapsulated the depth of the oppression. The revolution was filled with narratives of twitter handles and even fact-checking was a collaborative effort, or what veterans would call a crowdsourcing activity.

Some dubbed it as the greatest tools of this age and others went as far as crediting it for fermenting the chaos and subsequently, toppling regimes. Despite the divergent views on the platform, it catapulted social justice campaigns worldwide, abetting and enabling leaderless protests.

The role of technology is, of course, integral –and now becoming closely intertwined with diplomacy. With governments realizing this, some are constricting expression and others such as the United States are allowing its ambassadors, some 195 have twitter accounts and 170 have Facebook accounts, according to Ross.

Ross, however, doesn’t credit technology—wholly—for the toppling of dictatorship-based regimes, but he is finding solutions to the gravest health, economic, social problems in developing nations through social media applications. It’s a new wave – the social networking-diplomacy era, where fostering ties between nations is done through programs like Apps4Africa, bringing fifteen nations and discussing solutions which, in the end, will yield innovative methods in tackling economic development issues and paving ways for sustainable long-term projects.

The consensus is that it is a tool for civic engagement, where information is readily available and movements are accelerated, but what happens when people achieve their goal, when governments are overthrown? Who helps with picking up the crumbs? Are plan of actions created?

“Though social media has proven to be a tool for dissent, it has not yet proven to be a successful tool for governance,” said Ross. With tools set forth by the State Department, Ross hopes that governance connects with the governing and social media takes out the implicit elitism in governing. Two things for sure, social media is equalizing the world and creating a forum of communication between the governing bodies and the people. Social media has become the weapon of the first world, but what about the third world?

 

Mehrunnisa Wani hails from Kashmir, India. She is currently a masters candidate at the Columbia School of Journalism learning to report stories in various mediums, all the while familiarizing herself with the digital media boom so she can utilize those skills to connect the world one story at a time. In the future she hopes to cover conflict zones, learn to code and change the world – simultaneously. She resides in Queens, New York. Follow her on @mehrwani.

Friday Finale… Finally For Me

This is a guest post by Anna Choi.

 

While the end was near for dedicated attendees of Social Media Week New York City, Friday was just the beginning of my experience. There was no time to waste and after debating over the serious line up of various events, I was ready for my first SMWNYC gathering.

 
What Real Time Marketing Really Takes
Emily Steel from the Wall Street Journal led the panel discussion including Beth Waxman-Arteta of JWT, Ryan Davis of Blue State Digital, Bill Wolff of Primetime Programming, and Mike Sommers of Viggle at the Advertising and Marketing Content Hub at JWT. Topics from preparing for and challenge with real time marketing were touched on with much talk about the type transition period social media is fueling.

And what did I take away?

  • HR/human power is essential behind real time social media, real thought processing and relevance is needed to sustain engagement.
  • Every brand could use real time marketing, how it’s executed may differ.
  • Advertising agencies will transition into “brand content” agencies so the meaning of CMO may be defined as editors of content. Simply put, “real time” marketing will be just marketing in the future.
  • People/consumers are looking for substance and authenticity.
  • Filtration of information is diminishing, as communication is becoming more real/raw.
  • Currently real time marketing is a mixture of PR, social media, and brand management.
  • The thing about authenticity is that it’s imperfect sometimes. Mistakes happen.

 
Future of Social Technology
Michoel Ogince of Big Fuel and Jason Kincaid of TechCrunch discussed their predictions/opinions on the future of social networks/technology at the Global Society Content Hub at Big Fuel Headquarters. The conversation circled around the topic of humanization and the complex human behavior that social technology has yet to mirror perfectly. It was great to hear the opposing sides that Michoel and Jason brought especially when Path was brought up. They did agree that this is still the early stage of social technology and that if we think it’s really social right now, we’re wrong.

But the discussion also touched on:

  • Facebook: is it a place to dump a ton of content?
  • Social gaming (Zynga in particular): gamers invest a lot of money and time in the beginning but it dies off, they hit a wall.
  • App Store’s future: currently it’s a challenge to find/access specific apps.
  • Far future: social technology will be penetrated in every aspect to “friending” objects such as your fridge.
  • Advice for entrepreneurs: be driven by passion, don’t cling on to every “success story advice”.
  • There will be “niche networks” for social media/technology in the future.

