5 Minutes With Sara Holoubek

Sara Holoubek is the CEO and founder of Luminary Labs, a consultancy focused on operationalizing innovation. We are pleased to have her as a member of this year’s Advisory Board and to hear her thoughts on this year’s SMW!

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

In late 2011, we published “The Innovation Myth,” to Slideshare. While it had great traction initially, we were quite surprised when in July of 2012 views skyrocketed. The right person had discovered and share our work and for two days our presentation was one of the most viewed on Slideshare. Unexpected, organic success is always the sweetest.

2. What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the emerging technology and/or new media space right now?
We are incredibly excited by the number of gurus from Web 1.0 and 2.0 days –  Tim O’Reilly to Esther Dyson to the founders of Invite Media – who are applying their experience and expertise to solve for healthcare. Health tech is hot.

3. What speaker or event are you most looking forward to at SMW NYC?
I’m particularly interested the experiential sessions, installations, and collaborative spaces at the Global HQ at the Metropolitan Pavilion.

4. What prompted you to join Social Media Week’s Advisory Board OR What do you think is SMW’s greatest value add to the tech/media space?
I love how SMW coalesces entire cities around a common theme that transcends any given industry. This idea of inclusion runs contrary to most gatherings, and therefore, yields greater outcomes.

5. What is the most creative way you’ve seen social media used? (This could be a meme, campaign, installation, etc.)
True story: I had been spending the holidays with my family in Wisconsin when the great blizzard of 2011 arrived. Once my flight was cancelled, I spent a few hours desperately trying to find another flight, a train, a car – anything – that would get me back to New York. After tweeting a few updates on the absolute lack of transportation for at least a week, a friend tweeted back that her partner happened to be in Chicago, with a rental car, and did I want to join her for the trip back? Of course I did.

5 Minutes With Deanna Zandt

Deanna Zandt is a media technologist, the author of Share This! How You Will Change the World with Social Networking, the creator of a killer TEDxBerlin talk and an all-around bad ass. Chatting with her is always fun and informative — plus, we got hearing Samuel L. Jackson singing Taylor Swift out of it…  She’s emceeing Day 2 of Ideas Connected at Global HQ, so swing by and see her in person. In the meantime, read on!

1. What is your or your organization’s greatest success with social media to date?
In early 2012, the Susan G Komen Foundation decided to no longer fund Planned Parenthood’s breast cancer initiatives. Outrage erupted, and while many advocates were focused specifically on the funding and financial issues, I wanted to focus on stories. I thought about the women who didn’t have money with which to speak their minds by donating or taking away donations; these were the women who would be most affected by Komen’s decision, and lose access to low-cost and free breast cancer screenings.

I created a Tumblr blog called Planned Parenthood Saved Me, where I asked people to submit stories of how Planned Parenthood had changed their lives. It caught fire; in 4 days, 300 stories were collected and shared, and mainstream media outlets like Rachel Maddow and the New York Times were referencing posts and sharing excerpts. But the real story lay inside the social numbers: More than half the traffic — 29,000 unique visits in 4 days — came from social media, and before any major media mention. The fire came from us sharing our stories with one another.

2. What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the emerging technology and/or new media space right now?
The tension, and possibly an erupting battle, for the open web and web standards is pretty exciting. We see increasingly bolder moves towards silo-ed information and walled gardens, and that’s just not sustainable. The web yearns to be free, and I feel that we’re on the cusp of those starting to break down. Remember when AOL was the end-all-be-all Internet service? And how that model fell apart as both users and technologies became more sophisticated? This, too, will come to pass with the social web.

3. What speaker or event are you most looking forward to at SMW NYC?
I probably sound like a lush, but honestly, the parties are always fantastic during SMW NYC. Not just for going-out-fun-value, but for connecting and reconnecting with good people. I’m looking forward to spending offline time with my communities!

4. What do you think is SMW’s greatest value add to the tech/media space?
I’ve loved SWM’s ethos with regards to wanting to make the world a better place, and I welcomed the opportunity to bring the networks that I’m a part of– social, gender and racial justice communities– to the table to help shape the content. Those voices are often missing in the technology and media spaces, and I’m thrilled that SMW wants to dig deeper there.

5. What is the most creative way you’ve seen social media used?
Honestly, anything with a little bit of humor generally gets my attention– to be funny on social media, you really have to have an extraordinary combination of skills: timing, wit, writing, some tech savvy, etc. From the old meme games we used to play on Twitter (I’ll never forget #unseenprequels and #SamJacksonSlowJams [NSFW]), to fake accounts and image macros (the Willy Wonka series almost never fails to deliver), to the White House responding to the Death Star petition… yeah. It’s a nice reminder that we’re all human and can poke at each other a little bit.

Deanna Zandt is a media technologist and the author of Share This! How You Will Change the World with Social Networking (Berrett-Koehler, June 2010). She is a consultant to key progressive media and advocacy organizations, and her clients have included The Ford Foundation, The Daily Beast/Newsweek, and Jim Hightower’s Hightower Lowdown. She is contributor to Forbes.com via her ForbesWoman “Prospect: Tech” blog, and a social media advice contributor NPR’s flagship news program, “All Things Considered.” Zandt specializes in social media, is a leading expert in women and technology, and is a frequent guest on CNN International, BBC Radio, Fox News and more.She works with groups to create and implement effective web strategies toward organizational goals of civic engagement and cultural agency, and uses her background in linguistics, advertising, telecommunications and finance to complement her technical expertise. She has spoken at a number of conferences, including TEDxBerlin, SXSW Interactive, Personal Democracy Forum,  Netroots Nation, the National Conference on Media Reform, Facing Race, Web 2.0 Expo, Bioneers, America’s Future Now (formerly “Take Back America”), Women Action & The Media, and provides beginner and advanced workshops both online and in person.

