A keynote opens a conference and a Locknote closes a conference.
The Broadsoft Connections 2010 was opened by Wikinomics author Don Tapscott with his talk about the Digital Age. Our industry is aware that ubiquious broadband has changed the landscape of many businesses. The transparency that we have today (think blogs and WikiLeaks) means that nothing is really private.
This is paramount to me - obviously because I blog and occassionally get dirty looks for what I write -- but the Locknote was a panel of twitter experts - Tara Hunt, Joel Comm and Paul Chaney - being interviewed by Broadsoft CMO Leslie Ferry. Let's just say they didn't knock this out of the park. When asked what social media was the replies ranged from "an online platform for user interaction" (@pchaney) to "the water cooler of our time ... on steroids (@joelcomm). It turns the bull horn around; it flips the funnel. (I guess they read Seth Godin).
When asked how to get started, they all said Listen. "Listening is the new marketing," said Paul Chaney. Really? Did you not hear the questions that Leslie was asking? Where you listening to the audience, who were walking out two by two?
The panel never answered how to get started. It's like they came there with the usual pithy phrases that they had to use, like water cooler, bring value, build trust, twitter is a research engine.
They all wrote a book about twitter but that doesn't make twitter the answer to everything. You have to use the platform that your target market is using!
"Mundane tweets humanizes the connection" was a nice way of saying that people have to get over the uninteresting stuff people write online. (People say uninteresting stuff offline all the time!) Social networks are just the new printing presses; the new publishing systems.
When Paul Chaney mentioned that only 15% of Fortune 500 use blogs in a meaningful way, I am reminded that most companies have corporate structure, SEC guidelines, and other trappings that can defeat a blogger in Corporate America. And comments scare the heck out of the PR department. Let me remind you that people are already saying this stuff! I'm just writing it down!
It was a great show with about 900 people including about 450 customers. And the Arizona Biltmore is a great place to have a conference. It's beautiful and relaxing and, as Larry Lisser stated, it had so many places to have a conversation.
Interesting tidbit from twitter this morning: "We have more than 300 internal bloggers at AT&T and more than 30,000 wiki pages for knowledge management. Internal community growth 95% QOQ." (@bklein34)
Another snarky comment from an attendee was why would the author of the Digital Age give out physical books instead of an e-book? :)