Live blogging from the Future of Social Media Conference – William McInnes at 10.30

William McInnes, social media marketer, kicks off at 10.30. He works with T-Mobile, Oxfam and based in Brighton.

The Future is already here. It is just not very evenly distributed – William Gibson 1999. He uses examples to make his point.

Are we encouraging what were once called lowly people to tell their stories? Then he shows a screenshot from Craigslist. Most people in UK do not recognise it. It boasts just 27 employees and a vast business but it just looks like a list.

“We are too hung up by technology than what we want to sell. What it is about is utility, supported by excellent communication and design”. We spend too long obsessed with building our computers when the real debate is going on elsewhere.

“Partial attention” – we are in a continuous attempt to do several things at once. So how do we enable and earn word of mouth when there is so much competition.

  • Dialogue: Never good to have overglowing ratings since people just don’t beleive it. So there is some benefit from negativity. Will suggests using Addict-o-matic to do buzz monitoring  – “if you are not doing it as a PR you will be fired in the future. It is ridiculous that clippings arrive from the paper the day before”.
  • Communities: Use other sites to combine with yours. He uses example of Google Earth to be YOUR map; BBC News on your site; Tweets that gather up photos from Flickr that match a certain colour. Why not for “government 2.0”?
  • PR: the engineers from T-Mobile took photos and videos that are slapped up on Flickr and YouTube. Such content becomes great content.

“It all requires bravery. But it also requires some good solid business cases.”

We live and work in Brighton which has a great digital community – “come to Brighton, it is a brilliant place and join our surgeries”.

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