Music Lovers Rejoice: SMW NYC Partners with SoundCtrl & DMW Music

This year, we’re excited to have DMW Music is an official event partner for SMW NYC. What does that mean? DMW Music is 2 day event with 500+ of the most influential music and digital media leaders gathering to socialize, share ideas, do deals and learn about new technologies and services. This two-day event features a music-tech crawl at Pandora, Spotify, YouTube/Google, and iHeartRadio; classroom style presentations; interactive pit sessions, a music awards dinner; and executives from companies such as Sony, YouTube, Warner Music Group, Shazam, VEVO,Universal Music Group, Pandora, and more.

And we want you to be able to take part! We have 20 complimentary passes to distribute to our community. Interested? Just tell us why at #SMWDMWMusic

Now, we want you to learn more about SoundCtrl, the team that helped pull the partnership together. Learn more about Jesse Kirshbaum and SoundCtrl!

Jesse, SoundCtrl is a regular partner for SMW NYC. Why is the convergence of music and tech so important and how is SMW fill that need for SoundCtrl?
Technology is advancing at an exciting pace, with innovators who consistently challenge and evolve our conceptions of how music can be created, shared and consumed. Now more than ever, this is a sensation felt across all industry lines and creates opportunities for us to learn both from each others’ successes and missteps. Social Media Week provides a great context for us to discuss this interconnectivity and as this year’s theme suggests, illuminate the principles for a more collaborative world.

Last February, SoundCtrl produced a special music day for SMW NYC. What do you have in store this year?
Last year was truly a blast. We worked with SMW to created the first ever Music Hub satellite event at Dominion Theatre, with a full day of panels from groups like NYC Nightlife, elektro Magazine and Translation LLC. The discussion was kept lively all day with speakers that included Nick Jonas, Beverly Jackson, Asher Roth, Maura Johnston, David Sonenberg, & Junior Sanchez.

This year, we’re bringing back a very successful part of our hub – a conversation hosted by Zev Norotsky (Executive Publisher, elektro Magazine) about the role of social media in the growth of electronic music in the US and what trends we see developing nationwide. This year, the invite-only event will take place at the SoHo House on Friday, February 22nd and Zev will be joined by Joe Rosenberg (Director of Marketing and Partnerships, AM Only), Tommie Sunshine (DJ, Producer), and others TBA.

The music industry is currently undergoing great changes. What are the biggest factors for this and what trends do you see shaping the future of the industry?
It’s a great time to be in the music industry – the balance of power is shifting away from major conglomerates and towards young entrepreneurs who are in the trenches, seeing the opportunities taking shape in real time and have the flexibility to quickly pivot and execute plan B when plan A fails.

To that end, we’re likely to see increased partnerships between these individuals and their startups in 2013. Creating alliances between well established artist services will be key rather than each service extending themselves into areas where they don’t have a solid foundation (EX: Topsin’s integration with Artist Growth, Fireband, INgrooves Fontana and PledgeMusic).

SoundCtrl is producing your 4th Annual FlashFWD awards, set for this May. Can you tell us a bit more about FlashFWD, and what’s in store for the big event?
We’re very excited about the evolution of the FlashFWD Awards and what you can expect to see this year. To give a little background, FlashFWD is the premiere award ceremony highlighting and honoring individuals & organizations using and developing innovative technology in the music space.

Last year’s honorees included Best in Discovery – Spotify, Best in Live – Square, Best in Mobile & Tablet – Snibbe Interactive for Biophila, Best in Artist Support – BandPage, and our 2012 SoundWAV Influencer – Scooter Braun.

This year’s nomination period is almost underway and community voting will open on all categories (including new category, Best in Gaming) this April. For more information, check in with www.soundctrl.com/flashfwd

This year, NUE Agency, who produces SoundCtrl, has an artist up for a Grammy, one of the most social events in the world. SoundCtrl also helped connect Social Media Week to the Grammy’s both for NYC and LA. Can you tell us more about NUE’s incredible success in this area, and how the Grammy’s have managed to adapt so successfully to social TV and engagement?
We were so excited and proud to be at the GRAMMYS with Wale for his nomination in Best Rap Song for the chart topping single “Lotus Flower Bomb” ft Miguel… going for more nominations next year and the big win.

SoundCtrl was excited to be a part of Grammy Weekend as well where, on Friday, February 8th, we produced the Grammy Music & Technology Lab with The Recording Academy and Zuckerberg Media at LA Live. Participants in the lab included the startups Pheed, Pledge Music, Mixify, Buddy Bounce, and Amplifier (powered by SoundCloud) and we were thrilled to introduce the Academy to these entities and take steps to invest and cultivate these innovative services.

The social team for the Grammys are an amazing group lead by one of our mentors, Beverly Jackson. Their open-mindedness and ability to cultivate & capture the online Grammy chatter in meaningful ways is beyond impressive and it’s no wonder that the 55th GRAMMY Awards were the 2nd most social event of 2013 with over 15.4 million social interactions measured across Twitter, Facebook and entertainment check-in platforms such as Get Glue and Viggle.

SoundCtrl is partnering with DMW, as part of SMW. Can you tell us more about DMW and your relationship?
We’re very pleased that DMW Music and Social Media Week have decided to unite and join forces when it comes to music content for the week. Taking place February 20-21, DMW combines Digital Music Forum East and West into one large event simply named DMW Music. 500+ of the most influential music and digital media leaders will gather in Downtown New York to socialize, share ideas, do deals and learn about new technologies and services. This year’s event will be packed with great content, stellar people and a lot of companies that are new on the music-tech scene.

