The afternoon sessions began after a lunch of vegetarian and tuna wraps and sushi, with really good cookies, and really long lines for the free Motorola phone.
Ms. Harman, American Red Cross:
My successes in social media are created in moments of unspeakable tragedy. Social media and the American Red Cross connect people who need help.
The American Red Cross belongs to everyone, because we make up the network that allows communities to help each other.
“We are only as strong as the network that we have.” (S: In this room, we are shit out of luck, then).
They do try to have fun, even though they are engaged in serious pursuit of helping people. Trying to bring stodgy organization into 21st century. They want to change the way people respond to tragedy: giving via text to Haiti, for example.
I sat with the speaker at lunch so I know she’s planning something.
Dan Rollman (URDB – Universal Record Database)
The Universal Record Database: a collection of user-generated world records. Like “Most images of Full House’s Uncle Jesse Open in a Web Broswer at Once” (This is a highly contested record).
The founder really likes Guiness book of world records. It’s his passion. The site was born out of 2004 Burning Man: he set up The Playa Book of Records, where people could invent their own world record and they would record it.
The record for “Most Giraffe Tattoos on a Shoulder” is so very very excellent. Close to 4000 records from around the world – all based on love of Guiness world records.
They partner with brands: Most frozen Turkeys Fit in a Ford and Delivered to a Food Bank.
They’re going to try to set a record today. If it involves texting, they are fucked in this room.
Yup, it’s a text challenge of social good world records: they want to set a new recored of the most people in one location to make a charitable donation via text message. Survey says: 220 people. New record!
I tried, but oh well – message failed!
Here’s the blowing-my-mind part: the Mashable COO admitted that AT&T was aware that there was a complete dead zone in the New York Times building – which I could have told them from walking down 41st street and losing calls and Pandora access every damn day.
The New York Times IT department couldn’t do a thing to fix it, and AT&T had sent in representatives to examine the issue, but it was still unresolved for the entire building. So we were stuck with crap wireless, a known issue, in the face of a challenge to send a text message.
I tried. AT&T failed. Poor Red Cross.
Chris Bruzzo, VP Brand Content and Online at Starbucks
A Social Brand Story: once upon a time, with a lot of “Uhhhhhs” and “Ummmm.”
“My job is to help.” (S: Help what, caffeinate me at a higher price point?)
Starbucks’ online presence is practical evidence of how a social brand is building reputation & customer base in new and different ways.
Beginning at the end: “We are connecting directly with our loyal customers who will be driving our future growth.” – Howard Schultz. Global social media strategy is a materal component of Starbucks.
Brand journalism for Starbucks is good storytelling. Just like everyone has a world record inside them, everyone has a story.
Global brand is part of issue based on customer that is already interested in their product. Encourages participation in the product and with the company through 16000 stores and 200000 employees talking about events – like event to trade in paper cup for free reusable cup this past April.
“It ran on tv” gives it some credibility but majority of engagement has been through social media.
Biggest event Starbucks social media accomplished: mySBUX. Suggest ideas for the company, both hyperlocal and global. They want to hear the customer.
Content, great content, is a terrible thing to waste.
Starbucks, let it be said, has mastered the art of generosity-as-promotion. Vote and get coffee. World AIDS day: buy coffee, they donate to Project Red.
“You and Starbucks, it’s bigger than coffee.”
(S: Note: when KFC started Komen buckets of fried chicken for cancer donation, that backfired significantly.)
Using content to create a social experience is key to Starbucks’ brand effort. They were under pressure and needed to reclaim their authority as premium coffee.
(S: the absent word in the entire presentation: profit. This is part of a marketing mechanism. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – but I wish there were questions for the speakers, because I’d love to ask whether they track profit increase along with FacebooknTwitter follower increase.)
Oooh! “Ways to build community in authentic and brand-building way, and turn it into physical behaviors that can drive retail.” (FINALLY).
With Free Pastry Day: more than 1 million people came in to get free pastry, despite obstacles. They had to RSVP, print coupon, and come in during specific hours and buy coffee – and more than 1mm people came in.
“Don’t Outsource Your Voice:” Their point is to emerge from a place of authenticity, that their voice must be consistent and meaningful.
Keynote Conversation with Pete Cashmore, Sanjay Gupta, and KC Estenson.
Most Tweeted moment:
Cashmore: “I learned that Michael Jackson died on Twitter, but I also learned that Justin Bieber died on Twitter.”
Gupta: “Dare to Dream.”
There’s a spectrum of quality, with CNN and brand at top level, then mid level blogs, and low level—but not too much discussion of lowest level.
At CNN, trust and accuracy is important. (S: Snort). Will they go to the end of the content spectrum where speed increases and quality decreases? No.
They should be able to stretch CNN brand in new direction.
(S: I wish they’d discuss their topics and subject of conversation prior to conversation so I’d know what they were talking about. In the beginning it was Three Guys Wildly Rambling and I couldn’t follow it.)