 
Left Brain Meets Right Brain –The Blueprints for a Sophisticated Social Marketing Campaign (hosted by Shoutlet)
Jason Weaver, the CEO of Shoutlet, led this discussion including David Armano of Edelman Digital, Doug O-Reilly of MWW, Chris Eichman of Rayovac, and Brenda Schmerl of Reader’s Digest. The hour-or-so long conversation revolved around the controversial topic of left brain, right brain, or both. Planning and organizing people who are left-brain dominant among those who are right-brain dominant seemed to be key in finding the balance for a company. There was a debate over people who were both, or a hybrid, and if this category even existed. David Armano walked everyone through what he called a community engagement blueprint when touching on the subject of scenario planning. Improvisation seemed to be a theme for reacting effectively, with the main focus on being able to utilize the strengths of those who are creative and those who are analytical.

My overall impression of Social Media Week NYC was great. (especially since is FREE!) Being a student that is always seeking for more real world information, besides a textbook or some year-old case study, these events left me satisfied. Actually, I take that back, SMW has left me hungry and on the edge of my seat in excitement for what’s next. Being a part of the generation that really digs deep into the data of this social realm is fresh and transformational. I truly can’t wait to see how what’s trending now transitions into traditional.
 

Anna is a quirky senior at Virginia Tech studying Marketing and International Business. She is curious and thirsty for anything related to social media and brands. Anna aspires to work in an environment that’s constantly battling between the trending and traditional. When she’s not geeking over new digital happenings you can find her working on her new healthy lifestyle and obsessing over froyo. Follow her on twitter @achoi12 or dig deeper on her personal blog, achoi12.tumblr.com, or marketing blog, annanciate.tumblr.com.

A Student’s Perspective: Investors in the Hot Seat Helps Entrepreneurs Help the Health Sector

Stephanie Vatz is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism. She is one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC- all from the student’s perspective. She is providing her report from Investors in the Hot Seat. You can follow Stephanie on Twitter at @stephvatz.

 

The Saatchi and Saatchi Health and Wellness Hub displayed an array health tech devices on tables this Thursday, as entrepreneurs wandered around the space, mingling with investors and other business people all looking to use their start-ups to improve the world of health. They had all come to hear a team of health investors answer their questions about how to gain seed or development money for their projects.

Among the company heads was Kevin Dawkins, who runs CFFone, a mobile social network company that provides support for teenagers with cystic fibrosis. Ordinarily, Dawkins explained that cystic fibrosis prohibited the teens from spending time with other cystic fibrosis patients because of risk of infection, but the social network allowed them to share stories of their disease and support each other digitally.

CFFone had already received a grant from NIH, but the grant was going to expire in about a year so Dawkins came to the event to learn more about how to find the right investors and pitch to them.

“The people who spoke are exactly the types of people we are going to be pitching to,” Dawkins said after the event.

Those investors he was referring to were Steve Krein of Startup Health, Dave Whitlinger of the NYeHealth Collaborative, Todd Pietri of Milestone Venture Partners, Mohit Kaushal of West Health Fund, Maria Gorsch of the New York City Investment Fund and Brad Weinberg of Blueprint Health.

The six panelists took the stage to describe their own businesses as well as the model companies they wanted to invest in–organizations that could bridge the disconnect between the government stakeholders and patients on the ground in order to create better and more affordable health care.

The conference comes at a time when the stimulus package that President Obama passed was like giving “rocket fuel to this sector”, when West Coast investors are beginning to invest in East Coast companies and when health industry is looking to the private sector for new software and technologies.

Like at many of the other SMW events, the speakers mentioned “Big Data” and discussed how it could be a valuable tool for emerging technology companies to offer, whether it be through software for hospitals or analysis and access to data for patients themselves.

“Everything we do is around lowering the cost of health care,” Kaushal said.

A Student’s Perspective: The Sanofi Open Innovation Challenge Discusses its Own Challenges (and Advantages) to Putting Together An Event of Its Magnitude

Stephanie Vatz is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism. She is one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC- all from the student’s perspective. She is providing her report from How We Did It: The Sanofi Open Innovation Challenge. You can follow Stephanie on Twitter at @stephvatz.

Last year, French pharmaceutical company Sanofi partnered with Data Design Diabetes for the Sanofi Open Innovation Challenge. The Challenge took young entrepreneurial innovators and health experts alike to develop a way to improve the quality of life and care for the over 25.8 million Americans living with diabetes.

To explain how the Open Innovation Challenge came to be, Michele Polz, Senior Director of Patient Solutions at Sanofi, and Aman Bhandari, Senior Advisor to the CTO of Health & Human Services came together on Feb. 15, discussing their initial project and upcoming the 2012 competition.

Polz described her desire to move “beyond the drugs” as a diabetes franchise and look at new models for treating diabetes including new technologies and designs. From this, stemmed the challenge–a five-step process that gives away over $200,000 in prize money and grants health entrepreneurs the chance to raise seed money and get their name out.

