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Thrilled to Participate in the Social Media Clubhouse at SXSW

I’m excited to be part of Social Media Club‘s Social Media Clubhouse #3, in Austin this week and next, for SouthBy Southwest Interactive and Music. Chris Heuer, Kristie Wells, and the SMC team have been working really hard to get the house sponsored, set up, and ready for the rest of us to arrive, and I give them a huge amount of credit for planning it.

As a board member of Social Media Club, and of the original team behind the group, we always envisioned being able to bring together professionals form important discussions. This is part of what we are chartered to do – “2. Share lessons among practitioners.” At the Social Media Clubhouse, we’ll have summits on Co-Working, Engagement, and the Synaptic Web.

I hope you’ll follow us via our #smch3 hashtag, our Twitter list (forthcoming) and our site. And, if you’ll be Austin, please get in touch – I’d love to meet or catch up with you.

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Social Media Club – 4 Missions and 4 Projects

As an Interium Advisory Group member for Social Media Club, I’ve chosen to work on the Media Literacy Project as described below.

4 Missions, 4 Projects: Social Media Club Gets to Work | Social Media Club

Media Literacy

Michael Brito is leading an effort to find and organize all the best Introduction to Social Media presentations, classes, discussions, cartoons, videos, blog posts etc… There are a lot of ‘here is what you need to know about social media‘ lists out there as well – where are they, which ones are the best. If you have some materials to submit, or if you run across some good material, can you please join this project by submitting your introduction to Social Media materials on the Social Media Club wiki.

I think this is a critical issue for children as well as customers of any company. We say “don’t believe everything you see online.” But how do we evaluate different content, research sources, and teach people how to be discriminating. Not only am I going to be involved in this effort at Social Media Club, but I’ve proposed this topic as a panel at the South By SouthWest Interactive Festival in Austin in 2009 (SXSW). If you support this idea, please consider voting for my panel. You’ll have to create a free account.

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Social Media Club Forms Interim Board

I’m proud to announce that Social Media Club has started a re-formation, and I’ve joined the interim board, along with 42 practitioners of Social Media from the Enterprise, Consumer, Public Relations, B2B, Academic and Education, and Communication fields.

In this release, the new board acknowledges “our core mission will remain the same: promotion of media literacy; support of industry standards efforts such as Creative Commons licensing, Microformats, Data Portability and OpenID; discussion and promotion of ethical behavior; and sharing our knowledge among our members and the industry community at large.”

I’ve been part of this train from the start, and it is an honor to serve with some great practitioners who I can learn from and with whom I can share my experience. SMC NY will re-convene this Fall, possibly in conjunction with a Special Interest Group or meetup, so I’m interested in your feedback about that, and what you’d like to learn when we do so. And if you’re interested in volunteering to help that effort, please get in touch.

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Social Media Club named to top 100

I’m proud to have contributed to the Social Media Club blog this year and  Virtual Hosting Blog has picked it as one of the Top 100 Social Media and Social Networking Blogs for 2007.

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Social Media – the future

I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin.

—Neo, The Matrix


No, I don’t know the future. But I’m watching it begin. Getting involved with Social Media Club was just the thing I needed to kick start my brain again. I had spent a lot of time thinking about Web 2.0 in this article for Optimize Magazine, but hadn’t had a lot of places to discuss my thoughts and to help them grow.

Thankfully I met Chris Heuer via Shanon Clark’s MeshForum.  Chris has spent a lot of time thinking about Social Media, including an excellent post here on the future of Social Media which he wrote for BlogOrlando’s event last week.

One of Chris’ predictions, “More individuals will band together in networks small and large, changing the very notion of freelancing and employment” is something that I’ve seen as a prediction before, whether via Dan Pink’s Free Agent Nation, Sara Horowitz’ Freelancer’s Union  (I was an original advisor to Working Today) or other folks. But it seems more timely now than in the dot-boom/bust timeframe.

Reading the upcoming book Mavericks at Work by William C. Taylor and Polly LaBarre has pointed to some excellent examples. (Thanks, Polly, for the advance copy!). Examples of companies like InnoCentive, which helps companies find solutions to difficult problems using the net and the wisdom of distributed crowds of scientists, researches, and labs around the world, really shows not just a freelance model but a new way of working for a company by working as a small team. InnoCentive, NineSigma, TopCoder and others provide an interface – an open API if you will – for small or medium size teams to collaborate, mashup and provide data to large collections of revenue and R&D dollars (also known as major corporations.)

How do these methods of finding innovation meet Social Media? All  the projects these companies do are done based on net and real world-based relationships, created first via the net, facilitated by collaborative software, nurtured via relationship building that’s often virtual…sound familiar? Sounds a lot like the way business is now done, and will be done. This is where Social Media meets Corporate Media (insert plug for the upcoming event of the same name this October, done by Chris and a few co-conspirators).

Getting back to Chris’ article, there are some other excellent points about how Social Media can save the world and change business. I made some connections in my head to what Chris said and what Greg Narain says about BizDev 2.0 as well:

The Wet Edge in the Web 2.0 world is the Open API. The edge is constantly moved by the developers that come along and increase the surface area – extend the reach and use of the underlying system by innovating the brush, so to speak. The survival of this enterprise assumes that the mixer (system developer) constantly adds new colors (features) to the palette, hence keeping painters (web developers) interested in the offering.

Business, Social Media, everything seems to grow more when we open the conversation, and yes, it has to be a conversation, up to others. As Tom Watson said recently, “Blogging isn’t about big stories or mainstream journalism. It’s about giving voices to thousands and thousands who didn’t have them before (beyond their dens and livingrooms and local barstools), providing real open distribution, and creating a vast patchwork quilt of conversation, thought, and passionate argument.” [emphasis is mine]

I didn’t come here to tell you how this is all going to end. I’m here to tell you how this will begin. We’ll be having another meeting of Social Media Club in NYC in late October. There are camp type events all over. Meetup hosts lots of good events. Pick one, and go talk to people. I hope you’ll join in the conversation with us.