The Slacker’s Guide to Creativity

Social Media Week’s submission deadline is approaching fast, and once holiday festivities have ceased, February will be lurking around the corner. With so many tasks at hand and extra obligations piled upon typical routines, it can be difficult to set aside time to “get creative” and develop something awe-inspiring. Take the pressure off and choose one of these tactics to turn your brainrain into a brainstorm with minimal effort. AWAY

Get your heart pumping, increase blood flow and circulation, create distance between you and your project through movement. Run, skip, walk backwards, do some jumping jacks. You may find that a flash of inspiration strikes you as you loop around the block or stroll through the park.



Assume a different persona. Notice how you see the world and respond differently. Think about your audience. What do they want? Are their needs different from your own? When you’ve slipped on someone else’s shoes, what do you crave?



Ask questions. Lots of them. It doesn’t matter if you know the answer or if it’s something that can’t be solved. Come up with as many questions as you can and write them all. By the time you jot down one hundred, you may be surprised where your mind has led you.



Change your environment. Wander in a new part of town. Move your desk around so when you automatically reach for your red stapler, it isn’t there. Something as simple as adding a new photo to your desktop may cue your mind in a new way.



Give yourself a set amount of time to think about anything except the task at hand. Do NOT do what you should be doing. You may be surprised that this self-permission frees your mind in other ways. Play with putty. Make a paperclip sculpture. After fifteen minutes of slackerdom, revisit your project and watch where this sense of freedom has led you.


If you’re feeling extra inspired, submit your event ideas. Even if they are not completely refined, we’ll help you organize your thoughts and create an experience that adds to Social Media Week 2012.


Flickr Photo credits: Maurice Melchers, plasticrevolver, Rev Stan, Eleaf, ockenden

E-Commerce Knocks On Gentlemans’ Closets

The e-commerce marketplace for men remains undefined. A swarm of websites has emerged, offering a multitude of collection pieces. Statistics have proven for years that men despise entering a store to purchase clothing. As a result, hubs such as Mr. Porter and Gilt Groupe flourish by providing esteemed labels at lower price points.  Gilt Groupe has built a microsite, segmenting even more exclusive men’s fashion named Park & Bond.  A former Ebay executive is entering the market with a new concept named Trunk Club, where shoppers receive a booty of goods, choose their favorites, and return the rest.  Aldo, the Italian shoe designer, also rolled out a new microsite dubbed Mr. B’s Gentleman’s Boutique.  The collection, unlike the other purveyors, showcases original leather-crafted products, ranging from bags to footwear. Felt Boots, Park & Bond

It is clear that men have far more channels to survey available products. Marketers, nevertheless, are still trying to solve the dilemma of drumming up sales figures. Ricardo Poupada of believes that a brand has to add a little more.  “With deals targeting men, the smart money is moving beyond product discounts to deals that offer novel experiences, with a focus on quality.”

As a man who places a high quotient on sartorial matters, I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Poupada’s sentiment.  I scour all types of forums to identify, locate, and purchase goods.  I not only want to find exclusive products, but also durable ones that will last over time.  They become part of my personality, telling the world of my life experiences upon first glance.

Men live for discovery.  They also want to stand out amongst their peers. Creators of men’s products should heed these tidbits for 2012.  E-commerce merchants have built outstanding user experiences online.  Many more need to connect offline for the hearts and wallets of men.

Abdul Fattah Ismail is an interactive marketing specialist with expertise across a range of online strategies. He lives in New York and is an MBA graduate in Marketing Management from St. John’s University. He has contributed articles for Blueliner Marketing and Talent Zoo.

Branding Social Change; The Persona of Change Through Social Media

El Lissitzky, 1929

The use of the words branding and social change in this title is not an attempt towards commercialization or to cheapen movements such as the Socialist Revolution, Women’s Suffrage, or Civil Rights Movement, but to more clearly identify how we are reaching individuals, giving expression, and creating the tribe around a movement.

The internet may be a phenomenon of our generation, but social change has utilized the benefits of branding since the invention of large format printing for posters during the Belle Époque era of the late 1800’s.  One of the greatest examples of branding social change of this kind is the Communist society’s use of previously banned modern art and movies as the perfect platform to attract, inform, and motivate the illiterate masses.

Not intended as a history lesson, I’ll fast forward to the current tides of social change: the uprising in Egypt, Occupy Wall Street, The Tea Party. All have used social media as a conduit to the masses and each other, giving their own unique voice and persona that distinguishes them not only from each other but to the media.  This is where we come full circle.  This, my friend, is known as branding.

An adviser to small businesses and start-ups, Darcey launched the Solo-Preneur Success Program based on brand strategies and corporate citizenship platforms. Her work has been chronicled in The New York Times, Forbes, TIME, and AOL Online; she has keynoted at IBM, the SBA, MORE magazine Re-invention Convention, Staples, BDO Seidmans, T-Mobile, and on her own DVD “The Essential Guide.”

Funnel competition into creativity

Tag. A coloring contest. Dodgeball. Class rankings. What begins in grade school as a simple mission to earn more points than the opposing team or be the last one standing will eventually permeate your world (whether you want it to or not).


It’s a word that fuels action. Competition for dollars, for time, for attention, for buzz. In business, in life, throughout social media channels and beyond, competition has becomes a ferocious intent, driving strategy and routing corresponding decisions.

Yet those precious moments still exist in which people can set aside this drive and come together for something more. Instead of finding inspiration from one-upping another, an outside mission brings them together. Such as Social Media Week.