Estenson spent a lot of time name dropping Cashmore and Gupta and their sections of CNN with little substance. So frustrating. Stuff like, “And our medical section is led by experts like Sanjay,” and “With Pete and partnering with Mashable, CNN is able to…” bore me to tears, really.
The most distracting thing about this panel was that Estenson was not wearing socks with his shoes. I couldn’t figure it out. I’d be hearing name dropping and all I could think about was “Huh. Man ankles.”
After this panel, I needed a break. My brain was fried. So I left before the session on Improv Everywhere started, wandered around, thanked the Motorola ladies who handed out phones to everyone, and called Hubby. He was having a very hectic day at work and when I suggested I leave early from the Summit and relieve him of having to leave early from his office to pick up the dudes, he was terribly grateful.
I don’t think I missed much by skipping the last 90 minutes. I know my brain was happy for the break and the fact that my laptop was dead and my cell phone had no wireless service made the prospect of more promotional sessions completely unappealing. I left, and I don’t think I missed much during the last 90 minutes.
Kate Rothwell asked if I’d blog about why I felt frustrated and uncomfortable. I was frustrated because the internet was spotty. I was uncomfortable because I was in a theatre chair.
But what enraged me was that I paid to be spoken to like a potential customer, not as someone interested in learning more about social media. There was no collaboration, and a paltry number of opportunities for audience interaction. I was a captive audience for new products, new promotions, new efforts… to sell me things. The only phrase I heard more than “without further ado” was “we’re really excited to announce that today we’re….”
Moreover, what was the value of my presence there? If this seminar was being live streamed, what’s the value of my being present? What did I pay for? Bagels? Exclusive access? The opportunity to share oxygen? If the majority of the day is going to be spent fighting with the wifi and tapping my notes into a document, it’s not like I’m meeting the person next to me.
I did meet some very cool people at breakfast beforehand, but that was 25 minutes vs. eight hours of presentations of uneven quality. It was not enough to pay $400 to be in the same room as Mashable people. I love Mashable, but not as much anymore. Is my perspective from the event live different from yours at home watching the stream? Not really. I am not needed as a filter if you can access the information directly, and I can’t wade through my email and work on other things on my to-do list when the wifi is so poor.
What could have been done differently? Better. Speakers. With educational aspects to their presentations. If experience is akin to documentation now, give some unique value to the experience that makes it worth both my money and my time AND my physical presence. As it is, this was hours and funds I’m not getting back and I gained far too little for the expense.
If the key to virality is revealing something about yourself by spreading the word, what did I reveal, other than the fact that I was cranky? I can’t say I learned something life shattering. I didn’t have enough wifi to connect and work on ideas that the environment inspired—and usually I have big ol’ crazy ideas at conferences like these. The fact that it wasn’t creatively inspiring says a lot.
It was mostly a self-admiration society. Sadly, that is not the point of social media. I’ve been told time and again by various social media experts that at its heart, social media is a conversation, not a hard sell broadcast. And with few exceptions, this was a day-long broadcast.
And now… WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, I present my conference tradition, The Mashable Summit Drinking Game for 2010!!
First Mashable Summit: 1 sip
Entrepreneurial spirit: 1 sip
“Without further ado”: Find hard object, hit Sarah in head until she passes out.
Driven by original content: 1 sip
Branded content: CHUG
“sticky”: 2 sips
“Seed Strategy:” 2 sips
Monetizations: No drinks for you. You’ll get liver disease if you sip every time.
Contradictory statements about value of web vs. other media, and which one feeds the other: 1 sip
“Content producers”: 1 sip
“Leverage:” go refill your flask
“tv legitimacy”: see above re: contradictory statments, then drink 2 sips
Content and new media: 3 sips
AUTHENTICITY: 1 sip. Barely a sip. Just let the booze touch your lips and tease your liver with cruelty.
Pondering leaving to go home to better internet, pajamas, and free live feed: drink full glass of wine – at home.
“Move the needle”: 3 sips
“This just came out today!”: DRINK! DRINK MORE! Dull the pain of knowing you’re not in an aisle seat and can’t leave!
“Informal meetups in your communities”: 2 sips
“Celebrate social media”: 1 sip
“What’s your hit count like? What are your stats?”: 2 sips*
*Honestly. This is such a flawed measurement, and it’s akin to asking someone what they make in salary.
“Growing a business”: 4 sips
“Approaching retail space”: 2 sips
“We’re a platform, not an application”: 4 sips
After an interview, half the audience leaves: 1 sip.
“core competency”: 2 sips
“trust”: 1 sip
“niche”: 2 sips
Any tweet about relative hotness factor of Pete Cashmore (I am guilty of this): Have a biiiiig drink.
And the key moment to Mashable’s Media Summit 2010 from my point of view, and this is absolutely true:
ZOMG THE WOMAN NEXT TO ME IS ASLEEP: CHUG!