This year’s process is as follows: first, Data Design Diabetes and Sanofi use online crowd-sourcing to figure out what areas of diabetes care need the most repairing. Next, everyone can submit ideas for designing a product that addresses what matters most to people living with diabetes in the United States. Five of these entries are picked to win $20,000 and to enter an intensive project mentorship program and design boot camp. From there two are selected and given an additional $10,000 to bring their projects to real communities and one winner is chosen.

Last year’s winner, Ginger.io also appeared at the Health and Wellness Hub talk to describe their behavior analytics company that uses a mobile sensing platform to change patient behavior depending on health conditions and symptoms.

For the 2012 Challenge, the crowd-sourcing online survey has just been closed and the company is selecting a focus for this year’s competition, but the team seems almost as excited for other company challenges that have been inspired by Sanofi.

“It’s great to see someone who’s an entrepreneur and innovator, up there on stage with someone who is a major player in their field,” said Bhandari. “We are very serious about spurring innovation and entrepreneurship, whether it be in the public sector or private sector…We just want to promote the best ideas.”

Leveraging the Power of Digital and Social Media to Elevate Voices

This is a guest post by our event partner, The Brooklyn Bureau. Mark Anthony Thomas is the Director of City Limits; a New York City based non-profit investigative journalism organization. The Brooklyn Bureau Launch is an official Social Media Week event.

 
Social media has changed the way we communicate with each other, and we’ve seen the introduction of new tools that were beyond the scope of the human imagination even a decade ago. While we can’t claim that our generation’s innovations are more novel than similar groundbreaking technologies of the past, something about the last few years feels especially transformative.

Now that we’ve convened for Social Media Week— which has seen tremendous growth in its three-year history— and connected the globe, the next question should be: how do we transform it?

In this creative era, we’re simultaneously archiving the world’s history while creating new platforms for expression and teaching technology literacy while beta testing new models. This can be exhausting for even the most tech-savvy to stay attuned to, let alone grasp the pulse of how fast things continue to evolve.

The world we live in is one of great opportunity and great inequity, a place of open democracies and closed societies. While we see new technologies break down the language, educational, and geographic barriers that have inhibited many—what’s next? How does this lead to social progress? What does the strength of our collective voices now mean?

Instead of looking to technology to help us shape our lives, we must understand how we can use technology to shape our societies.

First, we must understand that we are social media. Every voice matters and without a variety of voices, the platforms lack full potential. Social platforms are best used when connecting audiences with the best content and information, and enabling opportunities for organizations and curators to cultivate a following and conversations.

Grassroots organizing through digital tools—understanding that free democracies are built on bottom-up activism—can help employ action to truly leverage social media’s power to stem social transformation.

The Arab Spring and the Occupy movements are the latest in the history of human movements and protests, but social media has made it easier to connect as equally as archiving of history has made it easier to learn from the past.

New York City, with all of its amazing assets and diversity, is still one of America’s least civically engaged cities, providing ample audiences and opportunities for us to truly tap into the city’s underserved communities to elevate voices and make an impact here at home.

Just as urbanists look to New York City as America’s largest city to understand how we tackle our most critical issues, the next few years should challenge us to truly leverage the power of digital and social media to turn the tide on citizen apathy and engaging underserved communities.

City Limits and the Brooklyn Community Foundation are taking a step to do just this in Brooklyn, with the launch of the Brooklyn Bureau. Our new site will provide in-depth coverage and civic commentary in Brooklyn—which if separate would be America’s 5th largest city. This project is one of 19 digital projects jointly funded by the Knight Foundation that address community information needs.

Our event was an invitation to learn more about what we’re doing in Brooklyn, and overall, to serve as a model for leveraging the power of media to increase civic literary. See us in action now.

Top 12 Social Media Apps for Travel

This is a guest post by offMetro.com. offMetro.com is a new travel site that features car-free getaways near New York City and San Francisco

 

We’ve shrunk the world to fit within a two-inch wide screen, and it seems that these days there isn’t anything a mobile app can’t allow us to do through our mighty little lightsabers, be it Facetime from Sao Paulo to San Francisco, search for a place to pee, or hunt for a ghost and a hookup.

You may like to vacation without guidebooks and Google maps, but don’t let the thrill of discovering a destination on your own keep you from checking out these 12 social travel apps. Your next adventure will be all the more memorable, affordable, and inspiring because of them:

 
Photosynth | Free | iOS | http://photosynth.net/
This photo app stitches together full-sphere panoramic pics and allows users to share their spanning views of the world on Facebook, Windows Live, and Bing Maps.

