I Put the Social in Social Media

imgresThey say the first step is admitting you have a problem.

I wrote a blog about QR codes, my Thanksgiving had a hashtag, and I sleep with my iPhone under my pillow — My name is Liane and I’m a technoholic.

When I sat down to write today, I intended this blog to be a defense of the social aspect of social media. Then, I remembered the cardinal rule of writing: know your audience. If you are reading this BLOG, chances are you’re pretty okay with social media as you probably got here via Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail. A defense of social media belongs in a newspaper….and that newspaper belongs in a museum where other old, historic things go to be forgotten.

Instead, I’m going to invite you to share in the joy that is Social Media Week DC!

From February 13th-17th, cities all over the world (Hamburg, Hong Kong, London, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto, & Washington DC) are participating in Social Media Week. As a girl with a passion for new media, I could not pass up the opportunity to sign up for a couple of the amazing events happening here in DC. Hopefully, I’ll also have enough time this week to blog about the events, but if not be sure to follow me on Twitter @liane_w for live tweeting from the following events:

Monday, February 13, 2012
Nothing! — I need to work on the formative research for my Media, Development, & Globalization project :/
Tuesday,  February 14, 2012

Digital platforms have changed the media landscape forever, but how has it changed the way the media covers politics? We’ll ask a panel  from Gannet, National Journal, ABC News and Politico as they discuss 2012 election coverage.

The social media landscape has changed drastically since 2008. We’ll hear directly from panelists from Google, Twitter and Facebook as they delve into the tools and innovations that candidates and campaigns have utilized as the 2012 campaign heats up.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We will explore the driving forces that have been evolutionary markers for social media, transitioning it from the past to the present, and giving us a glimpse into the future. This session is for those wishing to understand where their organization is placed on the evolutionary timeline, what is next for social media, and why. In our interactive discussion, we will reminisce about famous flops, share success stories, and discuss the future of what social media can be for Government agencies and Non-governmental organizations.

As we look back on the impact social media has had on the healthcare industry over the past year, we see dramatic growth in social media adoption by health care consumers, providers, and organizations. While the industry has taken a giant leap forward into the brave new social media world, we’ve only scratched the surface of what is yet to come.

So what does the future hold? Join thought leaders from Eli Lilly, Inspire, Ogilvy and Ozmosis as we explore the positive impact social media has made throughout the healthcare system.  Together, we will examine how patients, providers and healthcare organizations have leveraged social tools to enhance communication, promote education, improve the delivery of care, and reduce growing costs.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How does social media change how statecraft is practiced in the 21st century? Who’s participating and why? What have been some lessons learned from the pioneers who have logged on to listen and engage? Three representatives from the U.S. Department of State will share case studies and professional experiences gleaned directly from the virtual trenches.

This panel discussion and networking event will introduce you to some of the people behind “American Censorship Day” and the “Internet Blackout Day” for a candid discussion discuss their the strategies and tactics that lead up to  over 14 million people to contacting Congress in a single day.

We will discuss how Internet experts, non-profit organizations and entrepreneurs from across the political spectrum came together to successfully derail SOPA and PIPA and offer a glimpse into what this means for future advocacy campaigns.

Friday, February 17, 2012

While Sean Parker may predict that social media will determine the outcome of the 2012 election, governance is another story entirely. Meaningful use of social media by Congress remains challenged by a number of factors, not least an online identity ecosystem that has not provided Congress with ideal means to identify constituents online. The reality remains that when it comes to which channels influence Congress, in-person visits and individual emails or phone calls are far more influential with congressional staffers.

“People think it’s always an argument in Washington,” said Matt Lira, Director of Digital for the House Majority Leader. “Social media can change that. We’re seeing a decentralization of audiences that is built around their interests rather than the interests of editors. Imagine when you start streaming every hearing and making information more digestible. All of a sudden, you get these niche audiences. They’re not enough to sustain a network, but you’ll get enough of an audience to sustain the topic. I believe we will have a more engaged citizenry as a result.”

This conversation with Lira (and other special guests, as scheduling allows) will explore more than how social media is changing politics in Washington. We’ll look at its potential to can help elected officials and other public servants make better policy decisions.

Alright, enough of that! I will try and update as much as possible about the fascinating information I learn this week. Let me know if you want more information/want to hear about a specific event/really love newspapers–yeah, right. Stay tuned 🙂

In honor of Charles Darwin’s birthday, today’s extremely appropriate blog quote:

“In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”
~ Charles Darwin

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A Nod to the Future

If you have not downloaded and used a QR reader on your smartphone, you might as well be using your mobile as a paperweight.

My initial exposure to QR codes (Quick Response Codes) happened over a year ago, though I don’t remember the exact circumstances. Although I recognized that it was “cool”, I wasn’t sold on its utility in the current sphere of technology advancements. Despite the growing prevalence and influence of mobile media (stuff you can do on your cell phone), especially in this globalized world, there just didn’t seem to be a market for this technology–yet. Much like the early days of Facebook and Twitter, people knew they liked it and they knew there was potential, but people hadn’t figured out the true scope of what it could become.

The first time I used a QR code and reader in practice was during the gubernatorial election in California. I’d done my homework and I knew my candidates and my issues. As a majority of these synced up with the voting guide of a rather well-known talking head duo, I simply snapped a picture of the QR code they provided for direct access to their voting guide and ran out the door. When I got to the polling place, my voting guide was conveniently pulled up on my mobile browser. I enacted my civil duty and continued on with my day.

It’s said that technology comes to politics 3-5 years after it hits the commercial sector. I guess that didn’t apply here.

QR codes, with all their potential, have been grossly underused. However, I think that is about to change.

I’m going start by challenging you to download a free QR reader on your phone. I currently have the rather cryptically named “QR Reader for iPhone”. Next, open the app and use your camera to scan the picture of my QR code above. Pretty cool, right?

There have been numerous articles written in the last year or so about the potential that QR codes. If you don’t think that QR codes can benefit you or your business, you are wrong. I challenge you to comment, and I will give you great examples of how you can integrate this new, FREE technology into your life.

I know this sounds like some kind of weird sales pitch. But you have to admit–in this Reality 2.0, technocentric world getting ahead in life means getting ahead of technology. Also, I just wanted an excuse to make a QR code for my blog–which ideally I will be updating more regularly now that I am getting into the flow out here.

If you are interested in knowing more about QR codes, here is a link that will give you more information on what they are and what is currently being said about them on the technoblogosphere:

http://mashable.com/follow/topics/qr-codes/

As a sidenote, Mashable.com is one of my new favorite sites. It primarily handles things like the future of new, social and mobile media but in a real and interesting way. Not too much jargon with very practical suggestions and insights. You might want to check it out!

Don’t forget! If you want me to tell you how QR codes can improve your life–COMMENT!

To techocentrism and the people who know what that means!

If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger. 
~Frank Lloyd Wright