The occasion offers an opportunity to unite, create, and discover. It’s a blank slate, an open stage for any and all to command. It is a rare position in which invitations are extended to simply participate. A white canvas waiting for paint.

Those willing to dare to venture into that unknown have the opportunity to develop and create experiences people care about. To build something that unites people in ways previously unconsidered. To start conversations that incorporate audiences, luring them in as participants as opposed to limiting them to outside observers.

This realm of possibility, while knowing few restraints and bounds, can seem paralyzing. To help you get started, think about the person, or groups of people, you’d like to converse with. What would you want to say? If you had one theme to pass out in goodie bags, what would attendees walk away with? This idea should permeate your every action – from the invitations you send to participants to the tweets you write to promote your event. What is the message you are trying to convey?

Don’t be afraid to grab the microphone. There’s no judge, no points to earn, no game to lose.

Leveraging LinkedIn to Land a Job-Job: Part 1 of 2

I’d like to offer some point-counterpoint commentary on a topic matter that currently occupies a lot of my physical and mental energy consumption: how to optimally leverage your LinkedIn network to land, as I affectionately like to call a “full-time position with benefits.” A Job-Job. While I am currently enjoying my flexible schedule freelancing for various Manhattan start-ups as both social media strategist and sales manager, I am really after that Job-Job.  As a social media enthusiast, I am hell-bent on finding ways to optimize my usage of LinkedIn to get ahead and land that ideally suited position.

I recently stumbled upon a really interesting infographic (because seriously, what infographics have you come across that weren’t interesting?) billed as the LinkedIn Boot Camp (praise you Mashable and Pete Cashmore!). It immediately sparked a barrage of pre-conceived opinions I possessed about this social networking site. I decided to take the time to offer a bit of a point-counterpoint analysis on this, largely spot-on piece outlining nine ways to best take advantage of the site’s functionality and features. Note: please excuse the somewhat corn-ball ‘boot camp’ metaphors that each point leads with; they were’s, not this author’s, choice of vernacular.

  • Point #1 – Core Conditioning: Completing Your Profile This is a no-brainer, baseline action item that you should check-off your LinkedIn To Do list as soon as possible.  From an SEO perspective, completing your profile in full is a crucial component of managing your own personal brand.  To be more transparent, as the infographic accurately points out, your LinkedIn profile will consistently index as a top 5, first page search result when you, or more importantly, potential clients and future employers, “Google you” in search for more information on your background.  So get on this…pronto!
  • Point #2 – Endurance: Connect with Everyone – I’m not sure that I fully agree with this.  Yes, direct connections are integral to building your network and, in turn, would presumably improve your ability to leverage said network for both business lead generation and professional opportunities.  That said, you should not dismiss the very clearly stated message that LinkedIn champions each and every time you reach out to ‘LinkIn’ with someone (yes, the term has become a verb); that is, it is notbest practice to connect with someone you do not know at all or, more specifically, someone who has very little to do with the professional space that you occupy. Every generic, rather innocuous LinkedIn invitation that I receive from someone I have never met in my life just makes me feel like I’m being ambushed by some obnoxious telemarkterer.  So unless you have some affinity for bantering with telemarketing folk, I would steer clear of this spammy-practice.

    Image by Christopher S. Penn via Flickr
  • Point #3 – Guns & Ammo: Customize Your URL and WebsitesLike point #1, this is another ‘no-brainer’ that needs to be at the very top of your To Do checklist, not only for SEO purposes but for ensuring that your profile maintains a clean look and feel.  After all, you are the keeper and protector of your own personal brand, a brand that I contend is the most important out there (lo siento Starbucks…).

Hope these first three points were a helpful start to all of you savvy, social networkers out there. Here’s to hoping your next step is your LinkedIn page. Stay tuned for the second half of this point-counterpoint LinkedIn discussion…

I’m a motivated Cornell University Hotel School alumnus, affectionately known as a Hotelie for life, with keen interests in social and digital marketing for hospitality and lifestyle brands. I’m very passionate about sales and marketing in the hospitality industry, specifically as it relates to the dynamic online space. In my free time, I obsess over growing my musical intellect (both modern and past-time artists apply), tennis, and running practice.

Sending Out The Best Tweets on Twitter? Yea, There’s an Award for That.

Throughout this week we’ll be posting on the ground accounts from individuals that attended New York Social Media Week events. To participate, email a blog submission to

Note: The Nomination Process Closes Tonight at 11:59pm, click here to nominate your favorite tweep!

For me, Greg Galant and the Sawhorse Media team’s talk was the highlight of yesterday’s Social Media Club at Roger Smith Hotel.

Ever since I first learned about the Shorty Awards existing I’d wanted to hear Greg speak about how they came to be. The Sawhorse team’s lecture was more of a conversation than a lesson.

…and an intellegent one at that.

The title, “Over 500 million people are using social media. How to find the 50 you need to know about,” defined the overall mission of Greg’s team and their products. The team spoke about three Sawhorse sites; Listorious, Muckrack, and Global Quad. Each of those sites has a different focus (i.e. Muckrack helps organize the best tweets in Journalism, and Global Quads is for the best in Colleges), yet all three operate based on the same overall mission, which is to help you locate the most influential tweets. Their sites help de-clutter Twitter, and I think they’ll be around for years to come simply because there’s a need for them.

In addition to those three sites, The Sawhorse Team also run The Shorty Awards, which honor the best producers of short real-time content. I’m extremely excited for this year’s unveil of who the best producers of 140 character content are. I was also pleased to learn that this year’s Shorty Awards on March 28th will be live-streamed. (#score.)

