While, as organizer Michael Netzley said, the SMU PodCamp 2007 was more a hybrid powwow than an unconference in the purest sense of the word, I think it was an excellent way to get the local social media types–and hopefully a few skeptics–excited about the new vistas that social media can open up to communicators and companies.
The primary feature speaker was Mitch Joel, president of Quebec-based marketing firm Twist Image. Mitch did his “Six Pixels of Separation” presentation–essentially making the points that we live in a world that is more connected than ever before and that it is not technology that connects us, it is content. In fact, he made the point that content is media.
The afternoon featured local mobile operator StarHub‘s marketing VP sharing a case study of the company’s blogger outreach campaign in the lead-up to the official launch of its Pfingo service. What I thought was quite fascinating was that some of the bloggers StarHub provided pre-release handsets and information to were journalists of traditional media who also happened to blog (mentioned was Alfred Siew of Straits Times, among others). Sure, it’d be a scoop for a blogger to be the first to break the news on a pre-release product, but if that blogger also happened to write for a traditional media organization, what would his/her editor think?
John Kerr, who leads Edelman’s Southeast Asia social media practice also presented some interesting slides on media consumption trends in Asia, as well as its now annual Trust Barometer study.
The second day was spent mostly with Mitch doing a demo of some of the cool social media sites such as del.icio.us, Linkedin. I have to say I wasn’t motivated enough to start my own accounts until I saw what they could do through Mitch’s demo. Now, my del.icio.us account is at http://del.icio.us/sojourneys, and my Linkedin account is at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/4/8a9/910. I will continue to build on them over the next weeks and months ahead.
Hopefully this podcamp will sow the seeds, creating ripples of change in Singapore when it comes to social media communication. Kudos, Michael, for putting this together, and till PodCamp 2008!