 

Gowalla | Free | iOS, Android | http://gowalla.com/
Like Foursquare for travelers, this app lets users browse popular tourist locales to view where their friends have been, local recommendations, and expert advice. Gowalla also integrates guides from National Geographic and other popular travel adventure companies.

 

EveryTrail | Free | iOS, Android | http://www.everytrail.com/
In addition to tracking your own trek, EveryTrail connects hikers to their network by sharing maps, audio and video memos, and vitals like speed, distance, and elevation for each trail. After planning your own trip, you can view more than 400,000 trips from other users.

 

1,000 Places To See Before You Die | Free | iPad | http://www.1000places.com/
This iPad app features images and descriptions of the world’s must-see destinations, from Morocco to Martha’s Vineyard, and includes an interactive map for users to give tips about places they’ve seen, or mark locations they plan to see.

 

AllSnow | Free | iOS | itunes.apple.com
Before hitting the slopes, skiers and snowboarders can check a trail’s conditions, view open lifts and runs, and download offline maps. Afterwards, users can share all their run info, including any reviews, with others.

 

Trip Journal | $2.99 | iOS, Android | http://www.trip-journal.com/
With the help of geo-tagging and an automatic route tracker, Trip Journal is the perfect app for documenting every aspect of travel. Users can leave notes about locations, log distances and times, add photos or videos at check-in points, and then share their entire trip through e-mail or social network sites.

 

Strava | Free | iOS, Android, Garmin | http://www.strava.com/
Cyclists and runners can track and visualize their workouts with their GPS enabled device. Users can see how they stack up against other athletes when competing on climbs and ride segments. Use the Explore feature to discover and plan new rides at home or at your next travel destination.

 

HipGeo | Free | iOS | http://www.hipgeo.com/
Users consumed by wanderlust can upload their adventures and watch as the app creates your very own blog. HipGeo also groups content such as photos, tags and comments, so you can more efficiently research the places you’re interested in visiting.

 

Trip It | Free | iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry | http://www.tripit.com/uhp/mobile
Forward your various travel confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com and the app will make one, cohesive itinerary for your trip that you can share with friends and family.

 

Off Exploring | Free | iOS | http://www.offexploring.com/info/iphone
Off Exploring gives you a unique web address so people can follow you as you mobile blog your expeditions. Users can upload pictures and geo-tag their blog posts, as well as research and book accommodations.

 

Trippy | Free | iOS | http://www.trippy.com/intro.html
Rather than sifting through numerous travel websites for answers about your upcoming trip, Trippy allows you to poll pals for advice via your social networks. Tell Trippy where you’re going and discover which trippy-ed friends have been there so you can ask for travel tips.

 

Gogobot | Free | iOS | http://www.gogobot.com/
It has never been easier or more fun to create a travel itinerary. Gogobot encourages users to capture and share adventures with personalized “postcards.”
 
Now get traveling and let us know which apps are your favorites. Then, check out offMetro.com for great getaway ideas near your city.

A Student’s Perspective: Frank Moss of the MIT Media Lab Makes Health Innovation A Collaborative Effort

Stephanie Vatz is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism. She is one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC- all from the student’s perspective. She is providing her report from Frank Moss on The 2012 MIT Health and Wellness Innovation Hackathon. You can follow Stephanie on Twitter at @stephvatz.

As head of the New Media Medicine group at the MIT, Frank Moss heads entrepreneurial biotechnology projects that attempt to improve health care and medicine.

He displayed inventions like an artificial intelligence nurse that helped record patients’ auditory and visual problems for a real-life while responding to patient concerns to demonstrate comprehension. Using the example of a young woman with diabetes, Moss illustrated how the woman could use the artificial intelligence system to connect with a real doctor and solve her problem more efficiently. The whole system was a bit similar to the way Apple uses artificial intelligence to answer customer support questions.

“We have to combine academia with industry,” he said when discussing the huge risks the MIT Media lab and his own company, BlueFin Technology, try to take when thinking of medical models for the future. “Big companies don’t take risk, but they must have the willingness to take risks and fail.”

Not all of Moss’ projects were as complicated; some even seemed easy to implement into today’s healthcare world. Applications for mobile phones, for example, could be used to improve the likelihood of a patient taking care of himself.

Among the apps that Moss suggested were medical clocks to inform the patient when to take his medication, medical charts so the patient could see the problems for himself and social networking to provide comfort and camaraderie among patients.

A Student’s Perspective: Monday’s Health and Wellness Keynote Speakers Carol McCall and Michael Graves

Stephanie Vatz is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism. She is one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC- all from the student’s perspective. She is providing her report from Carol McCall on Big Data & The Eye of the Beholder and Michael Graves on People First: Redesigning the Hospital Room. You can follow Stephanie on Twitter at @stephvatz.

