Last week, I went to two events of Social Media Week. I found both very exciting and interesting. Below are my brief comments.
The first was called “The future of Sharing” and Jonah Peretti, the founder of Buzzfeed talked about starting a company from a platform and social network. It took place at the Hearst building which is really impressing. He underlined the importance of the social and emotional factor when publishing stories, saying that the consumer seeks for emotional attachment with the stories of the network.By this, he meant that it is important for the consumer to invest in a story and feel that he is becoming a part of it. He explained the challenge working with brands, as the line of advertising and branding in a site is very thin; a reader will stop participating in a network when most of the space is taken over from brands. He mentioned the “keywords” or “buzzwords” that attract the audience such as LOL, OMG, WTF. Then he talked about advertising and how it has also become social and changed form. It is created now and includes the viewer. Sites such as Groupon, or LivingSocial are the best examples of social advertising. This presentation was very interesting for me as I didn’t know how buzzfeed works and it is a network that I would be interested in working at. Furthermore, I found Perreti very influential and aware of what is going on concerning the trends in the media.
The second event I went to, was in the Bloomberg building and it was a panel called “the social media HAS changed the world”. This was more of a discussion with four people of non-profit organizations such as the red-cross . The panel discussion was very interesting because it had the form of a conversation rather than a lecture. I enjoyed learning how big is the impact of youtube when sharing videos in a realtime for help in natural disasters or political protests. Much of the discussion included historical events of the past year such as the Arab Spring or the Haiti earthquake and tsunami. An example that really stroke me was of a woman dying on the street and people sharing the video to seek for justice. They also talked about the London riots and revolutions that have started through online social networks such as twitter and facebook. The fact that I am Greek made this discussion more significant to me, as nowadays we have many protests in Greece which start from online networks. The negative aspect of this revolution in the social media is that NGO’s such as the UN can shut down sites very quickly so it is important that social media protect this power and make their voices be heard without causing shut-downs on these sites. Finally they talked about the “next best thing” in technology by implementing that tweeter will stay in our lives for a long time and that “radiance 6” will be the new technology applied in tablets and sites as a new tool of access to data. Google+ is also a very strong tool and is part of the huge brand “Google” which will also continue to provide information to the public for the years to come.