Getting to know Singapore’s The Digital Movement (TDM), the future of Social Media

The TDM group is Singapore’s young, vibrant, Social and Digital media user group, they’re on the move, watch them.

Walter Lim has done an excellent job capturing my presentation this week at the IX 2007 conference Academic Forum. I was really excited to meet a group called The Digital Movement, which is a group of young social media and digital media professionals that have ties back to Singapore University. They are the next generation of media and web workers, and I even declared that they are an untapped resource that could really help established business and government groups understand how to use these tools to connect humans and build community.

As you may remember, a few months ago, I suggested a blogger dinner be organized, so I could meet all the young minds, they made an extravaganza out of it, and we all met at a local brewery, thanks to James Seng and Ming Yeow for sponsoring the dinner, it was fantastic.

The Digital Movement (TDM)
group is much like groups I’m seeing forming in Silicon Valley. I’m part of Third Thursday’s, Social Media club, Lunch 2.0 and other somewhat informal groups that are meetings of peers and people of similar interests. I attend many conferences and events in Silicon Valley, and can clearly see a trend and pattern.

The TDM group appears to be an organize, young group of new/social media and digital media like-minded folks that put together events (such as Nexus with over 600 attendees), learn from each other, and network. They self describe themselves as:

“We are a young movement seeking to grow and inject vibrancy into the budding communities of Web 2.0 technologists/entrepreneurs and new media advocates in Singapore (and of course, the world very soon).”

I’ve seen a lot of groups form in the Silicon Valley, some more successful than others, and I wanted to suggest a few recommendations for anyone that wants to formalize and grow the organization to be something great, these apply to many types of groups:

1) Define the goals of the group, please note that they will change, evolve over time. Somewhere in this goal the word “people” and or “Community” be used.

2) Whatever the focus is, become a master at that area. If you’re going to focus on Social Media, or Interactive Media, make sure that you can demonstrate that you know your arena. Practice what you preach

3) Add value: Start to document what your group is doing, add value and learnings to others, which will attract new members. Consider a blog, video blog, or way to chronicle key events and happenings in your area.

4) Formalize: I’ve seen groups like the Brainjams and Social media club form from user groups to revenue generating workshops. They’re providing real value to businesses and are making a living from traveling about sharing their knowledge with those that need it. There are tons of other opportunities to build a strong network, support startups and grow collectively

5) Become the first stop resource for your area of focus. I suggested to the TDM group to start documenting, cataloging the web and media industry in their area. Much like how I did that wiki for Hitachi. It will keep you self-aware, build community, and be the first source of information for people to understand what’s happening in your market.

6) Hold regular events: events for the members, events to attract others, events to help other businesses and organizations. If the TDM group wants to understand how to do Lunch 2.0s they can contact me. Different businesses can host these very informal lunches and get to know the social media community, and vice versa. I’m one of the primary promoters of this in Silicon Valley.

7) Have fun! When there’s no passion, there’s no innovation. I’m sure you’ll figure this out, but don’t get hung up on politics, some of the best groups are bottom up and member controlled, that’s the future.

In my presentation to the main congress yesterday, I talked about the TDM group as an untapped resource, as I noticed how businesses in Silicon Valley lean on these self-forming groups for mutual benefit. I asked the TDM members to stand up, this way the attendees could easily identify a contact point.

Here’s some pictures of some of the members, (I often take people’s pictures with their business card, as I meet so many people, it helps to keep track) including the Chill Out dinner we had last night. It was Kevin Lim’s 30th birthday, I had a chuckle when they gave me a blog birthday celebration too, too funny.

Below are pictures from the event at the Academic Forum, as well as the dinner last night. If you know the folks in the photos, feel free to leave a tag(s).

Picture 1725Picture 1748Picture 1750Picture 1753Picture 1755Picture 1777Picture 1855Picture 1930Picture 1931Birthday Celebration: Jeremiah's blog birthday and Kevin LimPicture 1922Picture 1862Picture 1923Picture 1917Picture 1906Picture 1908Picture 1920Picture 1919Picture 1838Picture 1701