In the realm of health and medicine, Social Media Week NYC has been bringing technology and humanity to the forefront in some surprising ways.

On Monday at the Saatchi and Saatchi Wellness Hub in SoHo, two keynote speakers, Carol McCall and Michael Graves, discussed improvements and potential solutions to patient care problems.

As the Chief Strategy Officer at GNS Healthcare, Carol McCall’s main job is looking at data. Her presentation however, was more focused on using technology to alter patient behavior both as a preventative health measure and a way for patients with similar experiences to commiserate or share stories.

McCall drew upon examples to illustrate the idea of taking an active role in one’s own health by changing attitude. Her primary interest was patient psychology and she offered techniques to either change people’s perspectives of their own life stories, positively modify self-perception, or find new ways to help people help themselves.

A key theme in Monday’s discussions was innovation. With social media it appears that experience in the field you work in might even be a detriment to thinking outside of the box and shedding new light on old problems.

The second keynote speaker of the morning, world-renowned architect and designer Michael Graves, knew very little about health care until he had to. Graves rolled to the stage in a wheelchair after a CBS Sunday Profiles clip of him finished playing on stage.

In 2003, a mysterious infection paralyzed Graves from the waist down, suddenly making him dependent on others, even inside his own hospital room.

Once he was on stage, Graves pressed a button on his wheelchair that made the front wheels roll under the back wheels until he was tall enough for everyone to see. It was the first example in a string of innovative design to come.

He started his discussion of reinventing in hospital room design by talking about his own frustrating experience of being unable to reach the sink faucet at the hospital, or being able to see himself in the mirror. Constantly, he was reminded that he couldn’t walk anymore.

“Oh, that’s not for me,” he said he once thought about the out of reach faucet, “that’s for people who can walk.”

Now, Graves is dedicating his career to designing new products, furniture and buildings with the disabled in mind. He displayed images of reinvented hospital bedside tables that would be easier for cleaning crews to disinfect, more functional shower stools, chairs that were easier to get out of and patient chairs to make the transition from operating room to hospital room more comfortable. He even made his employees sit in wheelchairs while designing some of the new products for him.

Although Graves couldn’t stand-up himself, his audience stood for him; he received a standing ovation before and after his presentation.

A Student’s Perspective: Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed CEO, discusses the state and future of our social world

Donovan X. Ramsey is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism and one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC.

Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, took to the stage at Social Media Week NYC recently to discuss online trends and the future of content sharing. With Facebook going public and the relative success of new sites like Pinterest, it’s an important, big question and one that Peretti might be qualified to answer. In a packed auditorium at the Hearst building in Manhattan, he rolled out his vision.

“There’s a big shift happening and we’re at the beginning of it,” he said. “There are still industries to be disrupted. You need to think from the perspective of a user that wants to share something…The real key to a lot this stuff is emotional intelligence.”

Peretti cofounded the Huffington Post, a site that has revolutionized blogging and news online by mixing the two. Now he runs BuzzFeed, a hub for headlines like “Goat Massage” and “40 Things That Make Corgis Happy,” based on a type of emotional intelligence. In his address, Peretti referred to BuzzFeed as a “giant content site for the social world.” He described this world as one identified typically through social networking sites Facebook and Twitter but getting more social by the minute.

The socialization, so to speak, of content online happened in stages, according to Peretti. The first stage was that of portals like Yahoo, which catered to a general audience. They were the sites, with big home pages and categories, through which users had to go for content. The next step was the search stage. Think Ask Jeeves and About.com. Users began finding content by requesting it. The Internet was opening up and users were starting to have an influence on the creation and promotion of content. That led to the social stage.

He said one of the most interesting trends he’s spotted in the social stage is the tide of users who go to BuzzFeed looking for something to share on their Facebook pages. He said it represents a shift from how content was consumed before. It’s a sign that the audience sees themselves less as just that. They’re aware that they’re more than an audience. They’re participants.

Peretti’s big prediction was the streamlining of content online. “Facebook is the best example of content expanding from friend updates,” he said. “As Facebook matures, there’s news now and people are getting comfortable with a social world where everything their friends care about is mixing together.” In preparation for this, BuzzFeed has made changes like the addition of ex-Politico writer, Ben Smith as editor-in-chief. Their first scoop with Smith was Sen. John McCain’s endorsement of Mitt Romney. According to Peretti, BuzzFeed beat CNN by 30 minutes.

