- Jason Fellman, Co-Founder, FG SQUARED (moderator);
- Dave Evans, VP Social Media, Digital Voodoo;
- Tom Parish, CEO, Tom Parish, Inc.;
- Giovanni Gallucci, Social Media Evangelist with DexterityMedia.com & Viewzi.com.
I had a much better time today at Interactive Austin 2008 (AI08) than at SxSWi 2008. I believe this can be directly attributed to the level of maturity of the audience at this conference. SxSWi 2008 seemed a mish-mash audience of vastly different age ranges and levels of experience in Web 2.0 technologies and social media. It was difficult there, as a panelist, to develop a message that would reach everyone in a relevant way.
Interactive Austin 2008 was different in that the backchannel was made highly visible. So, the smart-aleck comments posted were fewer and far between. I think this was due to the fact that the mass audience could quickly identify who was posting into the Tweme backchannel (isn't it human nature to "be bad" when we think no one's looking?). This led to more constructive and collaborative conversation.
We live in a society that has lost its patience. We want information RIGHT NOW and we want to react to information RIGHT now. So, we find ourselves multi-tasking and only paying half-attention to what other people are saying. In this Web 2.0 world, where listening is important, we've actually become worse at doing just that. Listening has become quite an art. I didn't find this a problem at AI08.
I know Dave Evans calls this the Invisible BackChannel, but (again) I'll use today as an example to tell him this channel is VERY visible. As panelists, we were able to immediately respond to comments and questions. And, the audience didn't get restless and tired of us droning on and on just to hear ourselves speak.
I was honored to be on the first panel (Track 1) called The Role of Metrics in Driving Interactive Performance with the following gentlemen:
This immediately followed a really good morning keynote called "Social Commerce and Its Impact on Business" with Steve Guengerich, Chief Learning Officer nGenera Corporation.
While I am grateful for this opportunity, I want to point out that (once again) I found myself on a panel as the only female among a group of males -- with higher positions/titles than myself. Stormy Peterson and I have had digital convos about this and we think it's an interesting phenomenon. Actually, I expected this to turn out much differently than it has, with women leveraging our collaborative nature to propel ourselves to the forefront of social media, firmly established as experts in this field. I often wonder why reality is so much different than this expectation I had a few years back.
Thanks to Cynthia Baker of Accolades PR for inviting me and to the great people in the audience who I'm following now or are following me on Twitter, etc. It's always nice to see people face-to-face these days, isn't it? Although I value my virtual friends, I'd much rather shake someone's hand or hug them. Virtual friendships...they're kind of like trying to eat a soft taco without touching it. It tastes the same, but it's a bit messy and something seems missing at the end.