To access clips from past Shorty ceremonies, including everyone from MC Hammer, to Sesame Street, visit

The Sawhorse Team further inspired me to always think before I tweet. Seeing myself holding a future Shorty Award is going to be my inspiration to refrain from oversharing.

What’s yours?

Megan Conley is a contributor for the Social Media Week NY Blog and a Community Manager for J.P. Barry Hospitality. You can follow her on twitter @meganconley_.

Networking Down the Homestretch

There’s only day left to meet people at Social Media Week. Spend the time tonight to use our community page or mobile AttendeeApp to track down several “must meet” contacts. Tweet them, find them, and make a meaningful connection on Friday.

When you depart the conference tomorrow night, don’t feel overwhelmed by the hundreds of business cards that you will have to sift through on Monday. Rather than spending the tedious time looking up the right “John Smith” on LinkedIn, use the SMW Community Page to quickly find all of the online profiles for a specific contact. Check out their blog and company… and then friend, follow, and connect on LinkedIn in one fell swoop.

Reinforce your connection and lets continue this exciting conversation!

Event Spotlight: Fueling Passion for Music Discovery, Hosted by Pandora, Big Fuel and Social Media Advertising Consortium

It’s the second day of Social Media Week and we hope you are all enjoying the awesome panels and parties! Have you been meticulously and strategically planning out your agenda for this week?

Well don’t forget to pencil in this event hosted by Pandora, Big Fuel and Social Media Advertising Consortium:

What is this event called? Pandora Presents: Fueling Passion for Music Discovery

Where am I going? Entertainment, Sports and Gaming Hub at the Red Bull Space

When? Wednesday February 9th from 6-9 PM

What’s this all about? Join industry executives, social media insiders and bloggers to share insights and ideas in a relaxed setting fueled by good music, food and cocktails.

Don’t forget to register here!

Live from Social Media Week: Oysterpedia

Throughout this week we’ll be posting on the ground accounts from individuals that attended New York Social Media Week events.  To participate, email a blog submission to

Cameras were flashing, Foursquare check-ins were documented, and hashtags were encouraged during this evening’s Oysterpedia event at Mermaid Inn.

Mermaid Inn, a restaurant known for their seafood and socially savvy marketing, hosted tonight’s “have your app and eat it too” event alongside a packed Social Media Week crowd.

Holding the launch during Social Media Week undoubtedly generated a great deal of buzz around the app.

The full version of the app (which costs $1.99) allows you to ID 200 types of North American oysters. You can also save and rank them as you try them.  If you’re not looking to pay the 1.99 however, the lite version allows you to download a 60-oyster version for free.

I’ve waitressed in two different seafood restaurants- leaving  me with a combination of 5+ years serving seafood- and had never attempted to try an oyster until this evening. The event literally and figuratively caused me to get the app, and eat it too.

What do you think, is the Oysterpedia app worth downloading?

Megan Conley is a contributor for the Social Media Week NY Blog and a Community Manager for J.P. Barry Hospitality

Hub Spotlight: Google

Social Media Week New York begins next week and posts this week will include overviews of each of the five Content Hubs, which is where much of the programming is taking place.

We are incredibly excited to be partnering up with Google, host to the Science and Technology Hub.  The company continues to remain on the cutting edge of technology rolling out concepts like Google Ideas, a hybrid think tank based in New York, developing policy and solutions based not only on traditional research and analysis, a pragmatic approach to resolving complex, international issues.  Events at Google throughout the week will cover how social media is revolutionizing and complicating human interaction.

What would happen if you couldn’t be single until you changed your relationship status on Facebook? Our cure for the Monday blues is this hilarious session hosted by SpaientNitro, and hear what the experts say would happen if we could only communicate with the same methods used through social media.

Then join Wired Google for the next panel,  on the developing situation in Egypt.  that will cover how citizens are using Web 2.0 technologies to assemble and protest their regimes.

Then you can attend an awesome tech panel hosted by DOTGO, featuring technologies integrating text messages into websites, mobile and other software.

Tuesday takes you to an exciting conversation on the power of crowds, hosted by the UN Global Pulse.  Find out how incredibly diverse groups are, and the influence they have from a grassroots level to international.

Want to know what all those Facebook and Twitter updates are doing to your brain? A Social Media Scientist might be able to tell you at our next event, hosted by Opera Solutions.

Our final event looks at the power of leveraging social media analytics, and how mass collaboration is launching scientific discoveries forward at unprecedented speed.

Come to Google on Friday, and witness a provocative discussion led by Douglas RushkoffErick Schonfeld and Josh Harris.  They’re sure to having a heated talk on how connected we really are to each other through technology, and fodder we’re providing to advertisers with our online content.

Our final event covers how current and emerging technologies are impacting governmental response to a crisis.  Mobile and internet access are redefining global response time and attempting to resolve them at a granular level.

Isabella de Medici, author of, is a contributor to the NY Social Media Week blog.

Hub Focus: Hearst Magazines at Hearst Tower

The Arts & Culture hub, hosted by Hearst Magazines at Hearst Tower, is home to a publishing magnate that revolutionized the media industry.  It is a symbol of this diverse sector, with its innovative architectural design located in the heart of Manhattan.

Still waiting to start your New Year’s resolutions? Join us Monday, which kicks off with a panel hosted by PepsiCo on governmental guidelines, nutrition and how the digital realm is impacting how this information is shared.  After you figure out how to fit back in your skinny jeans, get in touch with your inner fashion guru hosted by Hearst, and see how shared online shopping experiences are influencing fashion/editorial revenue models.  Finish up with an exciting session on brand strategy 2.0 hosted by Hearst, which examines the blurring lines between brands, media and consumers, and how you’re shaping the creation process engaged at every stage of product development.

Get Tuesday started with the chance to be on TV in our Bar Karma workshop hosted by games creator Will Wright (The Sims) and Albie Hecht of Spike TV.  If you liked restoring sanity and/or fear in September 2010 with Jon Stewart and Stephan Colbert, check out the afternoon rally hosted by Comedy Central that discusses the integrated, digital strategy used to amass over 250,000 people in Washington, DC with one of the largest volumes of live streams in MTV Networks history.

Engage the global technology community on Wednesday, with a multicultural panel hosted by Freddie Laker, head of digital strategy in Asia for SapientNitro.  You can see how even the furthest country, separated by mere ocean and land, is within your reach with the advent of social media forums and real-time sharing.  Then you can get in touch with your inner rebel in a new age of uprising, hosted by Personal Democracy Forum. Wikileaks revamped infowar in the digital age, and industry experts are predicting an increase in these events. Finally, join our host Hearst to examine celebrity brand strategy’s evolution with social media.  It’s going to be a great discussion on ever-innovating revenue models for web and mobile, and how the the traditional modes of fame are dwindling alongside print media.

It’s time for spring cleaning on Thursday; MTV and Text 100 want to outfit your brand with tailor-made techniques to increase awareness and productivity by concentrating on industry-specific social media forums.

Everyone’s a critic! Our next panel, hosted by Hearst, will whet your appetite for great restaurants and vendors, and our panelists will chat about the growing influence of personal blogs and their impact on getting you to sample cuisine absent from the pages of ZAGAT.

On Friday, come check a truly avant-garde session hosted by Guggenheim – the integration of social media and promoting the arts.  You can hear speakers from the MoMA, Guggenheim Museum, and Whitney Museum addresses strategies for launching these institutions forward painted on a digital canvas.

Who doesn’t love Betty White? She is not simply a platinum-haired cougar, but a messenger on the tidings of web 2.0.  The host of our final panel, TV Land, took a (Facebook) page out of her book.   They used an adaptive marketing approach for their show, “Hot in Cleveland”, and the heart of the campaign was based in consumer feedback through social media.

Isabella de Medici, author of, is a contributor to the NY Social Media Week blog.

Hub Spot Light: JWT

Social Media Week New York begins next week and posts this week will include overviews of each of the five Content Hubs, which is where much of the programming is taking place.

This year, we’re proud to count esteemed advertising agency and SMW global sponsor JWT as the host of the Business, Media and Communications Hub. Over the course of Social Media Week, the stage at JWT will feature keynote remarks and interviews with diverse speakers such as JWT’s David Eastman, Foursquare CEO: Dennis Crowley, authors Frank Rose and Steve Rosenbaum, MB Christie of the Financial Times and DJ Funkmaster Flex in addition to dozens of incredible panelists.

The panels and discussions being held at JWT will emphasize the role of technology and social media in packaging brands and engaging consumers, with each session providing attendees insight into how the giants of industry are strategically leveraging social media to achieve their aims.

Here’s a quick walk through of everything you can anticipate next week at JWT:

On Monday morning David Eastman, JWT World Wide Digital Director & North American CEO will offer initial remarks to set the stage for an incredible week. Following Mr. Eastman’s keynote, panelists that span across the gaming industry will join together to discuss the prominence of social games as well as how social dynamics are reshaping games.

From there, we’ll dive right into a session hosted by Microsoft Advertising that will investigate the ecosystem between paid, owned, and earned media as well as it’s changing effect on marketers.

The day will culminate with a Deep Focus panel on participation, aggregation and criticism in the digital age.

But we’re just getting started!

Tuesday at JWT will kick off with a breakfast and panel hosted by Meebo, followed by a keynote from Benjamin Palmer who is the CEO of the Barbarian group on humanizing brands. Immediately following Mr. Palmer’s remarks, stay put for a panel that will look at the necessity for publishers to simultaneously act as technologists. The day will conclude with a panel hosted by KickApps on whether to play offense or defense when it comes to social strategy.

Wednesday begins with a keynote from John Winsor, CEO of Victors & Spoils, the world’s first creative (ad) agency built on crowdsourcing principles. Mr. Winsor will then moderate a panel discussion on the power of collaboration and sharing focusing specifically on the impact of mass collaboration leading to co-creation and co-consumption.

Join YouTube around lunchtime for a session on creative Storytelling in the Digital Age, a workshop that will analyze YouTube as the modern day campfire.

Wednesday afternoon sessions will include a keynote from Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley, a 360i panel on how to reach consumers and an Adweek & JWT collaborative panel on twitter that includes catering provided by Whole Foods.

Listen up on Thursday morning for a panel on social listening and the importance of being able to comb through the noise to make decisions on behalf of brands, hosted by JWT. The panel will be followed by keynote presentations from Frank Rose, the author of The Art of Immersion and Steve Rosenbaum, author of Curation Nation. Following their discussion, join DotBox for a discussion on Social Commerce.

Friday morning will begin with a keynote from MB Christie, head of product at, following a panel on mobile strategies hosted by DotSUB on how leading brands are leveraging mobile technology to activate their brand’s regional and global social engagement strategies.
Phew. What a week- and that’s only our first hub!

Check back here for more Hub Spot Lights and in the meantime be sure to check out our Hub pages to register for events. Tickets are going fast and you must register to guarantee access to an event.

Event Spotlight: Tips to Build Brand Relationships Amidst the Social Media Clutter, Hosted by MTV and Text 100

If you’re in NYC during Social Media Week, don’t miss out on this great panel hosted by MTV and Text 100. Be prepared: the rule books are being thrown out, rewritten, and then thrown out again.

  • What’s this event called? Tips to Build Brand Relationships Amidst the Social Media Clutter
  • Where will this event be held? Art & Culture Hub at Hearst
  • When will this event be held? Thursday, February 10th from 9 AM to 11 AM
  • Who is hosting this event? MTV and TEXT 100
  • Look who’s talking: Moderator: Brenna Ehrlich (Mashable), Speakers: Chris Ficarra, SVP Integrated Marketing (Digital Music Ad Sales, MTV), Tara O’Donnell (Text 100) and Tom Fishman, Social Media Manager (MTV)
  • What’s this event all about? We all know a killer social media strategy and flawless execution can augment a business or personal brand. With social media channels constantly changing the marketing scene, we need to weed through influential tools, online communities and digital footprints to meet the needs of unreliable and unpredictable customers. But what’s driving your customers and influencers? How can you plan for and measure something that is viral by nature? And how do you stand out among the thousands of people who consider themselves “social media experts”?

Grab a coffee and find out what this panel has to say—and catch a glimpse of case studies from around the world that show true ROI! (Oh yea-and don’t forget to register!)

Joanna Firneno is a contributing writer to the Social Media Week blog and is an Associate Communications Manager at Deep Focus.

Event Spotlight: “Social Gaming: How Social Dynamics are Reshaping Games”, Hosted by David Eastman, JWT Worldwide North America CEO

In New York, our team is proud to be partnering up with JWT, a Global Social Media Week partner and the official host of The Business, Media and Communications Content Hub.  On Monday February 7th, we’ll be jumpstarting a week of dynamic panels and insights from a number of innovative leaders in their respective fields, with remarks from JWT Worldwide North America CEO, David Eastman.  His keynote will immediately be followed by a panel on how social media is shaping the landscape of gaming. Checkout a recent 5 Questions with David Eastman and find more information on the gaming panel below!

  • What’s this event called? Social Gaming: How Social Dynamics are Reshaping Games
  • Where will this event be held? The Business, Media & Communications Hub at JWT
  • When will this event be held? Monday, February 7th at 9:00 am
  • Who is hosting this event? JWT
  • What’s this event all about? Social games are here to stay. This panel will bring together a variety of experts from the gaming industry (casual, hardcore and cross-platform) to talk about how social dynamics are reshaping games of all types and making them more pervasive across all walks of life. To register for this event, please use the form here.
  • So, what is JWT? JWT is the world’s best-known marketing communications brand. JWT is a true global network with 200-plus offices in over 90 countries. JWT was also Named Adweek’s Global Agency of the Year. Check out JWT’s site to learn even more about their work and their people.

Clare Brown is a contributing writer to the Social Media Week blog and works in digital communications at Deep Focus

Social Media Week Announces Five Content Hubs in New York, Invites Industry to Help Curate Program

We are now two months out from Social Media Week this February 7-11, and a LOT is going on. Following yesterday’s announcement that Nokia will serve as global headline sponsor of Social Media Week, today we are pleased to announce a new twist to the week for our third weeklong event in New York: five distinct “Content Hubs,” reflecting key areas of focus for conversations on the societal impact of social media.  These five physical hubs will host daily programming and cover these themes: People and Society; Art and Culture; Business, Media, and Communications; Science and Technology; and Music, Sports and Gaming.

With today’s announcement, we are also releasing a very preliminary version of the schedule of events for New York, as well as select sponsors and keynote speakers.  Many events are still TBD and of course there are many more to come, but please take a look to get a sense of some of the exciting things to look forward to in February. The preliminary schedule can be found here:  Registration for these events will open on Tuesday, January 11, 2011.


The locations of four of the Hubs have been confirmed already with Google hosting the Science and Technology Hub; global advertising agency JWT hosting Business, Media, and Communications; The Paley Center for Media hosting People and Society; and Red Bull Space hosting Music, Sports and Gaming.  We hope to announce host Art and Culture Hub within the next week.

JWT Logo

“JWT is heavily involved with Social Media Week on a global level,” said Social Media Week Board Member David Eastman, who is Worldwide Digital Director and North American CEO at JWT.  “The conference has grown in importance and stature, much as the social media space itself has.  By hosting and participating in this essential series of events, we are helping both educate the audience as well as ourselves.”


Continuing the collaborative theme of Social Media Week, the New York organizers are looking to co-curate a significant proportion of the content by soliciting event ideas from some of the city’s leading thinkers and practitioners in the fields of social and mobile media.

Stephanie Agresta, Social Media Week board member and EVP and Managing Director of Social Media for Weber Shandwick said, “Social Media Week is leading the charge to globally scale the community of digital thought leaders driving this important channel.  By creating connections among influencers around the world, SMW is providing a valuable service to consumers and brands alike.”

In addition to Weber Shandwick, confirmed content curators in New York include: MTV, Financial Times,  New York Times, Frog Design, the New York Public Library, Edelman, the Barbarian Group, Saatchi Wellness, 360i, GOOD, The Personal Democracy Forum, Morris & King, Deep Focus, Publicity Club of New York, Fenton Communications, Wholefoods, Foodspotting, DotBox, Comedy Central and many more to be added.  Confirmed speakers include JWT’s David Eastman; Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley; Meebo CEO Seth Sternberg; John Winsor, founder and CEO of agency Victors & Spoils; with many more to be announced.

Social Media Week New York is one of nine cities simultaneously hosting Social Media Week this year, along with London, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Toronto, Hong Kong, São Paulo, and now Istanbul, which was added to the global lineup this week.