As a long time friend and supporter of both SMW and DMW, it seemed natural to us that these unique teams should know each other and cross pollinate. SoundCtrl was able to bridge the gap and provide SMW with special registration and access to the great lineup of music and technology industry speakers lined up at DMW this year. Check out the full list here: www.dmw-music.com.

What are you most looking forward to this SMW NYC?
We at SoundCtrl are excited about SMW’s Ideas Connected at the Global HQ. The lineup includes everything from master classes taught by companies like Tumblr & Google+, to an interactive exhibition called “The Internet of Things” which will feature new innovations in connect products and devices. You’ll see us around the HQ all three days and we’re already getting excited to hear from Internet entrepreneur, activist, investor and co-founder of social news website Reddit, Alexis Ohanian.

5 Minutes With Colin Nagy

Advisory Board Member, Colin Nagy, is the Executive Director of earned and social mediaThe Barbarian Group. We asked him about the future of social, his interest in SMW and a few other questions. Here’s what he had to say:

1. What is your or your organization’s greatest success with social media to date?
We’ve done several interesting things, but I think our continued work with GE creating content for individual platforms, has been the best received. People particularly like the approach we took to Instagram, really investing original amazing photography and having a clear creative approach.

2. What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the emerging technology and/or new media space right now?
I think 3D printing is going to change the world and have huge implications for where manufacturing takes place.

3. What speaker or event are you most looking forward to at SMW NYC?
I read Emily Steel’s work in the FT and I’m excited she’s going to moderate our panel. She’s a serious journalist and I’m sure she will bring really tough and rigorous questions — something a lot of discussions seem to be missing lately.

4. What prompted you to join Social Media Week’s Advisory Board?
I love the global approach and the ambition.  I also like the many different disciplines involved.

5. What is the most creative way you’ve seen social media used?
I loved the Heineken Star Player app, that allowed people to predict the outcome of real-time events in a soccer game. Not strictly social but hugely interesting. I also loved that Elmo Calls app that IDEO did. Absolutely brilliant.

Colin Nagy works at The Barbarian Group as executive director of earned and social media. He also co-founded the travel company Fortnighter.com, and is also a brand and communications advisor to several NYC-based startups including Percolate, OLO, and Lot18.Prior to joining The Barbarian Group, he was a partner at Attention, a social media marketing agency based in New York. At Attention, Colin helped Tina Brown launch the The Daily Beast, and advised other media companies such as CNN, Newsweek, Mashable and the Guardian. He also represented lifestyle brands such as Ligne Roset and Herman Miller as well as respected hospitality brands Morgans Hotel Group, The Ritz-Carlton and Hilton Worldwide.Previously, Colin worked in policy, crisis communications and public affairs roles for a range of commercial and public sector entities around the world, including The Brunswick Group, based in New York, and the East West Institute, based in Prague. His work has been cited in publications including The New York Times, The Financial Times, Fast Company, Creativity and Monocle. Colin has written for AdWeek, the innovation blog PSFK, as well as various arts and culture publications. Colin graduated from New York University with a degree in Politics and European Studies.

5 Minutes With Jared Hendler

Advisory Board Member Jared Hendler, EVP, Global Director Digital & Creative at MWW Group took a few minutes to chat about Social Media Week New York City:

1.  What is your or your organization’s greatest success with social media to date?
Nikon. We have been able to execute some incredibly successful programs throughout the years across multiple social channels.  The fan base is of course fantastic.

 2.  What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the emerging technology and/or new media space right now?
Wearable technology and embeddable technology: http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/The_Internet_of_Things_2538. Crowdsourced funding aka: Kickstarter & Indiegogo

 3.  What speaker or event are you most looking forward to at SMW NYC?
Rather than call out one panel or speaker, I am incredibly excited about the new creative direction around actionable participation using social media as we connect in person vs. at panels during the event.

 4.  What prompted you to join Social Media Week’s Advisory Board?
I have known Toby professionally since before the start of SMW.  Being a part of the digital and social community  from its beginning — how could you not be a part of SMW!  It is a great way to connect with our peers and give back to the community.

 5.  What is the most creative way you’ve seen social media used?
Fundraising, social and humanitarian change.  The ability to empower every citizen is the promise of every evolved governing body, and the technology allows us to do this.

Jared Hendler brings over 20 years of creative management experience in branding, advertising, digital media & technology forged from over a decade in the corporate world along with having founded and managed 2 new media startups.At MWW, Jared directs digital, social and creative strategy across all practice areas. As digital continues to democratize media, MWW recognizes the need for it’s clients to leverage the power of digital and social strategy, content creation, distribution and measurement.Prior to MWW, Jared worked with Katalyst Media. Founded in 2000 by Ashton Kutcher, Katalyst was named top 10 in advertising and marketing by Fast Company, Katalyst is a studio for social media that connects entertainment with technology and brands. Prior to Katalyst, Jared was the Worldwide Executive Creative Director for Edelman Digital. Jared directed creative strategy with a focus on digital engagement. Expertise included everything from web site builds, Facebook programs, e-kits, online media relations, online promotions and partnerships, to email marketing and mobile campaigns. Jared’s entrepreneurial spirit was grounded with 10 years of experience within the WPP family at Grey Advertising. Jared was the Executive Creative Director and co-founder of G2 at WPP from 1992 and grew the group from 2 people to over 100+ in NY, while spearheading the development of over a dozen international offices around the WPP network. Jared is the author of a digital media blog, a prior board member of the Art Directors Club, a Blue Ribbon Judge for the Emmy Award’s broadband category and is an advisory board member of Social Media Week. Jared participates at industry events such as: Adtech, Digital Hollywood, Adage 2.0. He is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and resides as their East Coast Chapter Chair.

