I think that one of the key factors for its success is ‘participation.’ There was more interaction, engagement, participation between audience and speakers, panels, even roundtables than we’ve seen anywhere (many thanks to Mack Collier for these special ideas and for developing the speaker lineup). The chance to share knowledge, experience and a little bit of ourselves with others became an emotional learning experience. In fact, many reference it as the Social South Experience. When spoken using the affectionate nickname, SoSo, its a bit ironic – the SoSo Experience. But its that irony, served with a dash of humility that made it work.
There were no divas, no over inflated egos, no sense of rivalry, no bitter competitions to be found. Instead it was a generous helping of, well…helping (each other). There was an incredible sense of respect and giving all around. When you stop to think about it, its not that surprising. We created Social South for that reason: to showcase the incredible talent, experience and gracious demeanor of the Southern business culture. Someone once asked about replicating the format in another region and I said that I didn’t think it would work as well. After all, the South IS social. We may not have invented the social culture (I think we did) but we still DO social better than anyone.
So that’s the background of the discussion of Social South. What do you think? Would you like to see Social South happen again in 2012? Would you like to help with SoSo 2012? If so, make your voice heard and leave a note in the comments. Tell me as well if you’d like to help. If there are enough people interested then I’ll form an organizing committee to get things kicked off.
And even though I’m posting this today. It may be a week or so before I call attention to it. I estimate the traffic to this site is understandably low now & I doubt there are any active RSS feeds left. However, once I get the site updated to the current versions of everything I will push it out & see what happens. If you happen upon this on your own. Go for it! You could be the one who pulled the sword out of the stone and brought Social South back to life. Now that would be a SoSo accomplishment!
-Scott Schablow, founder of Social South]]>
If you remember the song from Sesame Street, feel free to sing, sing along.
Looking back on the lineup from the inaugural Social South, it was clear that one of the presentations was different along every apparent axis.
Andrew Keen views social media and the internet through the lens of history, not through the filter of futuritic optimism. One could argue he’s the dystopian, and not the utopian. In tone, manner of speech, lack of a slide-deck and even the all-black outfit Keen delivered the address that seemed most out of place. Some would describe it as anything but Social, and certainly not Southern.
Contrast this with the optimism, glee and hope that filled the room as Esra’a Al Shafei shared the divine mission of Mideast Youth — using technology and social media to wrest control away from the powerful who discriminate, intimidate and persecute in the name of religious purity.
Some would say they didn’t belong at the same event. I disagree.
Al Shafei — in a very direct manner — proved Keen correct.
The bolded and underlined words are emphasized because they are in present perfect tense, and are beyond dispute. The words in italics are extremely negative words, but they shouldn’t be read in a negative light. Re-read them, with new modifiers attached:
Now those effects aren’t so awful-sounding. In fact, if Andrew Keen were wrong about the Internet and culture, the Esra’a Al Shafei’s of the world would be either dead, imprisoned, or enduring quietly in the silence of a burka.
Keen’s observations should be seen as simply that: observations. The nature of the words he chose are decidedly negative, but the phenomenon is a-moral. It will tear away at all heirarchies (some will push back.) It will eat away at all cultures (with no guarantee of a replacement.)
It will allow each and every one of us to choose our tribe. In essence, we are starting to do this now. We surround ourselves with the news and information that fits our pre-existing worldview and slant. Neighbors-in-name-only will see the same events through lenses so disparate they can never agree on any factual assertion.
We will continue – like Keen observed about Robert Scoble – surrounding ourselves with people just like ourselves. We will never be alone, but with every other face a virtual Narcissus, we will be extremely lonely.
Unless we recognize the ill effects, and choose to venture out into the world of the unsure, where serendipity rules.
It’s not easy being green Keen.]]>
Alison Groves, Raven Internet Marketing Tools:
However anyone who could’ve seen the level of talent at the conference would quickly see that the area is full of bright folks who genuinely love what they do. It was a fantastic thing to be a part of, and I gained far more than I ever thought I would. More. . .
Jason Falls, Social Media Explorer:
Esra’a Al Shafei put it all in perspective Saturday. Speaking via Skype from her home in Bahrain, the founder and Executive Director of MideastYouth.com, showed the crowd gathered at Social South the true power of social media, the internet and the idea of freedom. Al Shafei was denied a visa by her country to attend the event, which was the least of her concerns. More. . .
