Wednesday, February 11, 2009

SocComm - right for the times?

I haven't seen much blog coverage of Jeff's SocComm event yesterday, but don't let that fool you. Jeff's been heavily focused on social media for a while now, and it looks like he's building an engaged community around his ideas and passions - much like he did with VON.

I don't often post about events I'm not attending, but I've been blogging a lot lately about current conferences, and given the circles I travel in, it's hard not follow Jeff 3.0, even if at a distance.

Not having attended, I can only reflect what I'm picking up from others, and the basic vibe is pretty strong. It was a small, fairly localized event, but that's just fine, especially in this economy. It's more about the caliber of people you attract and the energy the event helps create. Looks to me like Jeff succeeded pretty nicely on these fronts.

Of course, Jeff will give you his take in his recent posts, which include lots of photos. Pretty bare-bones event, but you have to look beyond that to what people were talking about. I'm sure the discussions were lively, and with this being such a Wild West space, there really aren't any rules. Everyone is in discovery mode - it's not about making money right now.

One of my long-time industry buddies is Ari Rabban, and his company was a sponsor, so he was there (he was also on one of my panels at the IT Expo last week). So far, he's only posted about what SocComm is about, but not the experience itself. Am sure that will change very soon.

Back to my opening comment. The lack of blog coverage doesn't mean people weren't following SocComm with interest. You're just looking in the wrong places. SocComm is about social media/communications/networking, etc. Blogging is so 2008 in that world - it's all about microblogging now, so Twitter is the place to go. As much as I'm keen on this new world, I'm most definitely not into Twitter, Phweet, etc. Sorry.

Anyhow, for a much richer, more real-time take on SocComm - overall, or moment-by-moment - just click on over to the Twitter Buzz page on the SocComm site. Duh. How hard was that? Based on a quick scan, I'd say that at least for this crowd, SocComm sure looks right for the times. Is Jeff on to his next big thing now? We'll just have to see where he goes from here.


Jeff Pulver said...


SocComm brought together about 175 people from across the United States and Canada. If that is how you define a "localized" audience, cool. Relative to the diversity of the people who used to come to the VON events, you made a good point. But in reality there was nothing local about the content or the people who attended SocComm. More than half the audience traveled to be there.

SocComm was an example of a time when "Content needs to be experienced." We are a defining moment in time in the future of communications and if you think that SocComm was only about social media, I think you missed the point about the first event. But no worries since there is a follow on event currently being planned. And if you think you will discover the future of communications at places like Supercomm or eComm, you might want to take another look at the people, content, context and direction of what happened at SocComm and where things are going next. Never in the 14 years of producing events did we ever have as a diverse group of speakers and audience than the 34 people who spoke at SocComm.

Presence was a big part of SocComm. And the future of presence and the state of presence as it effects the Media / Internet / Communications / Entertainment industry was explored and will continue to be explored. Presence was spoken about, not always by name but it was always there. As was other intangible elements that are helping to define the future of communications.

SocComm was entertaining. It was fun. And it was raw in the sense that this is just the beginning of what happens next in a world where broadband is widely available and people are migrating away from using telephones as a primary communication tool. In a world where communication systems are just software applications, anything becomes possible and those in the communication business who deny this will see themselves become marginalized over the next 5-10 years.

In hindsight you may discover that there was more meaningful content covered in one day at SocComm than you will experience at eComm in March. Having 14 years experience developing relationships and content does have its advantages. But if you are looking for a reunion of friends who are trying to find themselves and define their own future, I hope you enjoy eComm.

Talk to the people who were at SocComm and I believe you will start to feel that you missed out on something special that has the potential to define for the next generation a space which fits my need for "Fear, Greed and Disruption."

As far as coverage, the buzz from twitter is documented. We were the #1 search term on Twitter at various times on Tuesday.

As far as blog coverage goes, sometimes you need to look for things to find them. I'm not sure what tools you use to track block posts but this is what I found in about 5 minutes of searching.

Here are some links: (watch the video) (watch the video)

- (read the story) (more video to watch)
(and there is more)

Watch for the announcement for the follow up event. Please feel free to pitch me on a topic you would like to lead and/or moderate. Your voice would be welcome at SocComm.

This is just a heads up to anyone who might see this that there is now a venue and a platform for people who actually want to explore the future of social communications. And it is called SocComm.

Hope to see you there.

Best regards, Jeff

Stacey Monk said...

I traveled from Florida to be at this event...and I can't imagine having missed it. The energy in the room was palpable and contagious.

Personally, I don't consider myself a "techie" and, at least for me, technology wasn't really the central focus of this event. It was about being human in a new age...about exploring vulnerability, finding truth, preserving privacy, being passionately authentic, creating community and defining presence in a world where tools make so much more possible.

This wasn't a gadget or new technology conference; frankly, to me, that would have been tiresome. And it's been done. Instead, SocComm was a conference about how to create a new, better world and live more fulfilled, connected lives in a world where we have the tools to make anything possible.

And that was for me, and everyone I met at the conference, an incredibly valuable experience.

I truly hope you have the opportunity to attend the next event.

Jon Arnold said...

Jeff - great reply, and thanks for filling in all the holes I missed. Apologies about "localized" - I really didn't mean it for the attendees - I just meant the venue and it being close to home for you. I know people came from lots of places, and I'm glad you amplified that. The blog citings were great too - I don't follow this crowd, but I should start to.

I totally agree with your comment about diversity. Same for clarifying how SocComm is more than just social media. We all experience content in a unique way, and I'm sure a big part of the event was exploring ways to define that on a more social level.

It's early days and everyone wants to see how they can fit in. Thanks for the offer to pitch and come next time around. Will definitely keep that on the list.

Looks like the comment from Stacey that came just after yours really captured the feel first hand, and I'm glad she shared that here.


Jon Arnold said...

Thanks for your comment, Stacey. Great to hear a first hand account here from someone who was there. Really glad to hear it was so worthwhile. Am sure Jeff will enjoy seeing this too!