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I spoke at Internet Summit 2011 yesterday on the truth about community management. I have heard such great things about the content in person and online, particularly on Twitter and I am so happy that people found it helpful. I always strive to be honest and forthright about my experiences and never sugarcoat what it takes to grow an online community.

I figure since there are so many people out there telling lies and spreading myths about social media, I am not needed to perpetuate the trend.

I did post a link to the presentation on Slideshare, but I’m also posting it here for those who may be interested.

Angela Connor’s presentation at Internet Summit 2011

Enjoy. And let me know if you have any questions. as you probably know, I can talk about this all day.

 

I asked a question of the Social Media: Engage panel at Internet Summit ’09 about 30 minutes ago and since that moment I’ve been thinking about online anonymity. People seem to hate it.

When I blogged about the upside and relevance of anonymous comments as they relate to news stories, some people balked. Jason Falls said at Social Media Business Forum last month that he wishes newspaper sites would stop allowing anonymous comments altogether. I get that. I know the drama that ensues when people hide behind the cloak of anonymity. Heck, I live it as part of my job and I don’t always like it.

But I still maintain that there is a place for it. You shouldn’t always have to be who you are just to communicate across the web, whether you’re on a social site or otherwise.And not everyone has awful intentions. So, I am going to take this to the extreme.

If anonymity is no longer needed in society, let’s just get rid of the Witness Protection Program.

Let the people who snitch on the mafia boss and turn in the mass murderer come forward publicly and deal with the consequences that may come their way because they decided to speak up. It’s all about transparency and openness right? That’s what everyone is saying. Be who you are. Show your face. Is this a fair comparison? Maybe not, but I think you can better see what I mean by bringing it to that level.

The statement I made during my question of the panelists was that people are trying very hard to separate their personal lives from their professional lives in the social space, and even though that is probably impossible, they shouldn’t have to share their identity with everyone who visits your site just to interact with your content. That is how I feel about it. Alex Withers, head of Digital Media at the US Golf Association Association agreed. He discussed other options for registration on their site that do not reuire revealing your true self, as did Jennifer Sargent, CEO and Co-Founder of Hitfix. Withers had stated earlier that you should not create your own database of anonymous people, particularly when you can use Facebook Connect, something they didn’t do when placing a live chat window next to a live video stream of the U.S. Open. He went on to say that the content in that chat was not something they wanted on the site so they killed it. That was what they had to do. I’m sure it was ugly. But maybe it would have been better if it were moderated.  I know, I know you need resources to do that and not everyone wants to hire people to do that….

I also know this is a topic that many people disagree with me on, but we can’t agree on everything.

Forcing people to share themselves with your audience may keep them away. So let’s keep that in mind. Perhaps the strategy to focus on if you take this route is engaging lurkers, because I think you’ll have many of them. May as well figure out how to keep them.

 

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internetsummitI’m attending Internet Summit ’09 tomorrow and plan to live-tweet and live blog, sharing what I find most interesting. At this point, these are the sessions I will attend, unless I change my mind at the last minute. If you’re interested in these sessions, follow me on twitter. I’m @communitygirl. You can also check my blog for updates and I may post over on SiliconAngle.

Blogging: New Media and Personal Branding

Panelists: Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim; Brad Hill, Director of Weblogs; Rick Klau, Business Product Manager, Blogger/Google and  Tim Schigel of ShareThis.

Meebo: Social Graph Optimiztion Analytics

Panelists: Seth Sternberg of Meebo; Doug Miller of Expedia; Ricci Wolman of The Body Shop;  Matt Van Horn of Digg; Jermaine McPeek of the Phoenix Suns; Eric bBsco, formerly of AOL and Wayne Sutton of OurHashtag.

Social Media: Engage

Panelists: Robyn Cobb of Cliqset; Alex Withers of the US Golf Association; Jennifer Sargent of HitFix and Bob Butler of Best Thinking, Inc. and Matt Van Horn (mentioned above)

Others I will likely attend include:

Online Advertising Strategies

Online Video Discussion OR Digg: Social Media Integration for Content Producers

Twitter/RealTime

Panelists: Robbie Allen of StatSheet Network; Don Brown of Twitpay; David Eckoff of Revolutionary Ventures; and Jermain McPeek (mentioned above)

Keynote: Joe Kennedy, CEO of Pandora

Should be interesting.

(The pic above is one I took from last year’s inaugural Internet Summit, in Chapel Hill, NC)

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internetsummitI’m here at the inaugural Internet Summit in Chapel Hill and just left an interesting presentation called Blogging and New Media.

The panelists: Andy Beal of Trackur, Henry Copeland of Blogads.com, Brad Hill of Weblogs, Inc, Tim Schigel of ShareThis and Scott Gardner of Triangle Direct Media.

They all underscored the importance of something I believe in wholeheartedly: Creating a conversation and engaging users online. Andy consults on reputation management, so I was particularly interested in some of his comments because I always open presentations with this: “If you don’t manage your online reputation, Google and others will do it for you.”

Here are a few of the notes I was able to jot down during the panel. I’m also sending out tweets, so if you aren’t already following me on Twitter, I’m @communitygirl.

A few takeaways:

  • The driving force behind blogs should be radical commitment to transparency.
  • Blogging is a lifestyle, attitude and participation in the community. No blog is an island. There is a series of blgospheres. A swarm of people behaving as a group.
  • It’s not about audience. The word is community.
  • Principles of blogging:Post a lot, and succinctly. Be short and targeted. Be prolific and precise.
  • If CEO wants to blog, ask what communities you want to participate in.
  • Companies that treat bloggers like they would The New York Times will find success.

More to come…

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.

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