Mack Collier, The Viral Garden:
But I think what happened over two days in Birmingham blew everyone away, from the attendees to the speakers, to the organizers. We had RichardatDell and LionelatDell together on stage for the first time ever, probably the most audience participation I’ve ever seen at a social media conference, and a woman from Bahrain move an entire conference to tears with her story of how she’s using social media to help others. More. . .
Sue Spaight, Spaight Talk:
Five Favorite Things About Social Marketing From Social South. More. . .
Mitch Cantor, StudioNashvegas:
My final takeaways, although not nearly as as profound, are still important to me. They are:
- There’s some amazing talent out there, both from Birmingham and beyond. I’ve emailed a lot of people from here who do a lot of things – a truly diverse group.
- Social media isn’t just about the technology. Anything we do, whether online or offline, plays into our personality. And having the offline is just as important as the online – there will never be a substitute for an in-face meeting or real interaction with real people. Social Media enhances those relationships. More. . .
David H., Richmond Editor
Someone next to me said Andrew [Keen] was like the Simon Cowell of social media — it was a good comparison, especially since I appreciate Simon Cowell’s honesty. Andrew posed some excellent questions we all need to think about. . . More …
David Hylton, Childfund International
It would be easy to jump to the conclusion based on the headline that Mardi Gras and ChildFund International have nothing in common. That’s pretty much true, but taking the lessons learned from a Twitter experiment from Tom Martin, a 15-year veteran of the marketing industry, I hope we can let you know. . . More. . .
She is also the director of a series of international campaigns for rights for ethnic, religious, and intellectual minorities, and for freedom of expression. Among those she runs is the influential global campaign to FreeKareem.org. She is a recipient of a Berkman Award from Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society for “outstanding contributions to the internet and its impact on society,” and a recent recipient of a TED Fellowship and an Echoing Green Fellowship. She is based in Bahrain.
MideastYouth.com features members from 22 countries in the region, representing at least 8 religions, making it the most diverse platform for intellectual dialogue in the Middle East.Sworn enemies, nurtured to hate and distrust “the other”; fervent adherents to religions or ideologies, taught to believe that theirs is the only true path; aggrieved victims of violence who lost sight of the humanity in others. No other independent network in the Middle East has successfully integrated and celebrated the diversity of heritage and opinions. Everyday, Palestinians and Israelis question their governments’ policies and societal prejudices. Muslims condemn the persecution wrought against Jews, Baha’is, Yezidis and other religious minorities. Kurds speak of centuries of injustices to Arab, Iranian, and Turkish audiences that have for long been unsympathetic. This freedom of expressing is being used to create social change and to prove that the collaboration necessary for stability is possible.]]>
Keen will delve into the current debate in the news of whether social media communities are dividing or uniting us as human beings. His talk will draw from the research he’s conducted for his upcoming book, provisionally entitled DIGITAL VERTIGO: Loneliness, Anxiety and Inequality in the Social Media Age. The book will be a contemplative defense of privacy rights and genuine human interaction in the social networking era.]]>
You’ll be taught how to use these tools by speakers that are true leaders in the social media space. You’ll be shown how companies right now are using and benefiting from social media. And finally, we’ll walk you through how YOUR business can use social media. The goal of Social South is to send you home not with an understanding of social media, but an understanding of how social media can benefit your business. We want you to give you the knowledge you need to hit the ground running on Monday morning to start putting social media to work for you!
Let’s face it, there’s no shortage of people marketing themselves as ‘social media experts’ these days. But the speakers lineup for Social South truly is in a class by itself. Our speakers have spoken at every top social media conference in the nation, and have been active in this space for YEARS, not months. We hand-picked each of our speakers based on not only their professional successes, but their standing in the social media community. Not only will you be learning from experts, but the experts that will be shaping the direction of social media in the years to come!
It’s great to show why social media works, but what you want to see is how companies RIGHT NOW are putting these amazing tools into action to grow their businesses. Our sessions will not only instruct you on the best way to utilize social media tools, we’ll also show you how companies are currently using these tools in the exact ways that we discuss.
No one wants to attend an event where every session is a speaker behind a podium, who leaves immediately after their talk. When planning Social South, we placed a premium on creating an interactive conference where attendees are empowered to have a say. We wanted our speakers and attendees to be involved as much as possible, because that will help foster learning. If you’re expecting the same boring conference experience where every session is a speaker behind a podium, then you’re going to be pleasantly surprised with Social South.
