Jeff Pulvar, the person running the 140 Conference, says the excitement is not just having 400,000 followers, it's being able to connect with people around the world; we've never had that before.
Image via Wikipedia
The event features over 150 speakers, each talking for about 10 minutes. Here are my highlights from day one.
John Borthwick, CEO of betaworks a seed and venture investment company, talked about the fact that we are just starting to learn what it means to be part of a network. The Real Time Web has resulted in tremendous fragmentation and disruption of the web on three levels:
- Content: content is fluid, it's constantly changing and difficult to measure. Ultimately, we want to be able to make sense of things, so we need to learn to measure and curate better.
- Applications: we interact with different application, and, as producers and consumers we want to be able to move data more seamlessly.
- Networks or platforms: to what extent are the networks (like Facebook and Twitter) going to be part of an open network and integrate with other platforms, or to what extent will we find other networks that are.
Gilad Lotan, VP of R&D for Social Flow, a company that improves the reach of Tweets, talked about how information is spreading so much faster today. The difficulty is not putting information out there, it's getting people's attention, and the ability to get people's attention is power. You have to build your network's trust, which is much more important than the number in your network. Trust that your message is relevant, useful, and valid is what gets people to like and spread your content. His formula is that successful propagation = topic + network + timing. And ultimately, your message has to reach an interested big fish.
Steve Rosenbaum, CEO of Magnify and author of Curation Nation, demonstrated how obsessed we are with information, in that nearly everyone checks email right before going to sleep and right when we wake up. While 5 years ago, a person might categorize himself/herself as a blogger, no one calls themselves a twitter or a facebooker. What we do is filter and pass on what we think is relevant information, or we curate. A lot of the information on The Real Time Web is ephemeral, it's gone before any algorithms can react, which turns search on its head. But as a curator, you may pass something on, and before you do, you need to think about your digital clothing, what you tweat, follow, facebook, or like says something about who you are and what you want to say to the world. He reads about 500-700 tweets a day, but retweets about 5 or 6; his followers aren't looking for more information, they want less information of greater value.
AJ Leon and Melissa Leon run the LaC web marketing company, and help villages around the world become sustainable. These are villages with no water, no electricity, no school, and mud huts as living quarters, but many have access to 3G. A village can become sustainable in about three years for a cost of about $40,000 a year. The Leons get incredible support from around the world by being able to get the villages' stories out in real time. Villagers post pictures and descriptions to a village website and twitter. Outsiders can become citizens of the village by donating $12 a month, which also allows them to join a village Facebook group and attend live video meetings. People are compelled by the truth, and because the stories are told in realtime with no filter, no PR, and live video, they have been able to implement their sustainable village model in five countries so far.
Glenn Manish, Partner/lawyer at Duane Morris, gave a talk on IP: Don't Touch My Junk. So, who owns this social media stuff that's out there, anyway? The law protects vested interests; it does not protect new interests. There are no statutes about social media. There haven't been that many cases, and the judges don't get it yet,, anyhow so you can't really go by precedent. Terms of service are irrelevant. Contracts are rare. So who owns the content? If you give it away, you don't own it. Posting free content generally means you have practically abandoned any rights of ownership.
Peter Corbett, CEO of iStrategy Labs, creates big experiences. 75% of the people who visit an Apple Store feel satisfied even if they don't buy anything, wouldn't you like to generate that experience? When you invite someone to a place (virtual or real), what do they get? Foursquare is a very early implementation of online experience; it's all going to change. A good example is the dog food billboard, when you check in it dispenses dog food. You get a real reward. In an example he is creating, if you check in, there is a puzzle, if you complete the puzzle you get a free beer. Another example is to perhaps have a whole room unlock something on a screen; if 10,000 of you do this at say, a sporting event, perhaps there will be free coca cola for the next 15 minutes. Digital prizes are not really fulfilling, so they will be passing phase. The future of experience marketing will be people unlocking physical space with digital media.
Alon Nir is an Israel economist and CEO of Tweet Your Prayers; Tweet your prayer and he will print it out and stick it into the Western Wall in Jeruselum. He proposed some anti-business maxims:
- go to market without a product, figure things out later
- users don't necessarily have to use your product for it to be successful
- you don't need a business plan if you don't monetize
- create meaning and affect change to achieve personal and professional success
Dan Lewis is Director of New Media Communications at Sesame Street. Why does Sesame Street tweet when their target audience can't read? When parents are involved in their children's education experience, they learn better; all Sesame Street content is written for two audiences, parents and children. Sesame Street needs to keep parents engaged, and they use social media to remind parents of the fun and innocence of their characters.
Craig Newmark, founder of Craig's list is interested in philanthropic efforts that create big changes. Martin Luther was practicing social media, and so was St Paul. John Locke and Thomas Paine were bloggers. But, using their technology, their changes took 200-300 years to play out. With the Real Time Web, now hundreds of years of social change get compressed into 10 years.
Rob Locascio, Founder of LivePerson. How do you keep a sense of community as your community or company gets larger? Take some time to get to know each other as people. Get together, two or three people in a group, and ask questions that enable you to know each other as individuals.
Image via Wikipedia
Corey Booker, mayor of Newark, is a politician who gets social media. Why use social media? It's about creating community that did not exist before; it can create an intimacy in the way you interact. While you can use it to pass on information like police response time, it is especially valuable as a tool to learn about people and their uniqueness. Social media has created a better way for us to create networks for action. In the 1960s, in Birmingham, civil rights was successful because they created an activist network, but now we have a modern manifestation with tools that super charge that, that give individuals who are passionate the tools to create change much more rapidly. However, $60/mo is too much for many members of society to participate online. When people don't have access, when they aren't able to cultivate their mind with Real Time information, it portends a civilization in decline; our inability to educate all of our children to equal and high levels is the Achilles heal of our civilization. A child wil expand to meet the limits of their vision of themselves, when a child is limited in their vision, they get stunted. Children need to see a path beyond their current situation. It's amazing that many Community College students need to take their laptops to Starbucks in order to get their homework done.
Ann Curry is cohost of the Today Show. We are where no generation has ever gone before. People are trying to use the media, to sell themselves, but also to actualize their deep wish to have meaning and do good. We all want our lives to matter, the way to matter is to do something that in some way helps other people. If you step back and look at the scope of human history you have to acknowledge that humandkind is evolving into a more compassionate species. Look at all the behaviors that used to be acceptable, but now are illegal. We have changed; we are becoming more compassionate we are standing up against things like racism, and affronts against our human family.