Global support for Social Media Week is led by mobile communications giant NOKIA, with additional support from global partners Meebo, a social platform with more than 180 million users; and JWT. Other brands involved around the world include Google,Vodafone, Oi Telecommunications (Brazil) and Fiat Motors.

The strength of Social Media Week lies in the collaborative efforts of the community.  There are many ways to get involved in the conference. To participate as a brand partner, sponsor, event host, panel speaker or volunteer, please visit:

You can see a full version of the release here:

For all press and media inquires, please contact Ben Scheim of Crowdcentric/Social Media Week at +1-347-224-3996 or by email at

Get Involved In Social Media Week New York–February 7-11, 2011

Social Media Week returns to New York this February 7-11, 2011 and organizers Crowdcentric are inviting individuals, organizations and brand partners to ‘Get Involved’ in the curation, planning and organization of the weeklong event. This is your call to action to Get Involved in New York’s Social Media Week!

Social Media Week New York is produced by Crowdcentric, together with individuals from leading New York media and emerging technology companies like Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer, Barbarian Group CEO Benjamin Palmer, Morris + King CEO Andy Morris, BBH Innovation Director Saneel Radia, New York Times Social Media Manager Stacy Green, and Journalist Caroline McCarthy.  The advisory board and host committee are primarily focused on providing leadership and guidance on Content Curation, PR & Communication, Diversity, Editorial, and User Experience.  To see the full list of board members check out the advisory board section of the site.

“Social Media Week is about intellectual discussion of the evolutionary changes occurring in the ways we communicate, and how we create, share, and discover content,” said Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus and SMW Advisory Board Member.  “I’m involved in Social Media Week because we all share the responsibility of moving ourselves and each other forward with the help of the platforms we participate in and have helped build.  Great ideas and inspiration have come out of each previous Social Media Week; this year’s yield will be unprecedented.”

In addition to expanding the size and scope of the program and conference experience, the organizers are also launching four “Content HUBs” focused around four basic areas of content: people and society, art and culture, business media and communications, and science and technology. Each HUB will be located at soon-to-be-announced venues featuring daily events throughout the week.

As an open and collaborative platform, Social Media Week provides many ways to ‘Get Involved’ including curating and hosting events, speaking and presenting, designing workshops, facilitating interviews, sponsoring events, providing editorial coverage, and volunteering to participate on the local host committees.

There are opportunities for every organization and individual to get involved this February, on both a global and local level:

  • Host an event: You could join the ranks of Sony, New York Times, MTV,, JWT, Razorfish, MoMA, Porter Novelli, and others who have all hosted events at their space during previous conferences
  • Volunteer: Join the host committee in your city, work at the events, support the communications team, help with outreach.  There are many ways to get involved individually
  • Provide in-kind products/services to attendees: Much like Foursquare, Livestream, Pegshot, Mobile Roadie, your company could provide services to SMW attendees that enhance and improve their experience
  • Sponsor an event: There will be at least 150 events taking place throughout the city.  Through these events, your brand can connect and engage an audience of hyper-social influencers
  • Speaking Opportunities: Do you have domain specialism?  Do you want to share your ideas with a broader audience?

Go here to find about more about Getting Involved.

If you have any questions about Social Media Week or getting involved in Social Media Week New York, please contact Lauren Hurst by email at for more information.

Go here to see the press release for this announcement:

Social Media Week Announces Dates & Cities for February 2011 Event

Hot on the heels of the immensely successful Social Media Week September, we at Social Media Week are pleased to announce our next global conference, scheduled to be held this February 7-11, 2011.

The next iteration of Social Media Week will take place simultaneously in New York, London, San Francisco, Toronto, São Paulo, Paris, and Rome, with more cities to be added in the next couple weeks. The first five are all returning cities from February 2010 and Paris and Rome are new additions to the community.

Social Media Week has quickly become one of the world’s most unique conferences, providing a global perspective on emerging trends in social & mobile media.  In 2010, New York-based organizers Crowdcentric hosted over 450 individual events in eleven cities, reaching more than 18,000 attendees with over 200,000 users connecting through the online and mobile experience, generating millions of impressions throughout the social web.

Unlike many traditional conferences, Social Media Week strives to maintain a model where free access to content, programming and events is made possible by support from brand partners including PepsiCoVodafoneNokiaMeebo and

“Over ninety percent of our content and programming is free and accessible to all attendees”, said Toby Daniels, CEO of Crowdcentric and Founder & Executive Director of Social Media Week.  “We believe that access to high-quality learning experiences, business networking and buyer /seller market places should not be exclusive to a limited number of executives and organizations that can afford it.”

The driving force behind Social Media Week in each respective city is the local city partners.  In Toronto, Entrinsic will be returning to produce Social Media Week for the second time.  Chinwag will be leading the effort in London.  São Paulo-based SixPix Content will produce the Brazilian conference.  Social Media Week San Francisco will be co-produced Swirl Integrated Marketing and Social Media Club, and La Netscouade will lead in Paris.

Paris city partner Benoît Thieulin said, “The opportunities to sit together for a moment and think collectively how social media will transform and further our relationships with the world (ourselves, the media, brands, institutions) are still rare.  It was natural to La Netscouade, as a leading social media agency, to step up and take care of introducing this global event to Paris and its flowering of initiatives on the social web.”

Milan-based Augmendy, producers of Social Media Week Milan, will also be bringing the experience to Rome.  Augmendy leads Marco Montemagno and Marco Antonio Masieri said, “We are absolutely delighted that Social Media Week Milan was such a success.  Over 5,000 people attended our ninety events during the week, with 20,000 more people visiting our headquarters, proving that 2010 is the tipping point for growth and development in the Italian web world.  We’re looking forward to an even bigger event in Rome in February.”