5 Minutes With Sharon Chang

Sharon Chang, Founder of Yoxi and Advisor to SMW NYC, shares her thoughts on the maker movement, upcoming SMW events and the most successful employments of social media. See her #SMWNYC favorite events here, and learn more about this powerhouse below:

1. What is your or your organization’s greatest success with social media to date?
Yoxi had great success spreading our crowdsourced social innovation competition “Trim The Waste of Fashion” using Tweetchats between our competitors and judges.

2. What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the emerging technology and/or new media space right now?
The burgeoning confluence of social innovation and the maker movement is fascinating, and a truly democratizing force in entrepreneurship, design and technology.

3. What speaker or event are you most looking forward to at SMW NYC?
I am eager to experience The Hurricane Sandy Transmedia Project. Authentic and participatory storytelling around an experience which deeply impacted the NY community is key to thinking about future urban innovation and disaster preparedness.

4. What do you think is SMW’s greatest value add to the tech/media space?
Social is where everything happens now — business, entertainment, ideas, partnerships and collaborations — and SMW allows that pollination to happen in a fun, organic and inspiring way.

5. What is the most creative way you’ve seen social media used?
#Giving Tuesday is fantastic (http://givingtuesday.org/) as a way to rethink our Black Friday obsession. Also, Tumblr never fails on the fun, amusing front. I could name a thousand fantastic memes. I love this one because it’s particularly satisfying for someone OCD like me: http://thingsorganizedneatly.tumblr.com/

Editor’s note: Learn more about Giving Tuesday at the following SMW event, hosted by Fenton: GIVING GANGNAM STYLE, An Ideathon with the #GivingTuesday Team

Sharon Chang is the Founder of Yoxi, a global citizen and true New Yorker who is obsessed with food and travel. She is also a creative director, brand strategist, media executive, social entrepreneur and impact investor.

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 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.


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!

Advisory Board Member Christian Borges: Social Media has revolutionized Back-to-School; Most brands miss the boat.

Christian Borges
is the VP of Marketing at Mr. Youth, the agency known for its innovation, fresh thinking, and awesome atmosphere. He’s spent a good chunk of his career immersed in the world of communications and experiential marketing, creating cutting-edge strategies that engage consumes both online and in the physical world. His resume boasts names such as Deep FocusWeber Shandwick, Ogilvy PR, and Fleishman-Hillard, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have him as part of our SMW NYC Advisory Board.

During SMW12, Christian and his colleague David Yarus, Marketing Manager, are hosting The New College Orientation: How Social Media Has Revolutionized Back-to-School. This not-to-be-missed event at IAB‘s NYC Headquarters will take participants back to their glory days, leading them through the world of those first magical days of university life. Their format is such an interesting take on the freshman experience, we had to learn more.

Tell us more about your event!

We’ve been studying the impact of Social Media on the college consumer for years, and this year we’re revealing some of our most powerful findings to date. Essentially, back-to-school and the college orientation experience has changed dramatically as a result of social media. As soon as students receive acceptance letters in March, they immediately turn to Facebook and create online communities with their incoming class. These hyper-active communities are transforming what was once a week-long orientation in August into an extended journey, where students connect with one another and gather important information online.

By studying the conversations and overall activity across two hundred of the largest Class-of-2015 Facebook communities, we have decoded the back-to-school experience post-by-post. Our analysis reveals an unprecedented understanding of the journey through the lens, lives, and keystrokes of the students themselves. Our event features an immersive sensory experience and in-depth conversation around the findings of this study.

What inspired you?

We wanted to  move away from the typical panel and create something exciting for SMW NYC attendees. We challenged ourselves to break out of the mold and change the game. By collaborating with the IAB and students from around the world, we’ve developed an even that brings the modern back-to-school journey to life.

How many students helped you with your concept?

Ten students from around the globe met weekly for the past month through Google+ Hangouts to collaborate and concept the various builds. There are eight core conversations woven through the six month journey and our team of student creatives developed each conversation into an installation piece. That said, since this data was collected from over 54,000 threads written by over 50,000 students, we’d like to think they helped develop the concept as well.

How has school orientation changed?

Graduating high school represents one of the most formative moments of these students lives. After living under the authority of their parents, students are finally the drivers of their own car: decisions, lifestyle, and their future is up to them. When transitioning to college, students are given the opportunity to redefine who they are and can reshape the identity and reputation they’ve previously developed.

Whether this is for the better or worse is hard to say, but one thing is for certain, as soon as they arrive at school these students are free to make entirely independent purchasing decisions. They form buying patterns and brand loyalties they’ll take with them throughout life. This presents brand marketers an incredible opportunity to add value to the back-to-school journey and maintain relevance to students at the most important time in their lives.

How is the modern high school graduate student unique?

These students grew up on Facebook (since Grade 7)! They tweet, type, and text in the blink of an eye. The world has always been at their fingertips. They don’t want your logo plastered across their chest, they pride themselves on individuality. They demand authenticity and they’re immune to ad-speak. They do their homework while watching TV, chatting online, texting, and playing Words With Friends — all at the same time. Social media is part of their DNA. The question isn’t how is the modern high school student unique, but rather what elements of our own “outdated high school experience” is still applicable today?

Register online for The New College Orientation: How Social Media Has Revolutionized Back-to-School, or send a tweet to Christian or David for more information.

Spotlight: Advisory Board Member Peter Himler

Peter Himler, twitter: @peterhimler

Esteemed SMW NYC Advisory Board member Peter Himler has served as Senior Media Strategist for several of the world’s top PR firms (think Edelman, Burson-Marsteller, Hill + Knowlton, and Cohn & Wolfe) before forming his own Flatiron Communications, LLC.

Peter is a master of teaching communications professionals techniques and trends that will serve them best. Not only does Peter advise companies on how to best take advantage of the latest tools, he also leads the Publicity Club of New York, at which he’s organized SMW12 event The Socialization of News.

An avid social media user and author of award-winning weblog The Flack, Peter is more than qualified to moderate a discussion on the way in which news content is shared and marketed. Leaders from Bloomberg News, CNN U.S., NBC News, The New York Times and Thomson Reuters will be joining him.

Peter’s also responsible for The Dawn of Companion TV, to be held at Art & Culture Content Hub at Hearst Magazines. Recognizing that the TV industry has been changed by social TV and the “second screen,” Peter has created a conversation that will dive into the phenomenon of check-ins, content, and conversations with leading personalities from Bluefin Labs, Bravo (NBC Universal), Get Glue, HBO and Umami TV.

With so much going on in Peter’s world, we asked him for a few quick thoughts, hoping to get his advice on what —and who— we should be paying attention to.

How do you stay current on what’s popular?

I enjoy the News.me app on my iPad, which captures the articles linked to by those I’ve chosen to follow on Twitter. I also find inspiration in LongReads, the TED videos in the iTunes Store, and the current crop of non-fiction books about media and technology.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love working with uber-smart entrepreneurs who’ve developed or are in the process of creating pathbreaking technology, apps and products. I appreciate people who recognize and understand the value communications professionals can add. It is especially gratifying to see the media engagement strategy you’ve developed yield notable, meaningful results.

You’re certainly an expert at organizing panels! Who’d be a part of your Dream Panel?

Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Tim Cook. David Carr and Nick Bilton as moderators.

You can pick one person to have coffee with. Who would it be?

Buzzfeed co-founder Jonah Peretti. I caught him at Business Insider‘s Ignition conference and was impressed by his uncanny ability (and track record) in both starting and fueling memes.

What do you do to recharge?

My wife and I live vicariously through our three sons’ lives, and most recently, our third son’s exploits as a Princeton University varsity lacrosse player. We also love to go to the Metropolitan Museum on Sundays when it first opens, grab headphones, and explore different wings. We’re out of there by noon when the crowds arrive.

If you could have any client in the world, who would you help?

I suppose it would be fun assisting Andreesen Horowitz or Kleiner Perkins discover the “next big thing.”

If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?

Discovering new tunes on Turntable.fm or Spotify.

What advice would you have given to yourself 5 years ago?

To have attended SXSW in its early days!

Look for Peter during Social Media Week and share with him your thoughts on TV programmers, advertisers, and audience engagement. You can also follow him on twitter @peterhimler.

Our Advisory Board is Rock Solid. Meet Steven Rosenbaum.

With over 500 speakers, almost 300 events, over 120 event partners, and more than 60 locations (including our Content Hubs), SMW12 is promising to be nothing short of spectacular. Our Advisory Board has shown enthusiam and guidance throughout the planning process, sharing their time, ideas, and tweets to create the best Social Media Week yet. Drawing upon their colleagues and companies, they’re producing events such as:

BigScreen LittleScreen: Web Video Content Screenings and Discussion

Deep Focus Presents: An Evening of “Connectedness

Reflecting on 2012 Grammys Digital Partnerships, Social Media and Innovation

The Dawn of Companion TV

Get “Schooled” by the Class of 2015: The New College Orientation – Powered by Students, Enabled by Social 

…and more!

Needless to say, our Advisory Board members are some of the most talented, brightest people we know.

We caught up with one of our fiercest Advisory Board advocates, Steven RosenbaumCEO of Magnify.net, author of Curation Nation and entrepreneur-at-large with New York City Economic Development Corporation for some of his wisdom.

What do you read for inspiration?

Well, that’s changed a lot in the past few years. It used to be books, magazines, and newsletters. But now,  it isn’t “what do I read” but “who I follow” on twitter. And that’s what is exciting! I follow over 3,000 people from a wide range of disciplines: some folks from digital and social media, some from film, others from book publishing and magazines, a bunch of startups I’m watching, and some VC’s and folks from the NY tech and economic development world.  It’s a wide array, and I like it that way. They help me curate my content and provide me with a diverse mix of voices and perspectives.

What advice would you have given to yourself 5 years ago?

Five years ago, I thought I had to move to Silicon Valley to build a tech company. I ignored the “Go West, Young Man” meme, deciding that NY was the place to build my next company. I can’t tell you how happy I am I made that choice. Today, I think the Valley is great if you need to write a lot of code, but if you’re building a company that is what I call a “hyphen tech company’,” for example Fashion-Tech or Media-Tech or Advertising-Tech, then New York has critically important ingredients you can’t find elsewhere. The vibrancy of our arts, fashion, food, and finance creates a buzz on the street that can be the secret sauce for startups.

What is your favorite aspect of your work?

Magnify.net is literally unlocking the frozen knowledge many of our partners have in their organizations. Putting powerful curation tools in the hands of publishers, brands, and organizations is making web video better. And not just a little better. TONS better. If you want to learn about what’s hot in NY, the video on New York Magazine is awesome. We power that. If you want to explore ideas worth sharing, TEDx has a collection of 10,000 incredible videos, and Magnify.net is the curation magic behind those pages. If you’re a brand that has something to say (like Patagonia‘s passion for the environment), video is what they’re going to use to share what they love. Plus, they’re amazing partners. For me, it isn’t about making content as much as it is about unlocking content — and making the world a better place by doing it.

What is the most challenging part of your job? 

I think that many people still think of video as the stuff they grew up on that their parents called “the boob tube.”  And I mean that in the most family-friendly way possible. They think it’s bubblegum or a time waster. But I think video has the power to transmit knowledge, share ideas, and cross boundaries and borders. It’s about breaking out of old ideas about what TV was and getting connected with all the things video can be. To share. To illuminate. To inform. That’s the coming revolution in web video, and the connection to the living room flatscreen.

So, tell us. What’s your dream job?

Easy: I’ve got it right now.


Look for other Advisory Board members throughout Social Media Week at the following events:

140 Characters Project: Lives Forever Transformed by Social Media

Socializing the NewsNGOs, Causes and the Original Interest Graphs – Interactive Panel Discussion

Getting to the Meat of the Tweet Redux (The Meatier and Tweetier Sequel): Applying Big Data Analytics to Social Media Data, Hosted by Opera Solutions

The Mobile-Social Living Room: How Emerging Media is Reviving the Live Television Experience

Creating Music for the Social Web 

Corporate Responsibility + Social Media – Are They Aligned in Your Organization

Spotlight: Advisory Board Member Susan McPherson

Susan McPherson, twitter: @susanmcp1

Susan McPherson is Senior Vice President at Fenton, the nation’s leading public interest communications firm. Her focus? Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Prior to joining the Fenton team, Susan was Vice President of CSR services at PR Newswire. She helped companies communicate their CSR activities, sparked new business relationships, and managed partnerships with companies such as TechWeb, CMP Medica, and UBM International. She assisted in the launch of MediaSense, a media measurement tool, and has spent time in the editorial and marketing departments of USA Today.

An avid runner (six time marathoner!) with a kind heart for all, we asked Susan to share some of the secrets she’s learned throughout her impressive career.


What do you read for inspiration?
Nick Kristof, Seth Godin, Beth Kanter, The Guardian, The Economist and Harvard Business Review and of course, the Sunday New York Times.

What advice would you have given to yourself 5 years ago?
Don’t give up hope. Something great is around the corner.

What is your favorite part about your work with Fenton?
Everything we do is through the lens of social good. I’m inspired each and every day by the incredible colleagues I’m surrounded by (not to mention our clients as well).

What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
Finding time to continue to engage with all those important to me while still completing deliverables on time.

What’s your dream job?
I’m doing it!

If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?
I would let all all those who I love know it — every single day.

With over twenty years experience in marketing, public relations, communications and business development, Susan brings a wealth of  knowledge to Social Media Week. In addition to participating on our Advisory Board, Susan serves on the board of Bpeace, an organization dedicated to assisting women in regions of conflict start businesses. She is a member of Echoing Green’s Social Investment Council and the New York Leadership team for 85Broads, and advises both Plant A Fish and The OpEd Project. When she’s not advising, creating, writing, speaking, or planning, you can find her tackling the step mill at Equinox or spending time with her loved ones.

Advisory Board Meeting: Behind the Scenes

Ever wanted to know what goes on during our Advisory Board meetings? We’ll tell you.

This past Monday, we dove into the challenges of defining unconferences with the help of Matt and Mark from We Make Cool Sh.it. We’re always looking for new ways to encourage event partners to push beyond typical panel formats and create something collaborative, engaging, and meaningful. Matt and Mark shared some great ideas to inspire us to empower people to create experiences. Check out their own work organizing the Lost Horizon Night Market trucks and bringing Wi-Fi to the masses on MTA’s L-train.

A sample of questions that emerged from our discussion:

•    Can automated processes be blended with art? How can we ensure high quality content in efficient, streamlined processes?
•    How can collaborative experiences be fostered among audiences, panels, and moderators?
•    Can audiences successfully drive content through social media channels?
•    Should exceptional content be rewarded? How else can “out of the panel-box” thinking be encouraged?

If you’re not an Advisory Board member, you can still add your voice to the mix. Whether volunteering, blogging, or organizing an event of your own, don’t miss your opportunity to get involved.

Spotlight: Advisory Board Member Ashley Pinakiewicz

Ashley Pinakiewicz, twitter: @AshleyPina

Meet Ashley.

Ashley is the New Business and Client Relationship Manager in Clear‘s New York office. She devotes her energy to expanding Clear’s U.S. business through compelling, strategic projects and attentive client relationships.

No stranger to to creativity and innovation, Ashley worked in Business Development at IDEO before joining her current team. While at IDEO, she negotiated between clients and design teams, facilitated business leads, and assisted global marketing in strengthening the company’s New York presence.

Beyond excelling in her work, Ashley is an active volunteer for community development and youth programs. She is an avid traveler and reader who has spent many hours performing as a jazz and hip-hop dancer. She graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in English Literature and Art History.

Ashley took time out of her busy schedule so that we could get to know her better.

What is your favorite part about the work you do?  
Getting people excited. My job as a Business Developer is to get potential clients excited about my company, get our internal teams excited about new clients and projects, and get our group excited about our growth vision. I love catalyzing people and building enthusiasm – the best reward is watching people light up, generate momentum, and take off.

What’s your dream job?
I absolutely love what I’m doing now, and hope to be doing it for quite some time. If I were ever to shift completely (and had the funding to do it), I would run a non-profit focused on redesigning the educational experience in America, doing everything from teacher training to curriculum design to funding new school models.