His strongest case study seemed to be his own company. BuzzFeed, with its simple headlines and variable content, is mostly directed by the interests of its users and their reactions to content all over the World Wide Web. In fact, the site goes as far as to organize content into categories based on users’ reactions. With one click, you could vote something as a “fail” and with another, browse a lists of “wins.”

During the presentation, Peretti brought up a slide of basset hounds running, their droopy folds flapping in the wind. He said such content is decidedly shareable because of its common appeal. It can go onto your best friend’s Facebook wall or be sent to your grandmother in an email. The key to creating sharable content in the social age is finding material that defines a moment, said Peretti. “Let the user become invested in the story…People are the gatekeepers in the social media world, not Google’s algorithm.”

My Day as a Social Media Week Speaker

This is a guest post by SMW veteran Joyce Sullivan.

This is my 2nd year as a Social Media Week NYC speaker and attendee. After getting my feet wet last year curating and moderating a panel on the emerging world of social media for financial services, I thought I’d dive in again talking about Social Media Strategy for Financial Services.

We finished our setup work on Monday with our live event on Tuesday, Feb 14th – and yes, I wore red on stage for Valentines Day! The planning and prep paid off, as we had a full house at @NYITManagement Auditorium. We had good feedback in person, and via our Twitter feed using our hastag#SMWFinServ. If you missed us, and want to know about all the fun facts on how to do social media in the highly regulated financial services industry, this link’s for you!  We also Storified our tweets! You can also catch me on Livestream or on Twitter @JoyceMSullivan and @SocMediaFin.

My Day as a Social Media Week Attendee

With my SMW presentation complete, it was now time to enjoy the talks from the other side of the stage. I had a full day starting at Big Fuel bright and early listening to Rachel Stearne (whom I met in the elevator on the way up!). So great to hear what’s going on in the NYC digital space with Rachel at the helm as Chief Digital Officer for Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Free wifi in the parks is today a reality but just a beginning. It may be a bit longer before we have it on the subways, which Rachel mentioned was one of the biggest requests. However, the city will be providing lots of support for the NY Tech start up community. Rachel encouraged all to check out all the NYC Digital happenings.

As part of her first 90 days with the City, she created the Road Map for the Digital City outlining a path to build on New York City’s successes and establish it as the world’s top-ranked Digital City. They make it easy to keep up with these news making and news breaking innovators: @rachelsterne @edpilkington @nycgov @NYCDigital.

I had planned to head over to another venue but since I had a front row seat at Big Fuel (check out my pics of the stage!) I thought I’d hang a bit longer and see what’s going on with social TV. Yahoo! kicked off the event with Patrick Albano on stage introducing the next talented panel for Social Television: Opportunities for Broadcasters and Advertisers. I absolutely loved the Into Now app demoed by the sartorially resplendent Edwin Wong of Yahoo!.

Though I’m trying to stay neutral (for now!) with the upcoming 2012 US election, the talk by Edward O’Keefe of ABC News demoing their new OTUS News app they developed with Blue Fin Labs is a game changer. And for the finale we had Beth Reilly of Kraft Foods showcasing the success and fun of engaging their audience with their latest Cheesy Skillets Liquid Gold spots. Who would have thought Velveeta could get this much of a rise out of folks.. well, the Liquid Gold Blacksmith guy has a little bit to do with it!  Keep up with these app makers: @intonow and @OTUSNews and @kraftfoods.

Next up was my fave Joe Fernandez of Klout interviewed in front of a digital fireplace by Big Fuel CEO Jon Bond. I’ve been an early adopter of Klout and have watched them soar and swoop down – a bit – in the last few months. They continue to be the digital global influence leader. It was interesting to hear after the US, the next biggest countries for Klout are #2 Brazil and #3 Japan.

Joe told some inside tales about the handlers of the rich and famous coming to see him and asking why some other big star had a higher Klout score. For such a successful global influence disruptor, Joe is very down to earth and approachable. See what I mean: @JoeFernandez and catch Jon Bond at @JonBond57.

Time to walk around and check out the rest of the goings on at Big Fuel. Yummy (and free!) food from @wholefoodsNYC in the back was a good way to refuel. The charge stations throughout the floor gave me a chance to charge up my devices and meet others. As I turned around to say hello to the folks around me, I met @BeVisible, whom I have followed for the past year but had never met in person. Always great to meet old school in real life.

It was a double header day for Joe Fernandez who was also on the Global Influence panel. Along with Joe, we got an insightful and fun perspective on how this group influences their online community from Funk Flex aka @FunkMasterFlex, along with Brandon Evans of CrowdTap, moderated by Ben Luntz of Big Fuel. It was especially fun to have Funk and Joe sharing their views on how to be influential. Joe said he started following Funk right before this event to get to know him. This Livestream is definitely worth another listen. It’s on my replay list.

