Category Archives: Trends

By Julie Blaustein

The Social Media Club Panelists: Moderator Chris Heuer, Peter Kim, Jen McClure and Michael Brito

The Social Media Club of San Francisco held their monthly meeting at PeopleBrowsr offices on Tuesday, May 17th. in SOMA. It was a conversation that included Chris Heuer, Founder of the Social Media Club as Moderator, Peter Kim of Dachis Group, Jen McClure of Thomas Reuters and Michael Brito of Edelman.

There appears to be a shift in the way that companies are messaging themselves; rather than conducting Social Media its preferred to be known as conducting Social Business. Much of the discussion centered around how each of the panelists define social media in terms of their companies and how it relates to social media. All agreed that social media has evolved from when it first came into our consciousnesses around 2004. Brito saw that when it first debuted to companies it was creating chaos but now companies are making sense of it and embracing it. McClure whose company has a large workforce felt that the term itself is being used less and its now more about it becoming part of the social organization and enabling employees to communicate with one another. Kim shared how the social media term is on the “outs” with the story of  how his client, Zappos‘ CEO Tony Hsieh, fined $1 to anyone who even uttered the term social media.

The panelists also shared their own definition of Social Business. Kim saw it similar to how you connect consumers but in the business world. Its how you communicate with employees through technology such as Jive Software that provides social networking, collaboration software, community software and media monitoring. Kim said, it “pains him when people use social business as social media which it is not.” McClure sees social business as a platform to connect and help employers learn from. Brito shared his definition of social business from an infographic that he has created. As he defined it, its the natural evolution that companies go through internally to equip themselves with customers. It starts with the people internally in a company such as the CMO and as a result processes are established within and technology brought on to manage it results.

Google Trend Comparison of Social Media vs. Social Business

A comparison between Social Media and Social Business in terms of search and news interest demonstrated how Social Business is barely a blip, yet its most definitely of importance to those in the enterprise social world. In the end perhaps the discussion was mostly about the semantics of language as it was agreed that social media is the umbrella term, with social business being a niche version of it. Some examples of those companies as seen in the forefront of this focus on Social Busienss were IBM, SAP, Cisco, Intel. Kim though felt at tis time no one is doing Social Business Particularly well but just getting started such as Disney and AT&T. There is still a huge amount of opportunity for companies to join the social world in a business way in the near future.

Join the Conversation with the Social Media Club SF at #SMCSF, view the video and photos from the event.

By Julie Blaustein

The launch of the Data 2.0 conference was held Monday, April 4th. and was a huge success.  Organized by midVentures Group with the help of Arabella Santiago and gang, it was full of data, content, cool ideas, product launches, presentations,  pitch contests and even the announcement of Twitter’s newest data partner MediaSift. Attending and presenting were hackers, business types, those seeking out the Next New Thing. Check out the coverage in photos here and view my Flickr album or the Group Pool for more! You can also catch it live streamed on UStream. And you can follow the conversation from the event at #data2con.

Winner of the Pitch Contest - Micello

Cathy Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons

Oren Michels, CEO of Mashery

Jay Adelson, CEO of SimpleGeo

Andreas Weigend, of Social Data Lab and former Chief Scientist of Amazon

Vivek Wadhwa, TechCrunch Contributor

Data 2.0 Conference Organzers

By Julie Blaustein

It’s the countdown to the Data 2.0 Conference, Monday, April 4, 2011, at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco.  Discover how the online data revolution will shape and transform the world of technology for years to come.

Data 2.0 is about the rise of data accessibility.  Do you know what new innovations are possible with the growing abundance of social, geo, government and advertising data?  Hear speakers from Google, NAVTEQ, and comScore alongside Jay Adelson, CEO of SimpleGeo; Gil Elbaz, CEO of Factual; Joe Lonsdale, co-founder of Palantir; and 50 other data companies at the full-day conference. The event will culminate in a data startup pitch contest, judged by Robert Scoble and five Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

The conference will also feature the launch on-stage of the $3 million Heritage Health Prize, the world’s largest data challenge.  At least 6 data companies will be launching new products and features. If interested, send an email to if you are interested in launching.

