Highlights from BlogTalk 2010

Emer Lawn attended BlogTalk 2010 in Galway, Ireland last week, and she has very kindly agreed to share her original post with us here. This account is from day one. Day two will be posted shortly.

Arriving in Galway yesterday with little expectation for what Thursday and Friday would bring at BlogTalk 2010. I was delighted with day one… compelled me to write a blog at least, despite the conference having little or nothing to do with “blogging.” The day started for me with considerations for our identity online and whether we should have one ID for all properties across the Web. Facebook were bravely represented and I’d comfortably stand by them for a while. They are not going anywhere just yet! Credibility is the third thing that stuck out, which, of course, stems from being relevant and interesting.

Highlight of day one for me was the panel on social vs. conversational networks, led by Ade Oshineye of Google. To start the panel off, he walked us through his perspective on the social networking spectrum: social networks like Facebook and Picasa on one side, and conversational networks such as Twitter, Flickr on the other.

In his opinion, “social” is more private and “conversational” is more open. He stated that when a network is more conversational it inspires more creativity. His perspective was interesting, but I was glad to hear from the other panel speakers, Darragh Doyle of boards.ie, Blaine Cook from Webfinger, and Charles Dowd of Facebook, who were able to look at it from different angles.

I managed to capture a good chunk of the panel discussion on video, so thought I would share it here.

Interesting Points From The Discussion?

  • Always remember how a network was engineered. That might provide us with insight behind what the creators of that social network had in mind and which part of the social spectrum a network falls under.
  • Cow Clicker is cool.
  • Consider the identity of someone using Twitter for a business, brand. The people behind the account matter.

Blaine Cook’s example was to think of a social network as like the local coffee shop. You might not go in if that really annoying employee is working that day; but similarly, if that pleasant employee is working, you might feel more inclined. This point is interesting to me, considering my work is looking after Twitter and Facebook for brands. In the same way you get hired to work for a company because you seem like a good fit, any of the the social media profiles and accounts I manage are a good fit for me. Further to that, the future is certainly not having just one Twitter account for a company, but several accounts with individuals named, which is where we need to head to bring a more human touch to the brand. This is particularly important for customer service in social media.

When posed the question, “What impact will mobile have on the future of social media?” the panelists agreed that the Internet PLUS anything else is still the Internet. Perhaps that just means that mobile will contribute to the social world we already live in.

Aside from the panel, there were several other great presentations worth referencing.

John Conroy’s Use Of Twitter For Business Intelligence

The presentation from John Conroy sparked interest in something that I have pondered before about the power of social media and how data on platforms like Twitter can be used to predict external activity.

The examples of using Twitter for business intelligence that John used included measuring buzz around a holiday destination and mapping the number of actual tourists to that destination. The correlation of tweeting activity and destination visits proved his point. Additionally, he used new movie releases as another example: yhe amount of buzz before a movie on Twitter directly correlates with the success of an opening weekend. This means we might be able to predict the outcome of things to come, based on the amount of buzz built up around it online.

Interesting to see the academic approach to Twitter data as this reminded me of the success of two young students, Ben McRedmond (17) and Patrick O’Doherty (16), who created We Predict, demonstrated at the BT Young Scientists Competition. Their tool allowed them to use Twitter to predict the winners of Britain’s Got Talent and the X-Factor (good thing I only caught wind of it after Olly Murs lost, would have ruined it for me).

Dan Gillmor‘s Credibility Scale

Outside of that, I’d say another highlight of day one was Dan Gillmor‘s keynote presentation – “Using Media in a Networked Age” – which was a really great outlook on the democratisation of media and the principles of journalism. This is the side that fascinates me (AKA I’m not technical!).

Dan Gillmor said that committing an act of journalism doesn’t make you a journalist, referencing how bloggers are not journalists and vice versa. Probably the most important thing that I took from his talk was the credibility scale, or what could be called the bullsh*t meter. Some things are so far below zero on the credibility scale that they’d need to improve before even being called “not credible”. Credibility is so important, but we must think about how our credibility is specific to our interest, subject or expertise. Some people at BlogTalk were credible in developing apps, others in marketing brands in social media. So, when finding out where we belong on the credibility scale, it would have to be judged in context.

Bill Liao: Reminder To Be Wise, Interesting And Satisfying

Liao’s presentation was also something I’m glad I didn’t miss. Please, ALWAYS be wise, interesting, and satisfying.

I haven’t even brushed the surface with the above, as my pages of notes would prove; but was delighted to see fresh perspectives being shared in a space where change happens so quickly. Day two proved just as valuable, and I’ll be sure to follow up this post with more from the conference. Head will be buzzing for days I’d say!

Emer is the Social Media Manager for Radical, a full service online marketing agency in Dublin. You can find her on Twitter at @emerlawn.

One thought on “Highlights from BlogTalk 2010

  1. Great article Emer- Cow Clicker is cool. What was your favourite presentation? I loved Bill Liao’s. Do you know where his One World YouTube video came from?


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