The #140conf was a lot to absorb in just two days – over a hundred speakers across dozens of talks. I took copious notes to aid my absorption, many of which found their way onto the blog.
As I captured my minute-by-minute notes, I realized that organizer Jeff Pulver didn’t put together a mix tape of information – he composed a symphony. The major themes that emerged were developed, transposed, restated, and transformed by an orchestra of characters on the stage.
I’ve recapped those five major themes below. If you attended (or watched online), do you agree that these ideas were prevalent and consisten?
Did you also hear other prevailing melodies in the symphony? If so, what were they?
1. Twitter has proven its power as a instrument of change on both the macro and micro levels.
Over the course of the conference we heard about single people freed from rubble in Haiti and entire nations where governments were held accountable for their actions (including our own!). When it comes to changing our world, Twitter has moved past the proof-of-concept stage.
2. Education must become digitally native and socially connected.
Every day that parents and educators rely on the existing pedagogic paradigm and ignore the ubiquity of social technology in the lives of our students is a day they are under-serving them. This isn’t a change that is constrained by the digital divide – kids in Tanzania learned socially on the playground!
3. Journalism is not dead, but it’s undergoing a metamorphosis.
In a world of countless citizen reporters we need still journalists and editors to help us locate the underexposed stories and shape them into coherent, impactful narratives. If anything, journalists have more power than ever to expose the public to truth – especially if they can bridge the gap from existing broadcast vehicles to socially sourced and shared stories.
4. We’ve only begun to witness the power of contextual information to make social media hyper-local and hyper-personal.
FourSquare is the tip of the iceberg of new social technology that will harness your contextual information to provide a more localized and personalized experience based on the data you choose to reveal. There is a risk to privacy inherent in these technologies, and we must accept the responsibility of managing that risk even as the rules that define it continue to shift.
5. Brands and business models that translate themselves seamlessly to Social Media find their truest advocates there – both existing and new.
The power of consistent branding is more important than ever, and so is brand strategy. Whether you sell credit card, houses, or comic books, your enthusiastic audience is awaiting engagement that’s true to your brand.
Oh, and more anecdotally:
The majority of professionals use Tweetdeck and/or Co-Tweet.
Seriously, every laptop screen at every seat seemed to be viewing one or the other.
Social media people are the easiest people to network with – especially at #140conf.
Everyone has a story and everyone is genuinely interested in your story. Walking up to strangers can be scary, but the vast majority of them will be happy you did.