If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?
Reading for pleasure. I love to soak up information but wish I had more mental energy for reading the novels that I love so much.

You are gifted $1 million dollars. What do you do with it?
Donate some to an educational cause I love (New School Ventures, perhaps?), buy my parents a pied a terre in wine country, and buy myself a one-year trip around the world. I suppose I should invest some of it, too?


Clear is a brand consultancy that uses the crisp power of simplicity to advise brands and businesses with qualitative and quantitative insight, innovation, and strategy. Founded in 2002, the agency has rapidly grown and is now part of the M&C Saatchi group. The Clear team is diverse in skills and personalities, blending insight and research to address clients in industries ranging from food and drink to pharmaceutical and personal care.



5 Questions With… Ian Schafer, CEO Deep Focus

This post is part of a weekly series called “5 Questions With…” featuring Q&As with Social Media Week Global Advisory Board members.

Ian Schafer is CEO and Founder of Deep Focus, a full-service interactive marketing agency, delivering pioneering and meaningful engagement in the digital space. Advertising Age named Ian a ‘Media Maven’ and he is on the list of the Adweek “Young Ones”. Read his full bio here.

Deep Focus will be hosting “Participation, Aggregation and Criticism in the Digital Age” – a panel discussing how social media is challenging (and changing) social and business rules of engagement – on Monday, February 7 from 3PM – 5PM.

Q: When and why did Deep Focus first get involved with Social Media Week?
Ian Schafer: I’ve been involved with Social Media Week since the beginning. I’ve known and respected Toby Daniels for quite some time, and as soon as I caught wind that Social Media Week was in development, I wanted to get involved and am now on the Global Advisory Board.

The more educated the industry is about social media, the more successful Deep Focus will be. I’ve brought Deep Focus in as a partner to coordinate & run events and help with communications around Social Media Week NY. We’ll be very visible during Social Media Week, so be on the lookout for the team!

Q: What is a major trend you see rising in the social media space of the ad industry or otherwise?
IS: Social media represents an evolution in the ways humans connect to each other, to information, to brands, to objects, to causes, and to places. The biggest trend I see this year is that some companies will actually begin to integrate social media into their organizations, not just their marketing programs or public relations efforts. It will only be a handful of larger brands at first, but smaller brands have been doing this for a while, and will inspire the big guys. The usage numbers are too large to ignore or write off. Social gaming will become a viable ad medium, and mobile connections will be more important than ever, as payment processing starts picking up steam, and smartphone penetration hits an even bigger critical mass.

Q: How do you use social media for both personal and professional use?
IS: Personally, I use social media just like everyone else does – to stay close to family and friends, discover new content, and share what I find interesting. Professionally, I’ve been using social media to put a human face on Deep Focus, while also empowering other Deep Focusers to do the same. I use it to share opinions and things I find interesting with people within (and outside of) the advertising and technology industries. I like staying close to news and information, but I like staying close to people even more.

Professionally, my social media channels of choice are Twitter and my blog. I find it wonderful that I’m not only surrounded by brilliant people at work, but on Twitter as well. Some may say that social media dilutes the idea of being friends with, or even “knowing” people. That’s only true if you let it. It can make those relationships stronger if you make it. I opt for the latter.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most during Social Media Week 2011?
IS: I’m looking forward to Deep Focus’ panel as it comes together, as well as many other events at the JWT hub. I also plan on making it to the other hubs so I can engage in conversation about things other than advertising and marketing. Of particular interest are events that discuss the impact social media has had, and will have, on culture, society, journalism, and governments. Debates on privacy concerns are also something I’m looking forward to participating in.

Q: What are a few major goals for Deep Focus in 2011?
IS: In 2011, Deep Focus is going to make significant advancements in integrating social media and engagement into our clients’ overall marketing and business strategies. We’ve done a great job of making measurement and ROI an important part of what we do, but there’s much more work to be done. As everything becomes more social, we’ll be developing initiatives that use digital media to move people physically, and get them to create content when they are there. We will be cementing the role of the “engagement agency” in a brand’s agency roster, and making that role a significant consideration for brands everywhere.

We’re also looking forward to our first full year as a part of the Engine USA family, and will be working with our sister agency, Noise, and other new partners to bring integrated marketing solutions to some of the biggest brands in the world – all while keeping the consumer at the center of marketing strategies, where they belong.

Follow Ian on Twitter and his blog.

Alysha Lalji is a contributing writer to the Social Media Week blog and works in digital communications at Deep Focus.

5 Questions With… Steve Rosenbaum, Founder and CEO of Magnify.net

This post is part of a weekly series called “5 Questions With…” featuring Q&As with Social Media Week Global Advisory Board members.

Steve Rosenbaum is CEO and Founder of Magnify.net, a video publishing platform that makes it easy to integrate user-generated video, video that you produce, or video that you discover into your website. Read his full bio here.

Q: Your book Curation Nation has been widely acclaimed. What does “curation” mean to you and what role do you see it playing in the social media space?
Steve Rosenbaum: Well, first of all I think the early buzz around the book tells us that folks are hungry for a new way to help them slow down the fire hose of data that is coming at all of us. Truly, what this has triggered is a magnificent renaissance of content.  But it’s also overwhelming. We’re literally drowning in data. It results in that panicky feeling that no matter how hard you try -you’re going to miss something important.  So folks who’ve read the early galleys of the book are saying things like, “This book gives me hope for the future of the Information Age.” That’s Dan Pink – who wrote A Whole New Mind. He’s an amazing author and thinker. So when he wrote that I was like ‘wow, ok maybe this book really needed to be written now.’