Beyond the Crowdcentric organizers and regional city partners, Social Media Week is made possible through its framework of globally connected organizations and individuals who contribute a significant amount to the programming of the conference.  If you or your organization would like to get involved as a city partner, event organizer, host, speaker or brand partner, please go here! Or, if you are a brand looking to reach a global audience of hyper-social influencers, either locally or globally, please contact Ben Scheim by email at for more information.

Stay tuned for more exciting information about Social Media Week February 2011!

Leave Your Smartphones at the Door: Humanizing Social Media with IDEO

Amanda Bird is Brand Manager at 360i. You can follow her on Twitter @oiseau678.

This post was co-authored by Mae Karwowski, Community Engagement Specialist at 360i. You can follow her @maekar_wow_ski

IDEO is a self-described global design consultancy that uses human interaction as inspiration for their designs. They’ve designed everything from seating configuration concepts for Chrysler to folding tables for Akira to a transcutaneous immunization delivery method for Intercell. And for Social Media Week they hosted an event designed to bring the “human” back to social media. The description for the event, with its claim that communication via technology has had “the effect of sterilizing human communication and leading to social media offerings that can be shallow,” provided little insight into the type of experience we were about to have. But we were intrigued…

Upon first arriving to IDEO’s Soho office, attendees were required to check their coats and relinquish all non-analog devices in order to fully appreciate the experience without the pull of the outside world (but seriously, no @ing or txting for 2 hours!?!?).

Scattered about on a table were several hundred brightly colored buttons marked with various words and phrases – ‘nerd,’ ‘brooklyn,’ ‘us weekly reader,’ ‘artisanal cheese.’ We were instructed to choose four buttons and given a white shirt to wear for our newly gathered ‘pieces of flare.’ As if the white t-shirt uniform and buttons weren’t enough to get the 70 or so of us interacting, IDEO provided a delicious food spread and open bar as an added social lubricant.

For forty minutes we mingled and noshed only to start wondering if perhaps this was the great social experiment. Finally our hosts took the mic and let us in on the real experiment for the evening – do pretty much we we’d been doing (mingling, asking about each other’s button selections) but with an added twist. A few blank buttons and sharpies were thrown into the mix so that we could all make custom buttons and pin them on the backs of the folks we’d just met.

In just 60 seconds, you could meet someone and “tag” them with a label you felt was befitting. A bit nerve wracking, but that just made it all the more fun. The buttons worked naturally into conversations, eliminating the need to blindly seek common ground with a total stranger and accelerating the dialogue.

Image via PSFK

At the end of the night, we spoke about how it felt to be untethered from our electronic communication devices, yet tethered to this group of people and only a few buttons for self-identification and definition. Perhaps most enlightening was the way the event facilitated a brainstorm process. We’re always seeking new ways to spur group dynamics, creativity and the ideation process. In trying to translate the mores of one form of communication into another (in this case social media’s “rules” into a real-world cocktail party), we began to more deeply question our inhabited assumptions about the way social media “should” function. Are tags and bite-size descriptors opening us up to build deeper relationships – or are they allowing us to feel as if we’re connecting, even if all we’re doing is acknowledging similarities?

This same brainstorm activity might be applied to any challenge. Its effectiveness lies in forcing us to rethink and even question the success of our current approach.

All in all, the event was enjoyable, and it didn’t feel that weird or unfamiliar, except maybe for the phantom blackberry syndrome we kept experiencing. At the end of the night we all gathered up our belongings and (not surprisingly) whipped out our mobile devices to tweet, text and email about the experience we’d just had.

For more takes on the IDEO event, check out @kylecameron’s post over at

SGO is Coming! Social Graph Optimization, Sponsored by Meebo

Amanda Rykoff is a NYC-based sports fan, TiVo junkie and social media enthusiast. She shares her observations, commentary and diatribes on these and many other topics at The OCD Chick. You can follow her on Twitter @amandarykoff.

This popular event, hosted at the spectacular midtown offices of JWT and sponsored by Meebo, attempted to answer this potentially multi-billion dollar question: with so much choice in how consumers tap into their social graph, how do media and brands reach, connect and influence these networks at scale?

An outstanding panel took on that question and many more, and engaged in an entertaining, intelligent and extremely informative dialogue about this new and evolving topic.  Here’s who shared their insights and opinions with an engaged, constantly tweeting crowd:

Berkowitz led the panel through a practical (and slightly aggressive) agenda, including: What techniques will work? How can marketers maximize the audience? And what’s next in this new and constantly evolving world of social graph optimization?

Social Graph Optimization Panel at JWT
Social Graph Optimization Panel at JWT

What’s a Social Graph?

But before we even get to those questions, there may be a few of you out there who want to know what a social graph is. And just in case you need to know, you’re in luck. When people use the term “social graph”, they’re referring to an online representation of our relationships (personal, family, business) on social networking sites.

Social Graph Optimization

Social graph optimization is just the term for how to maximize a presence in a user’s social graph (Twitter, Facebook, etc.).  Or to put it another way, for people that run websites and brands, how to get SEO optimization and lots of visibility in all the feeds in the social graph?

Simple, right? Not so fast.

We’re in a new, constantly evolving social media world, both as consumers and marketers. The social graph and the ways to reach consumers constantly changes and grows. As consumers are provided with seemingly infinite networks, marketers need to be creative, sensible and practical about ways to connect with consumers. Social media and social graph optimization represent important new tools to be explored, but aren’t the so-called magic marketing bullets.