It was time to get some fresh air and check out another venue. I decided to go to a non-hub event to check out the ‘indie’ SMWNYC scene. I picked “Can We Tweet Yet, Social Media in Financial Services” hosted by Joanna Belbey of Actiance a few blocks away. It was a nice sized group and with a slide show, and some handouts, Joanna took the group through the ins and out of social media regulation in a clear and approachable manner.

This was great live theater; no livestream for this one, folks, though you can follow more of Joanna’s insights on twitter: @Belbey  and on BelbeyBlogs.

I wanted to also attend Email and Social Media up at Thomson Reuters taking place at the same time uptown. I had heard Wendi Caplan-Carroll of Constant Contact speak at other events and wanted to catch her latest insights. Next best thing?.. watch it on Livestream and find out what Fanbruary is all about! Great intro by Brady Hahn of Crowdcentic introducing Nick Hahn (any relation?), Wendy Caplan-CarrollNoel DescalziGabby Bernstein, and Josh Mendelsohn. So many great insights of how to use email marketing as part of social media to reach your target audience. Being authentic is key, and you can see all the insights here.

And my day is done! Being on the Social Media Week stage and watching the events on stage, are both exhilarating AND exhausting. Everyone have fun out there!

 

Joyce Sullivan is a recognized industry expert in social media networking through emerging social media networking tools. A financial services industry veteran, Joyce speaks frequently on the convergence of social media and the financial services industry. She’s been recognized for her social media networking expertise through seminars, and you can watch Joyce’s interview with CNBC anchor and journalist, Maria Bartiromo, on career reinvention and the use of social media networking on “Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo.” Keep up with her online.

A Student’s Perspective: Social Media Week Ends with a Tribute to A Great Journalist

Hoda Emam is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism, and one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC. This is her account, both written and photographic, of “Challenging Conventional Wisdom of Social Media: Socmedia Editors Share Their Latest Ideas.”

In the same room that Anthony Shadid’s work was twice decided as worthy of a Pultizer Prize for International Reporting, Social Media Week attendees gathered to celebrate his life.

When news of his death broke out on February 16, the online community took to various social media platforms to mourn his loss. Anthony Shadid was even trending worldwide on Twitter.

At the Columbia School of Journalism Joseph Pulitzer World Room, guests of the event placed down their smart phones and laptops to stand for a moment of silence. Several of the attendees of Social Media Week approached the podium to express their thoughts.

Professor Ann Cooper, an internationally known journalist and executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists said, “It feels like I have lost a trusted guide to what has happened in the Middle East.”

In April 2011, Anthony Shadid and three of his NY Times colleagues were released from captivity in Libya. Their first public event after their return was at Columbia University. In response to why Shadid covers stories that takes him to dangerous parts of the world, Cooper read a comment that Shadid made during the discussion, “We are taking these risks because these stories wouldn’t be told otherwise.”

Shadid was also a great influence for many aspiring journalists including, Namo Abdullah, a graduate student from Kurdistan. Abdullah’s voice trembled as he reminisced Shadid’s support and inspiration over the two years of their friendship. “If there were no Anthony I wouldn’t have understood even my own country, as good as I do now.”

Liz Heron, the NY Times social media editor, had worked with Shadid and his wife Nada Bakri for a period of time. She took to the podium and commented on Shadid’s passing. “It also makes me realize that you know his brand of foreign correspondence is so vital today, even among all these new different models of foreign correspondence that we are coming up with now,” said Heron. “It’s really complimentary to the kind of social media correspondence that is coming up and it can’t be left behind.”

Shadid, 43, was known for his gifted eye for detail and his contextual writing. He leaves behind Columbia Graduate and NY Times reporter Nada Bakri and their two children.

Before moving into the final panel discussion for Social Media Week attendees were reminded of Shadid’s humble character. His twitter page was displayed showing his title as simply a “Journalist and Writer.” In a time when social media is understood to be a platform to display ones credits and experiences, Shadid’s profile is a model of selflessness.

 
Hoda Emam is currently an Master of Science candidate in Digital Media at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Hoda’s recent experience includes working with ABC News and the United Nations.

A Student’s Perspective: What the hell is transmedia?

Donovan X. Ramsey is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism and one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC.

What the hell is transmedia? It was certainly the question on my mind. Having been trained as a print journalist, I considered it a feather in my cap to have digital media skills. In fact, I was live tweeting the “Collaborative Storytelling” panel as a part of New York’s Social Media Week. Twitter is something journalists are just starting to really understand. Now this? So there I was, and iPad in my lap for note taking, my digital camera around my neck and cell phone in hand for tweeting. Was I creating in transmedia? The panelists would attempt an answer.

