I participated in a presentation for the Monitoring Social Media conference organized by the Influence People along with Brandwatch, an enterprise social media monitoring tool which we’re working on an integration with our desktop product at Seesmic.
I’ve done a number of presentations and panels in the past year, but felt like I needed to share this in a post. In all honesty, I wasn’t prepared, since my last participation with the same organizers was on a panel, which is easier to come in and be not as prepared. However, during a meeting the day before, I came to realize that this was going to be a co-presenter session, and realized I had to have a presentation ready.
The presentation took me a few hours, and I kept it as plain and simple as possible and focused on being a complement to the main presenter. Through this, I made sure I had laid out a simple outline for my presentation, chose appropriate graphics to convey my points, kept the slides to a minimum.
Here’s some things that I should have done or kept in mind to do:
- Help your audience spread your information. In my introductory page, I should have added my twitter handle and the hashtag for the conference. It’s not that I’m much of an ego-boosting guy, but there are often times where a slide might strike a chord with someone in the audience and would like to share it out to their followers. Also, I probably would have put the hashtag as a footer for every slide. I’ll try that the next time.
- Choose your graphics wisely. Simple visuals make all the difference in the world. For graphics, I chose Stock.XCHNG or http://www.sxc.hu which is normally my default choice for stock photos. If you’re interested in looking at other photo sites, you can review the Daily Blogger’s 10 Image Search Engine alternatives to Google Images or HongKiat’s 41 Image and Icon Search Engines Designers Should Know
- Offer up information for them to look at. Sometimes you lose an audience when you have so much crap on the screen, and they drift off. However, there were some key charts that I showed and referenced. I noticed that those charts got a lot of response, so I should have just offered some key words they can google so they can find the resource themselves – just a different way to keep them engaged. Next time, on the screen, I’ll put up a “Google Keywords: engagement chart” to find the resource I was referring to in the chart, since in some cases, it might be a pain to type out the whole URL.
- Next Experiment – Tweet out presentation slides. I’m sure that this has been done before, but I think I’ll try an experiment where I tweet out each of the slides or reference link when I go through my presentation. I’m sure I’d lose some followers, but it might be worth a try…
All in all, it was a fun experience, and I realized that I should focus on doing more presentations, only to take the advantage of sharing my thoughts and insights about social media. Here’s my part of the presentation on Slideshare.
I recently had a chance to attend Gnomedex as a sponsored guest as Seesmic. Seeing this group of eclectic geeks laughing, sharing, debating, learning and building relationships – and for me personally -getting to know many of the people at the conference hit a personal chord. One of the things that I’ve been toying around with was the idea of what community is to many of the social media or community managers in the industry.
One of the things that I’ve done is conduct some flip cam interviews. This is not so much a large-scale project as the 100 Interview project by Derek Overbey and Morgan Brown – but I simply wanted to ask what community is to each of them.
I had a previous post of quoting Chris Hughes of not knowing what community is. Sometimes, I find myself feeling the same way. I thought it would be a good opportunity to spend this next month toying, contemplating, joking, struggling on what community is.
I’ll most likely take advantage of the following resources for helping define community:
- Interviews with those involved in the social media / community building industry
- Resources and other links/reports/interviews from industry leaders, peers, friends and probably some rivals or enemie
- I’ll most likely profile many people in my circle of influence, as well as role models, teachers in the industry.
- My experiences in managing communities at Seesmic, along with Loic Le Meur’s experience and guidance
- My previous job experiences in managing communities before my position in community involvement (product manager, project manager, support, client services, developer)
- My past experiences in managing communities in technology, social media, and in non-profit and ecclesiastic (yes, church…) settings
As I try to sort this out, I would like to start of with Shashi Bellamkonda, the “Social Media Swami” from Network Solutions. First of all, Social Media Swami is a title that I would die for. Second, this man is the real deal when it comes to creating a community in the tech industry, and I found myself very lucky to have met him.
Looking forward to seeing what I come up with in the next several days…
I recently read a FastCompany article on Chris Hughes, who coordinated Barack Obama’s online campaign – making a huge impact on both marketing and politics. The author deftly placed a quote from Hughes that stood out for attention:
“I don’t really know what ‘community’ means. And I never use that word.”
I’ve spent several years working in various groups and teams of smart, energetic and wonderful people – in business, technology, education, non-profit and faith-based. The fact of the matter is, that I also don’t know what community means.
However, I’ve seen some people draw strength from working in groups, others find their identities through their teams. And there there are others, in order to avoid their own insecurities, just don’t want to feel… alone, but be able to eventually stand in confidence.
I’ve been privileged to witness extraordinary things accomplished through teams and groups – emphasizing the proverb “None of us are as smart as all of us.”
I’m currently in the process of working, talking, interviewing with some of these extraordinary people, and will be talking more about community in various settings. The best thing about it is that I won’t be doing it alone. I’ll be looking for my community to help me.