Click here to Register for the Data 2.0 Conference

Special for our, USE discount code “data2on11” to get 25% off the standard conference registration. Hurry, tickets are selling fast!

By Julie Blaustein

The Social Media Club of San Francisco held their monthly meeting Tuesday, March 22nd at the CoTweet offices in SOMA. The title of the event, The Future Role of Community Management, Is It a Dying Role?, provoked stimulating conversation.  The strong panel of Community Guru’s included Moderator Maria Ogneva, Head of Community at Yammer, John Virtes, Head of Community at Flipboard, Paul Gilliham, Director of Customer Marketing at Lithium and Scott Rutherford, Co-Founder at UserVoice.

The Panel with Moderator Maria Ogneva of Yammer, John Virtas of Flipboard, Paul Gilliham of Lithium and Scott Rutherford of UserVoice

The panel opened with the topic of What exactly IS a community manager? It was quickly determined that its hardly on the brink of dying but rather evolving into a critical role at any company whether its small, large, consumer facing or enterprise. As Gilliham stated, “Its not seen as a dead function, just a changing function.” The role is morphing from being focused on customer service to one that is now a key role as an evangelist of the company. Virtes pointed out, “It means something different at different companies. Support should be distinct but it still touches upon so many places in the company.” Rutherford emphasized its essence to a company, “Its become an incredibly important role. A key role, the breadth…the touch point…the positive voice of the company that can be found through blogs writing, marketing and other touch points.”

What makes a GREAT Community Manager? “The great community manager is kind of like your business’s Swiss Army Knife,” Gilliham so aptly put it. Someone who is able to have an agnostic role within the organization and know how to navigate all the different groups within the company, works well with people, is consistent with one’s policies and respectful of those in their community. Meg Clark, Community Manager at CoTweet pointed out, “Its someone who treats others like she would want to be treated.” To focus on the CoTweet brand and not to confuse her CoTweet community, she makes sure to use her handle of @meg_cotweet to refer to anything having to do with CoTweet while keeping her personal handle separate.

What happens when the voice of the company, your community manager who is possibly even seen as a Celebrity Rock Star leaves? You have to set expectations and boundaries with your community from the launch of your community. Most importantly, as Virtes points out, “You have to leave your ego at the door. This isn’t about you, its about the community and you should be able to hand over the role to anyone else in the company if you were to leave.”

A recent graduate from Texas University brought up another great topic. What makes a good community manager and what are the skills and background needed to BECOME a Community Manager? It was pretty much agreed by all on the panel that it takes someone who is not too junior, has a varied background, tremendous writing and communication skills and most importantly, someone who is passionate and perhaps even a“Super User” of the product or service of the company. As Ogneva stated, its someone “oozing with enthusiasm.” How does one actually LAND a job as a community manager? The panel was in agreement that it will almost naturally happen by being a part of your community of interest, networking in person, connecting through events, online blogs, communities and in the communities of social network sites such as LinkedIn, Quora, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The Social Media Club is definitely one way to become connected with like-minded, community people. Another way is to join the Facebook group, Social Media Jobs where there are numerous community manager jobs being posted by contacting them at

A great way to learn more about this topic is through the The Community Roundtable who just released its 2011 State of Community Management. The Commmunity Roundtable is a virtual table where social media, community, and social business practitioners gather to meet, discuss challenges, celebrate successes, and hear from experts and they are also dedicated to furthering the discipline of community management. You can gain more fascinating nuggets discussed about Community by the awesome panel and Social Media’s engaging audience on Twitter at #SFSMC.

Kristie Wells, Founder and President of the Social Media Club

Maria Ogneva, Moderator and Head of Community at Yammer

Paul Gilliham, Director of Customer Marketing at Lithium

John Virtes, Community Manager at Flipboard

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 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