SocialMediaCamp NewYork: The Twitter Report


Yesterday’s SocialMediaCampNewYork was a fun mix of PR folks and techies and I found myself blending in with the campy crowd perfectly. As someone who works as an online publicist and was formerly both a start-up employee and AOLer, I can see things from both sides, from offering services to the utility of those tools for marketing purposes. While no camp tents were pitched in the heart of NYC, Grand Central, it was neat to check out the Sun Microsystem’s office where the venue was held.

The camp was sponsored by and Mashable, and the most talked about item all day long was Twitter.

A year ago, only the most dedicated techies were on twitter, today everyone at the session had a twitter account and wrote their twitter @s on their nametag. Twitter was discussed a lot throughout the tracks and from a PR perspective, was remarked upon as one company who gets it, and is leveraging Twitter correctly for all it’s worth.

Saul Colt, head of magic, at the Canadian-based, was the highlight of the day, with his track “How to Make Love to Your Customers…using Social Media.” He reiterated the idea of using Twitter professionally not to market a product but to engage customers by “showing them love” and thereby making customers not only brand loyal but appreciate the relentless auspicious customer service too.

Another track left me pondering the advantages of using poor quality video production (quick & easy) versus high quality video production as a marketing tool. One camper said he didn’t understand companies who used poor quality production and audio on viral videos. He said they defeated their purpose and took away from the credibility of the brand and message. I tend to disagree (and please comment, if you think otherwise) but in a time where consumers are in Youtube mindset, where businesses are shedding their corporate spiel for business blogs and Tweets, (even SMCamp changed its logo because it seemed “too icky, ” as in cormmecialized, see comments here it makes sense to have video content that resembles basement user-gen content more than backlot Hollywood Productions, doesn’t it? I think so. Just like Tweets, I don’t think most of us mind in terms of quality as long as it’s quick and easy to digest.

Before the day ended with a brief presentation from Widget creators, Clearspring, the track on New Media, left us thinking about the FailWhale phenomena, and what will happen when Twitter becomes so oversaturated that the FailWhale swallows us whole as it deep dives into the deadpool and the platform crashes in loud boom heard across the web. Will that really happen? Who knows but it will be interesting to see what happens next.


Justin Thorp

Saul’s preso was a highlight for me as well! I hope he puts the video on YouTube. It’s the kind of thing I’d love to show folks.

– Justin from Clearspring

Saul Colt

Thank you so much for including me in your report of the “un”conference. I usually have a snappy comment for everything but in this case I am just honored and a bit speechless!

Saul Colt
Head of Magic


I learned a lot and the lunch was great but no t-shirts! :( That bummed me out even though it sounds trivial. I got a bunch of names of interesting new people to follow on Twitter which is wonderful. What I thought was cool was that the meeting was intergenerational, mostly folks in their 30s but the age of the participants ranged from 20s to 60s, sharing their very different perspectives which I appreciated.

But the second room REALLY needed a moderator as it was consistently ~30 minutes behind schedule which cheated some presenters out of their alloted time periods to talk. It would have been very easy to have a volunteer watching the clock, moving people out of the room and into the hallway those people who stop & have conversations, signaling presenters when they only had 2 or 5 minutes left, etc. I realize that podcamps are “unconferences” but without the most basic structure, people often didn’t respect (or were unaware) of their time limits and sessions didn’t start on time because people were talking to each other and ignoring the presenter. This is basic conference procedure 101 that costs nothing and helps things run smoothly. Every events planner knows this because you can safely predict that most presenters will go over their time limits.

There was also an absence of information on the wiki about the camp and an incorrect Google map that located the conference site to Long Island.

People hate evaluation forms but there was no forum to even talk to/with the organizers and provide feedback (hence these comments here).

Thanks to those in charge for finding a location and to Sun for hosting us. It was a worthwhile, if slightly chaotic day (and I’ve been to pod camps before so I knew what to expect!).

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