On both days, we’ve created time for you to get to know your fellow attendees, as well as get personalized attention from our stellar lineup of speakers. Whether it’s at our breakfast roundtables, keynote lunches, or our Social Mixer, you’ll have plenty of chances to meet everyone and pick their brains about how YOUR business should be using social media.
Would you like the chance to present your own social media case study? We have a track just for you. Would you like the chance to grill our experts on how THEY would create a social media strategy for you? We’ve created a session just for that on Friday. Our goal is to give attendees every chance to interact with each other and our speakers before, DURING and after each session.
Each day, we’ll have a couple of our speakers lead YOU in an interactive social media discussion. These won’t be your standard session with a presentation, in fact there won’t be a presentation at all. Our speakers will host a conversation around social media tools and strategies. This is YOUR chance to ask any questions you have about social media from the speakers, as well as each other! Each conversation will be a wonderful exchange between the speakers and attendees where we ALL will learn together!
Our speakers and sponsors have agreed to offer you exclusive access to not only materials to help you grow your business with social media, but discounts on their social media services, as well. These materials and discounts will pay for the conference by itself!
If you’re an agency or firm that wants to start offering social media services to your clients, Social South will help get you on track! And in addition, our speaking lineup gives you an inroad to working with some of the social media firms and consultants in the country! Landing just one client from what you learn at Social South will pay for the event several times over!
We hand-picked the speakers and set the agenda with a Southern tone in mind. We wanted to create The Deep South’s first social media conference, but we also wanted to showcase the South’s social media leaders, as well as shine the spotlight on Southern businesses that are succeeding with the help of social media. We think we’ve done that, and quite frankly we think we’ve created one of the top social media events in the nation. We hope y’all will stop by!
Richard has over 20 years experience positioning diverse business sectors, senior corporate executives, government officials and community leaders with key constituent groups, including extensive media relations and campaign/issues management experience.
His background includes working to position CEOs, presidents, government officials including, Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney and cabinet ministers running for election, the Canadian Consul General in New York and Geraldine Ferraro. His proactive Media Relations Skills developed over 10 years researching, planning and implementing regional, national, and international media strategies for major non-profit organizations, corporations and governments. (Photo Credit www.briansolis.com)
Lionel Menchaca is a 15-year Dell veteran and chief blogger at Direct2Dell, Dell’s main corporate blog. Since launching the blog in July 2006, Lionel helped expand it into Chinese, Spanish Norwegian and Japanese and continues to work to further extend Dell’s global presence. Before launching Dell’s blog, Lionel was one of the main architects behind Dell’s blog monitoring process begun in April 2006.
He works with a team within the company to coordinate activities and content across all of Dell’s social media initiatives including the Dell Community Forum and IdeaStorm. These initiatives have one thing in common: to open direct lines of communication between Dell employees and their customers to improve the products and services Dell offers.
Lionel also serves as a technologist to help Dell define new software to monitor and engage in conversations in the blogosphere, and to facilitate collaboration among the Dell teams that respond to customer feedback. He’s also been one of the principal leads in Dell’s efforts to build communities using Web 2.0 tools like Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Delicious and more to augment Dell sites like the recently-launched DigitalNomads.com.
An avid fan of computer hardware, gadgets and Web 2.0 technology, his early career included a stint at quality assurance and tech support for game developer Origin Systems and hardware and advanced operating systems technical support at Dell.
Lionel earned a degree in archaeological studies from University of Texas. He lives in Round Rock, Texas, with his wife, Aileen, and two children, Louis and Mia.]]>
Track 1 – Social Media Tools – You’ve probably heard that you have to be on Facebook or Twitter, but has anyone told you why? This track explores not only the why, but the rest of the tools out there.
Track 2 – Social Media Communications – Talking to your clients though social media using traditional media language won’t work. Track 2 explores why and how to change your message.
Track 3 – Social Media Strategy – Learning the tools of the trade and the new language is just the first step, without a strategy neither have much of an effect. Track 3 explores how to tie the two together into something effective.
Track 4 – Social Media Case Studies – Are you a business in the Southeast that is seeing results from social media? We want to hear your story – apply here to present it at Social South
One more thing: