Yesterday, I attended the Media 140 conference in my home town of Perth, Western Australia.
The forum was a place where technologists, bloggers, futurists, programmers, journalists, IT gurus, designers, entrepreneurs and the just plain curious discussed what was happening with the web and realtime media such as Twitter, Facebook etc. It was a huge success with the Perth Town Hall filled to capacity on what would prove to be a ridiculously hot day.
The purpose of my attendance was to help guage exactly where my skill set was at and it was good to see that there were no great revelations or surprises. The forum served as validation for my strategies though I did pick up a few handy tips which I look forward to implementing and sharing with my clients in the near future.
Interestingly, there was a live Twitter stream projected above the speakers panel with a mixture of questions answered from the audience with an old fashioned runner and microphone and from the stream which was a rather brave thing to do. The stream was a source of much amusement for me and many other participants with many in jokes being shared and much public humiliation of the poor speakers at times.
The key points I took away are:
1. Engage your audience on their level, or else!
People are using social media and other tools on the internet to talk about you and your organisation whether you like it or not and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can either accept this fact and craft a strategy to engage your audience through their medium of choice or bury your head in the sand and hope for the best.
2. Corporate Australia is out of touch
The seemingly bewildered and confused editor of the The West Australian, Brett Mccarthy spoke for most of corporate Australia when he said “we don’t understand it, but we know it’s important.” I admired his honesty and that’s okay, that’s what people like me are here for, to interpret and explain recent developments for you.
The strangely enigmatic lawyer, Andrew Pascoe of Allens Legal as well as most other speakers echoed his sentiments, no surprises here.
3. Nothing has changed
Someone once described social media as “word of mouth on steroids” which is an apt description. Facebook, Twitter, etc are just the latest mediums through which to tell stories, deliver messages, share jokes and connect with one another, that’s it! How you choose to use these tools is entirely up to you.
4. This is all an experiment
Thanks to the wonders of technology it has never cost so little to experiment yet so few people are doing it. Wanna boost turnover at your pub? Why not set up a big screen and have ‘Youtube Tuesdays’ where patrons choose their favourite Youtube videos for that week and show it to the audience in a live setting?
Need more leads for your family law practice? Why not trawl Facebook for the latest batch of people who have changed their marital status from married to single? Okay, that’s a bit ruthless and low but my point is that there are a million creative things you can be doing with these new toys. If you get it wrong probably no one will notice and if you get it right then it can do wonders for your business.
All in all, Media 140 was a great day and i’m glad I went. A special “hello” to my fellow attendees and new Facebook/Linkedin/Twitter friends/followers.