San Jose Declares June 30 Social Media Day

Originally Technology Voice was called socialmedia.net. We changed the title because we discovered that as we were writing about the wider tech scene we felt that the title was no longer a fair reflection of our subject matter.

However, we have always felt, and still do, that the growth of social networks and their effect on us as individuals and as a society has had the single biggest effect on how we socialize and do business since the first electrical power plants were built.

Social media has become so much a part of our culture that a given individual can now become conspicuous by their absence from at least one of the networks. We have reached a point now where there can be negative consequences for not engaging with social media.

For a professional person not to have a Linkedin profile would raise a red flag with any potential future employer, or at the very least raise an eyebrow. Similarly, not having a Facebook profile or a Twitter account, while possibly reflecting a naivety about how social networks work or some sort of perverse rejection of modern mores, would have the same net effect — self-exclusion from a global conversation.

Isolating oneself as an individual is fine. There is no doubt that there are many people who wish to keep themselves to themselves and don’t wish to participate in an ever changing online social environment and that should be respected. However, for a business not to engage in with the phenomenon of social media is to put it bluntly, plain stupid.

Every business needs customers and the social networks such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and so on are where the customers are. Almost 700 million of them are on Facebook alone.

Recognising the deep importance of the role that social media and social networks play in our lives the City of San Jose has just announced that June 30, 2011 is officially Social Media Day.

San Jose is a designated Global City because of the important role it plays in the world economy. It is known as Capital city of Silicon Valley which reflects its proximity to the headquarters and major operation centres of most of technological titans of our era.

The recent billion dollar refurbishment and upgrading of its airport to being one of the most technically advanced in the world is direct reflection of San Jose’s City council determination to be the gateway to Silicon Valley as well.

This purpose is to highlight the incredible importance of social media in our daily lives.

The Irish Technology Leadership Group, a network of over 1500 tech executives who are either Irish or of Irish descent, has in turn agreed to host a special event to mark the day.

Some of the leading figures in Silicon Valley have been gathered together in a special panel to discuss the significance of social media and its ramifications for business and the world around us.

What makes this special is that through the power of social media you will be able to partake in this event, engage with the panelists and ask them questions.

Social media is not a passive broadcasting service. What makes it so phenomenally effective is the extent to which it allows you to interact, share and exchange ideas and access people and resources that would never have been otherwise possible.

The panelists have been chosen to provide as broad a view of the area as possible.

Tom McEnery, ex-Mayor of San Jose and Rich Moran, venture capitalist and author, plus Charles Orlando have years of wisdom and experience to share and are all able commentators and observers of life in Silicon Valley.

Fergus Hurley of Clixtr, Philo Northrup of enVie Interactive and Kevin Spier of Bunchball are there to tell us how it is from the frontlines of innovation and product development.

All these people will have valuable insights to share.

Social media has, in just a few short years, become an indispensable part of the fabric of our lives. One question I would certainly put to this panel would be, “How do we prevent ourselves from becoming complacent about the possibilities that social media has to offer all of us and not take it for granted?”

One answer would be to keep taking the opportunity to engage with the opportunities that the technologies of social media and social networking afford us whenever they arise.

One such opportunity is the event taking place at the Irish Innovation Center on June 30 at 4pm.

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