Curation simply means that in between the massive web of data and your brain there will be humans. They will find, organize, categorize and validate content for you.  And – increasingly – you’ll be a curator for your peers and friends and fans as well. In fact, if you’ve ever re-tweeted something, or posted on Yelp, or written a review on Amazon – then you’re already curating. You just don’t think of it that way – yet.

Curation will be the special magic that makes social media work. In fact, the idea of ‘social’ is a curated idea. Your social circle is inherently a set of choices. It’s the people you choose to let into your digital life. And their editorial advice is going to help shape what you read, watch, eat, and wear. Think of Social Curation like FlipBook on steroids.

Q: When and why did you first get involved with Social Media Week?
SR: I’ve been involved since year one. I like the self-organizing nature of an event like this. There’s so much talent in New York, and unlike other cities, New York doesn’t really have an easy way for a community to gather. There’s no Buck’s Pancake House here (a famous valley eatery for the tech community). So Social Media Week provides a backbone. And – it’s February – so I’m looking for any excuse to be indoors with friends, and hopefully find a party or two to crash.

Q: What is a major trend you see rising in the social media space?
SR: Well, first of all – let’s be honest, the words ‘Social’ and ‘Media” haven’t really found each other yet. Social is housed in a variety of apps and websites. Media is emerging in Twitter, YouTube, and other tools. But just now, we’re seeing shared social stories – groups of people gathering on Facebook, or connecting in curated ways with experiences like TweetChat.  The big trend is going to be more and more people making, and engaging in media that is social. Shared viewing, co-creating, re-mixing and exploring participatory media. This is an exciting, important, and unfinished evolution.

Q: How do you use social media for both personal and professional use?
SR: Yikes. Well, where do I start?  I publish – often – and using a wide variety of tools.  Personally I use Facebook, Twitter, HootSuite, Foursquare, and Flickr – most of them every day. I’m playing with Quora and Reddit a bit.  Professionally, I publish my video on Magnify.net – where I curate more than 15 channels of content. I blog for Huffington Post, Fast Company, Silicon Alley Insider, and MediaBiz Bloggers. I see my blogging as a spark-plug for conversations – often the most social things I’m involved with are provoked in the comments. On Twitter I’m pretty serious about curating an interesting conversation for my followers and responding directly and quickly to @messages or DM’s. I manage four Twitter accounts, so I’m always reading and re-tweeting – but different material for different streams. For me, curating conversations is something I love to do, and so I’m always enjoying being part of a community of ideas.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most during Social Media Week 2011?
SR: Well, publishing is a very new world for me. I’ve learned a lot working with the folks at McGraw-Hill, and I’m excited to connect with more folks from the book world. I think publishers have an opportunity to be the curators of new ‘live’ book content. So that’s a conversation I’m excited to have. And of course, video and film are my passions as well. So I’m excited to share some wild ideas about how video gets to emerge from the shadows of what we politely call ‘entertainment’ and join the thinking world.

I think this is the year that ‘Social’ and ‘Media’ fall in love.

Alysha Lalji is a contributing writer to the Social Media Week blog and works in digital communications at Deep Focus.

5 Questions With… Sara Holoubek, CEO Luminary Labs

This post is part of a weekly series called “5 Questions With…” featuring Q&As with Social Media Week Global Advisory Board members and Event Partners.

Sara Holoubek is CEO of Luminary Labs. Sara founded Luminary Labs as a response to an increased demand for her strategy consulting practice. Read her full bio here.

Q: Tell us about your background with Luminary Labs and what the organization’s major goals are for 2011.
Sara Holoubek: Luminary Labs was founded to address the needs of industries in transition. As large organizations moved into a post-recession rebuilding phase, they sought to become more resilient in the face of change. In 2011, we will continue to help companies build these business models and introduced new, agile approaches to people, processes, and technology.

Q: When and why did Luminary Labs first get involved with Social Media Week?
SH: Last year we started to develop a strong point of view regarding the role that social technologies can play in the modern organization.

Currently, the majority of social media is focused on satisfying the upper half of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: like this, friend me, buy that. We feel strongly that the world has yet to explore how these same technologies can also serve more basic societal needs, such as our health and food systems.

One of the challenges is that those with the knowledge of how social technology works rarely interact with those solving for basic societal needs. We suddenly felt this obligation to introduce the various actors to explore this concept in a participatory fashion. And so Health | Tech | Food** was born. 

Q: What is a major trend you see rising in the social media space?
SH: We are starting to see organizations view social technology as an underlying system, as opposed to just a messaging tactic. This is a welcome change, but will result in significant organizational changes that may be uncomfortable at first.

Q: How do you use social media for both personal and professional use?
SH: Professionally, social media has become a core component of my company’s communication infrastructure. It has become completely interwoven in all of our interactions with the world.

Personally, I have to thank social media for safely delivering me back to New York during the December blizzard. On the eve the storm, I tweeted that I was about to be stuck in the Midwest with no flights, trains or rental cars available. A Twitter follower quickly connected me to a mutual friend in the same situation, but with a rental car on hand. She was just a few hours away, so yes; Twitter is directly responsible for a 16 hour road trip, including the requisite Cracker Barrel stop.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most during Social Media Week 2011?
SH: I look forward to seeing the output of Health | Tech | Food. As an open innovation event, we will publish all of the ideation output so that anyone can take a concept to the next level. 

**Health | Tech | Food is an event to discuss and innovate around the core health issues of New York through the lens of social technology, including four ideation workshops: open source health, food systems, the quantified self and mobile health.

Alysha Lalji is a contributing writer to the Social Media Week blog and works in digital communications at Deep Focus.