Social Media Week is being held the week of February 7-11, 2010 in San Francisco. It kicked off with over 46 events! Monday’s opening night’s event was held at the newly opened, posh office of PeopleBrowsr in the hub of SOMA on Bryant Street. PeopleBrowsr provides research, social analytics and brand engagement. They recently unrolled their ReSearch.ly platform that provides analytics and search from 1,000 days of Twitter data while Twitter only goes back 30 days. The event also launched their SF Social Media Command Center with a panel discussion and social hour with food and beverages sponsored by Bear Republic Brewing Co, Vintage Wine Estates and Magic Curry Kart.

Chris Heuer, Founder of the Social Media Club and members Katherine Webster, Renee Blogdett, Ben Wan and Brian Zisk

The panel titled The Evolution of Listening: From Monitoring to the Collective Intelligence included Social Media Expert Brian Solis as moderator, People Browsr’s CEO, Jodee Rich, Tim O’Reilly, the Founder O’Reilly Media and the genius behind all those industry books and conferences you love to attend and Susan Etlinger who is a consultant at the Altimeter Group.

Solis opened up the panel with a few words about the listening tool known as the Conversation Prism. If you are not familiar with the Conversation Prism, Solis provides great detail about it in his best selling book Engage. The idea behind it is to listen, to “observe, analyze, dissect, and present the dynamics of conversations, how and where they transpired.” Solis provided a “secret” to the Social Web, that in every network there is a search box and through the results you can gain access to a list of keywords that will provide insights into your company, brands, competitors and other social networks.

The conversation then moved to Rich who talked passionately of the Interest Graph where your the network is made up of people who share interests with you, but who you don’t necessarily know personally. He sees it now an important business channel. He spoke of how “the world is evolving from a Social Graph to an Interest Graph. What ‘s very exciting for me, and I say this to my kids, what turns me on is, this the 1st. time I think in human history that we have something that is actually catalyzing our generous side and our generous side is about sharing…”

O’Reilly stressed the importance of listening, “Who should be paying attention? Everyone should be paying attention.” He talked of the Clue Train Manifesto that seeks to put the human touch back in the corporate world through technology and compared that to the use of social monitoring tools in corporations today. He believes we are moving away from the old model of studying Business Intelligence reports to building, learning from and tweaking algorithms to make improvements. He cited Google as a company that is successfully embracing algorithms as a way of doing business.

Etlinger is currently working on two research reports focused on mobile commerce and social business measurement. She is also considered an expert on all the social monitoring tools available at this time. She feels there are now very few tools and processes in place to get the right information to the right management. But she does see that there will be a convergence of the Social graph and the Interest graph. Rich though reiterated again how he sees the focus of social media as moving more towards an Interest Graph.

O’Reilly provided this key insight to consider, that with all the tools, artificial intelligence and technology, its the humans that are most important at the last mile.

A great way to learn more about listening and enjoy a few laughs, go to Ken Yeung’s coverage of the panel discussion posted on YouTube. And check out what has been happening with Social Media Week at #SMWSF.

Jodee Rich

Brian Solis

Susan Etlinger

Social Media Week Panel at PeopleBrowsr

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Julie Blaustein

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