The panel was lively, made possible in part by gag slides displayed behind the speakers. It included Lina Srivastava, Mark Harris, Brian Clark and Aina Abiodun, who served as moderator. The diverse group was often funny and consistently thoughtful.

Srivastava studied law at New York University and now runs Lina Srivastava Consulting, where she promotes transmedia activism. She also makes documentaries like “Born into Brothels” and “The Devil Came on Horseback.” Mark Harris makes films too and unlike the other panelists he might be considered something of a techie. Harris develops software to “facilitate transmedia experiences.” Brian Clark is the CEO of GMD Studios, a company I deduce is an ad agency that works across platforms. He calls himself an “experience designer.” Our moderator, Aina Abiodun, said she stumbled into transmedia while working on a film. She is yet another filmmaker that has expanded the reach of her work through the elusive “transmedia.”

In an interview with Ad Geek in 2011, Abiodun defined transmedia as “a style of storytelling in which one core narrative idea sprouts many rich, new story tentacles across media platforms.” The discussion kicked off with each panelist’s individual definition of the term. This led to the first tangible revelation surrounding transmedia: no one can agree on exactly what it is. There were words that came up regularly however. There was talk of storytelling, experiences and collaboration. 

Clark brought up the popular “It Gets Better” campaign as an example. “It Gets Better,” the series of videos across the Internet is certainly collaborative. Everyone from President Obama to average Youtube users has recorded themselves to share stories of adversity in youth with the underlying mission of preventing suicide in LGBT teenagers. Abiodun didn’t think that was transmedia. She argued that the medium was still practically the same: video.

Then Abiodun asked a question that was sure to raise some dander “Is the bible transmedia?” The panel bounced the idea around for a while. There is the story told by a cathedral for example and that of the text. There are sermons and stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes. Heck, there are even movies like “The Ten Commandments.” The debate fired up. Srivastava offered that transmedia can’t be accidental, there has to be some intention. Did Matthew, Mark, Luke and John intend on a multi-platform experience?

A slide appeared behind the speakers that read, “You’ve grown old and died at this panel.” I looked to my phone and saw tweets flooding in with the hashtag #smwtransmedia. The audience was uploading and sharing pictures of the slide, arguing about the concepts of transmedia while the panel did. One Twitter user wrote, “#smwtransmedia wondering if the slide experience is dependent on the conversation.”

If Srivastava, Harris, Clark and Abiodun couldn’t agree on a definition, they may have designed an experience toward one.

 

A Student’s Perspective: Beyond the Like: Using Real People’s Real Stories to Drive Brand Awareness

Trinna Leong is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism. She is one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC- all from the student’s perspective. She is providing her report from Beyond the Like: Using Real People’s Real Stories to Drive Brand Awareness, hosted by Microsoft.

A highly-anticipated event, with over a hundred guests in attendance, Beyond the Like was filled to its capacity with guests even standing throughout the presentation.

It was the launch of Microsoft’s new product, “People Powered Stories.”

Microsoft Advertising collaborated with Bazaar Voice, a software as a service (SaaS) company that integrates customers social data to help brands leverage content. Microsoft Advertising’s General Manager for Brand Advertising, Jennifer Creegan, and Bazaar Voice’s co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Brant Barton, came to introduce the product.

Using the “Back to School” campaign as their test pad, Microsoft took reviews of Windows 7 from their target audience, high school students, and displayed them on their banner ads. Microsoft is aiming to make banner ads content more social to add relate-ability with clients. And they were did it. “Back to School” was a success for Microsoft, who now looks toward marketing “People Powered Stories” to other brands.

The move to produce “People Powered Stories” came when Bing, a Microsoft company, conducted research that showed audiences look to reviews more than to social networks for advice on products. This prompted Microsoft to look into developing a user-generated reviews to market a product. The company believes that having users submit their reviews adds believability to the ad on sites.

The company still uses engagement time as a metric to determine relevancy of ad with consumers, a metric that was dismissed by another panel: Why Engagement Should Be Spelled A-T-T-E-N-T-I-O-N. When interviewed, Creegan stressed that Microsoft isn’t using engagement time as the only metric but does factor it into their evaluations.

“That’s why we have three metrics: purchase, believability and engagement time,” said Creegan, making their process a sound launching pad.

 
Trinna Leong is from Malaysia and had two years of work experience in the online advertising industry before deciding to trade the sweltering tropical heat for a chance to pursue journalism at Columbia University. Prior to switching fields, she has worked on projects for Nike, IKEA and Citibank. You can follow her on Twitter at @trinnaleong.