Tale of the Tweets

What follows is my recap of the panel, which I call the Tale of the Tweets. It’s a collection of live tweets from the event which provides an entertaining, unfiltered and real-time look at what the panelists discussed.  For more insights from the Twitterati (and there were a lot of people live-tweeting the event), Twitter Search #smwgraph.

Just Getting Started

Aaand like every #smwny event, we’re starting a half hour late.

Panelists: @dberkowitz of @360i, @annaobrien, @sethjs of Meebo, @MarkGhuneim, @HashemBajwa. #smw #smwnyc #smwgraph

Search v. Social Graph

Search has been great traffic driver. Now social media drives and needs to be optimized (@sethjs). #smw #smwgraph

Social graph optimization = increasing your visibility in social graph, like SEO optimization does for search. #smwgraph #smwnyc

This is the wild wild west. #smwgraph

What is a Social Graph?

Ok, let’s take a step back: what the hell is a social graph? #smwnyc #smwgraph

P.S. I wasn’t asking what a social graph is. That was asked at the panel! #smwgraph

How to Optimize the Social Graph?

Social graph optimization: study users that are already fans. Do things that make them want to tell their friends. @sethjs #smwgraph

Most important part of any business is to listen and understand what your customers, competition is saying. What you should be saying. (@annaobrien)

Listening to consumers isn’t new to marketers. It’s just way more complicated today. @HashemBajwa #smwgraph

How to Encourage Sharing?

Bottom line: if you do something well, it will be shared. Quality gets shared. @MarkGhuneim #smwny #smwgraph

RT @db: Someone relatively small that’s connected to a lot of other big influencers is just as influential. -@annaobrien #smwgraph

ET @CatherinVentura: If you get 1% of daily use visitors to share, you are doing well (@sethjs of @meebo ) #smw #smwgraph

Sometimes it’s not that complicated: make it easy to share. @sethjs #smwnyc #smwgraph

People love to share videos and photos. @sethjs of @meebo. #smwnyc #smwgraph

I may have a blackberry, but thank god I have a black MacBook to help save my credibility at #smwny.

RT @CatherinVentura: Words that work in promoting buy in to shared content are “play with me” and “help me” @sethjs #smw #smwgraph

RT @dwag29: Create natural messaging for your users to make their friends want to click. @sethjs #smwgraph

What Does SGO Mean to Your Business?

Did I make you more $, did I save you more $, and did your brand grow? Nothing else really matters. @MarkGhuneim #smwgraph

BTW, @MarkGhuneim is founder of Wiredset and Trendrr. He’s built products to listen to the conversation real time. #smwgraph

Meebo bar: 3 goals: more users, more engagement w/content and revenue. Work to move all 3 metrics via social graph @sethjs #smwgraph

Location-Based Applications in the Social Graph:

Aha! Hot question: where do mobile location-based applications factor in to the social graph? #smwgraph

Your Twitter stream and your Foursquare streams are very different and achieve different goals. @HashemBajwa #smwgraph

RT @dwag29: @Foursquare adds value to the environment we’re in. – @HashemBajwa #smwgraph

Sharing: How much? How little?

To share or not to share: that is the question. @annaobrien #smwgraph #smw #smwnyc

Social media has created a new term: “oversharer” (used by @dberkowitz)  #smwgraph #smwnyc

RT @db: “How do we stop amusing ourselves to death? The conversation needs to evolve” -Mark Ghuneim, Wiredset / Trendrr #smwgraph

RT @db: “Where’s the line w/ sharing? There’s going to be people that cross the line but that needs to happen” -@annaobrien #smwgraph

Digital and Social Media Education

Education is key. We’re failing to teach the tools that are necessary to succeed in this new media environment. @sethjs #smwgraph

There are people who know how to consume information and those that don’t. @sethjs #smwgraph

RT @dwag29: Massive audience doesn’t know diff btwn web page & application. Need digital education. -@sethjs #smwgraph

What’s Next in Analytics?

Who are my real friends? Various levels of relationships. It’s no longer “everybody is friends.” @annaobrien #smwgraph

RT @dwag29: Moving from “everybody is friends” in SM to diff types of friends and groups that need to be targeted. -@annaobrien #smwgraph

Data. There is so much data out there. Need to figure out what to do with it. That’s the key. #smwgraph #smwnyc

Facebook Connect

Ah, we have a Facebook Connect sighting. @MarkGhuneim: it removes a giant barrier of entry and is effective that way. #smwgraph

RT @CatherinVentura: “I just commented” and “I just rated” work well with Facebook Connect (@sethjs) #smwgraph

You can’t just add the Meebo Bar or Facebook Connect onto your site. It won’t work. There needs to be strategy. @sethjs #smwgraph

Companies are trying to become “identity management systems” rather than social sites. @annaobrien #smwgraph #smwny

You want to publish where your users are, but don’t give up your own home. @sethjs #smwgraph

RT @CatherinVentura: Balance publishing on other publishing platforms (eg Facebook) & publishing on their own (@sethjs) #smw #smwgraph

On Customer Service

The 759th time I’ve heard it, but it bears repeating: social media can be a huge key for customer service. @MarkGhuneim #smwgraph

Quote of the Day

“When I lose a follower, I consider that optimization. They weren’t listening and weren’t relevant.” @MarkGhuneim #smwgraph

Want to read more about Social Graph Optimization? Check out this article.

This was a great panel. And stay tuned. We’ll soon be talking about “SGO” in the same way we’ve been talking about “SEO” for years.