Pushing the Technology on our Closing Twanel at Web 2.0 Expo

(Me, asking a question from my Ustream Chat room, to the Panelists. Photo from David Parmet)

(The panelists: Thomas Hawk (taking photo) Chris Pirillo (interacting in chat), Robert Scoble (headcam). Photo from David Parmet)

I’m exhausted.

I’ve been live streaming for about 8 hours each day since Sunday, I’ve interviewed over 100 people, but I can relax now, after having crossed the finish line as the moderator (interviewer) for the final panel of the conference that was discussing Social Media for Web 2.0 companies.

As if moderating a panel of A-listers wasn’t enough, I was the ears, eyes, legs, and even mouth for those that were watching and interacting with us in the chatroom. I felt really tired after moderating a panel with Robert Scoble, Chris Pirillo, Thomas Hawk. I was specifically selected to moderate this panel as I know all these guys, and can encourage them in a topical path.

Session Strategy
I started by calling this a “Twanel” in that responses were supposed to be short, (Like Twitter + Panel) and I’m thankful for the panelists all chipping in their responses.

My goal was to get a conversation going, make sure everyone had enough time to speak, be entertaining, and give real practical advice to the audience. We probably achieved 3/4 of those goals, guess which one’s we didn’t get.

I tried to keep it very interactive, I strolled the aisles fielding questions, as well as taking a question for the chatroom in my Ustream IRC. (folks, some of the great questions were already answered, that’s why I only asked one)

Pushing the Technology

This panel did make history today, while there have frequently been backchannels at conferences, this time remote folks were able to watch 3 Ustream feeds (Robert’s head cam, Chris’s Handcam, and my Tripod Camera). We used Twitter (pic of the conference screens) to signal to the communities, and Twittermap to show the conversations. The audience was participating on the large screen that was displaying a moderated IRC channel provided by Chris. We also used Twitter to get the word out about the live streams and don’t forget Thomas’s major league camera. The folks in the audience were taking pictures constantly. Although there were hundreds in the physical rooms, most would agree there were way more people watching online in real time. (Thanks Kris Tate of Zooomr for managing my chat room)

Answering the Question: How does Social Media Help Web 2.0 companies?
I’m seeing some feedback that we could have done better, Tris was also a bit spun out. Yes, I agree, A-Listers love to talk about well…being A-listers. Although everyone agreed we’ll not get rich by using these tools, I’ll recite (as I often do to my clients as a Social Media Consultant) the benefits of Social Media:

1) Loud “viral” voice, great for marketing
2) Reaching influencers fast, cut out the middleman.
3) Listen: Keep your finger on the pulse of your community
4) Reduce your product requirements cycle: your community will help you shape your product in near real-time and build products they want.
5) Users will self-support each other, if given the opportunity
6) Speed to respond to product issues
7) Learn more about the marketplace, and competition
8) Build meaningful relationships, be more human
9) Leave a comment

If you want to learn other “how to’s” check out all my posts tagged “Web Strategy“.

Media Overkill?

Sure, we had a ridiculous amount of technology being used inside a bubblesque media box, but we pushed the limits of letting as many people into (and participate) in the session as our technology will allow us using affordable tools.

Thanks Dave McClure for organizing this panel, it certainly ended the conference on a high-energy note.

In the near future, I’ll be writing an extensive review of Ustream, as well as provide practical advice from what I learned, both good and bad.

Update: April 19th

  • The video Mashups are already starting to happen
  • Mdoef has captured some of the video from his camera and uploaded to YouTube
  • Thomas Hawk’s recap
  • Dan Fost: SFGate
  • Jack has an MP3 of the whole session, Thanks Jack