A couple of days ago I attended Social Media Day Phoenix. The event/day was created by Mashable to “celebrate the changes in media that have empowered us to stay connected to information in real time, the tools that have enabled us to communicate from miles apart and the platforms that have given a voice to the voiceless.”
According to Pete Cashmore of Mashable, the event brought together 5,000 people in 500 different locations across the world including one right here in Phoenix. The local gathering was organized by Social Media AZ (SMAZ), Social Media Club Phoenix and the City of Tempe (primarily the great Kris Baxter).
Lots of New People: When you go to enough local social media networking events, you tend to stumble into the same people, but this event was different. It was an odd gathering of young and old, business owners, marketers and bloggers most of whom I didn’t know well. It’s good to see a more diverse group of social media lovers.
The Organizing Team, or Should I Say Kris Baxter: I could say something about SMAZ and SMCphoenix here, but this event happened for one reason and her name is Kris Baxter. If you don’t know Kris, she is the Community Development Marketing Specialist for the City of Tempe, and a wonderful, generous person. She saw an opportunity to show how Tempe can support the larger community and made it happen. Nice job Kris!
The Band: The Bears of Manitou were awesome. Check them out here.
The Not So Good
The Venue: I want to love MADCAP. It could be an amazing meeting & movie space, but once again it disappointed me. The A/C wasn’t working well causing myself and everyone to sweat their butts off and, for this germaphobe, the dirty seats made my skin crawl. I hope the City or an investment group will one day return the theater to its glory days.
The Ridiculous Story Telling Time: While I appreciate there were some great stories of people using social media change the world, I could have done without some of the grandstanding by teeny bopers talking about how the met their girlfriend or boyfriend through mySpace. Go back to Match.com. Thanks.
The Slide Show: It was all over the place. I think someone had one too many brews at Robbie Fox’s before operating the slideshow.
- Do we really need a social media day? One of the things I have struggled with since hearing about the day was the idea of an official social media day. I thought every day was social media day. Why can’t we celebrate every day that gives us the opportunities this medium provides by simply using social media? The optimist in me believes it is a good way to connect the social media crowd offline. The pessimist part says it was good way for Mashable to promote themselves and gather some more data (names & email addresses) about us.
- An Annual Event is Enough. Based on a follow up email I received from Mashable and some murmurs from a few friends, it sounds like there are plans to make this a regular event. I think our time can be better time spent finding out ways to create meaningful on and offline experiences via social media than simply celebrating the medium. Once-a-year is enough for me.
Am I way off base here? If you attended, what did you think? Would you attend a monthly social media day? Why or why not?