Category: Social Media Summit


In part 1 of this blog, I chronicled the panel about the Future of Social Networking at the 2012 Social Media Summit at Harrisburg University.  I spoke of my meeting Chris Dessi (@cdessi) of Silverback Social, New York and how his ideology has impacted my social media prowess in the most positive of ways.

One of the things that I wanted to discuss was one of the questions posed at the panel:  What industries are adversely impacted by the emergence of social media?  The main response from the panelists was the notion that customer service has forever changed.  Customer service can happen in real-time.  Everyone now has recourse for companies that don’t live up to our standards.  Chris Dessi commented on a situation that happened to him just prior to the Summit.  When we went to check-in to a local hotel, he was not pleased with the service he received.  Chris has a vast number of followers on Twitter and tweeted his displeasure.  Almost immediately, he was contacted by someone at the corporate office and offered compensation for the mistake.  While his experience was not ideal, the hotel chain made it right in nearly real-time, instead of letting it get out of hand.

The panelists also made reference to the Trinity of social media, Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.  To me, there is specific things that each site does well that I would like to discuss:

Facebook is for friends.  For me personally, I have been able to not only find long-lost friends, but can use Facebook as a way of keeping up with my friends that I don’t see as much as I would like to.  Facebook is for businesses as well.  In a way that it’s a necessity to have a website, it is imperative to have a Facebook page for your business.  It is extremely valuable tool that often is not used properly by businesses.  Facebook allows you to have almost real-time interaction with your customers.

For me, Twitter has exceeded because of the Twitter mobile app.  The app is easy to use, concise and fun.  It allows people to get news from those they like and respect about topics they want to know about.  Twitter has solidified its place in the social media world, and needs to be more embraced by businesses.  One thing about Twitter, few local businesses take Twitter seriously and have not used it properly or at all.  Twitter is also a unique way to engage with your friends and clients in a new way.

Linked In is the most valuable social media site if you are a business professional.  It provides you the medium to have an online resume and be able to find employment.  The professional connections that you receive through Linked In are invaluable to job-seekers.  People still in college that will be looking for employment upon graduation really should take the time and establish a Linked In profile.  It is the consensus of almost every person at the Social Media Summit that a Linked In profile completed 100% with a minimum of 4 recommendations is by far the best thing you can do to enhance chances of employment.

A final subject worth speaking of is how some of the more successful companies engage their followers on social media.  One specific company I immediately thought of during this discussion is Harrisburg’s own Troegs Brewery.  They have a premier website and engage in an extremely different way with their fans.  They are people who know what they are doing with regards to social media.  Check them out at http://troegs.com or @troegsbeer and see why they are the premier social media engagers in the area.

Obviously I enjoyed my time at the Social Media Summit.  I got to meet three wonderful people in Amanda Haddaway, Rachel Strella, and of course Chris Dessi.  In my next blog, I will discuss Chris’s book “Your World is Exploding” and the impact that it has had on my social media outlook.  Hats off once again to Steven Infanti, Eric Darr, Andy Petroski, and all of the faculty of Harrisburg University for their generosity and wonderful amenities.

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

This blog will consist of three parts:  Parts 1 and 2 will detail the Facing Forward Panel while Part 3 will detail Chris Dessi’s Your World is Exploding book and my experience meeting Chris after the Summit.

Solutions for Advertising was very fortunate to sponsor the final panel of the day, entitled Facing Forward:  The Future of Social Networking.  As a company that has recently branched out to offering social media to our clients, we felt this panel would be the most advantageous to us.  Last year’s panel (other than a cameo by Joseph Carrabis) really didn’t fulfill my expectations.  There was little insight into the future of social networking, it ended up being panelists speaking of fringe social media sites that may hit it big.  I was hoping this year’s panel would be much better than 2011, and it certainly was.

To begin, Eric Darr (Provost of Harrisburg University) was the Moderator.  Eric is someone who I sincerely look up to so I was extremely pleased he moderated this session.  The crown jewel of this panel, however, was Mr. Chris Dessi.  Here is a brief description about Chris:

“Christopher Dessi is CEO of Silverback Social. He is also an award-winning digital media executive, best-selling author, university lecturer, prominent blogger and keynote speaker.  His book “Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It”, shot to #1 on Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases in its first two weeks of publication. Dessi is a regular contributor on Fox News, and Good Day New York. He makes regular Radio appearances on such shows as the John Gambling show on WOR Radio in NYC, and the  Mary Beth Marsden show in Baltimore on WBAL.  Dessi leverages the platforms of television, print, keynote speaking, lecturing, and radio appearances to share his manifesto that social media is a spiritual awakening, not a technological one.  In a simple, easily digestible manner he helps businesses understand that social media is not simply a shift in business, rather a cultural shift in the manner in which we aggregate and disseminate information and maps out each step they must take to succeed. ”

The most amazing thing about this panel was the opportunity to understand why social media has emerged as such a major force in today’s business landscape.  Being able to understand the importance of social media is the basis for understanding where it will go in the future.  One of the major things I took away from this panel involved Chris Dessi’s ideology:  “Social Media is much more a spiritual awakening than a technological one”.  Chris stressed how social media revolves around the basic human nature of connecting with one another but uses new technology to change the way we communicate with each other.  With this concept it is no wonder why Mr. Dessi’s POV is one that I understand and have employed since meeting him.  He shares the passion that I do about social media and he is not shy about it.

One question posed to the panelists was:  Why has social networking become so important in our society?  Chris answered this question by saying that currently social media is everywhere we go.  People are getting their news from their Twitter feed instead of local newspapers.  The way we disseminate information has changed for the better and people need to understand that social media will be with us forever.  While Facebook or Twitter may not be, social media will live on.  Chris’s final viewpoint was:  “Humans love to be heard.”

A final point I would like to cover in Part 1 was the notion that the creation of content is paramount and helps us create our online brand.  While I already knew that the creation of content is important, it provides validation to all of the hard work I put in to this blog.  I would like to take time here to thank all of my loyal readers and followers because without you I would be talking to myself.

For more information about Chris Dessi, please take time to check out the following sites:

Twitter:  @cdessi

Blog:  http://www.christopherdessi.com

Silverback Social:  http://www.silverbacksocial.com

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

In Part 2 of the Job Search blog, I would like to take time to recognize two panelists that stood out in my mind, not only during the panel but as some of the best of the whole day.  I mentioned Amanda Haddaway (@ahaddaway) and Rachel Strella (@rachelstrella) as two panelists that exceeded my expectations.  As someone who is presently searching for a job in a very difficult job landscape, I took this panel very seriously and took away from it quite a lot of useful information.

Amanda Haddaway is a very accomplished HR professional that has a great array of expertise in the job search field.  Here is a brief bio from her website (http://amandahaddaway.com):  “Amanda Haddaway is an accomplished freelance writer and marketing practitioner. She has been quoted in numerous national publications for her HR and marketing expertise and has written two books, Destination Real World: Success After Graduation for new and soon-to-be college graduates and Interviewer Success: Become a great interviewer in less than one hour.”  The two things that she discusses in these two books are two of the most important aspects not only for recently graduated or graduating students, but any professional looking for a job.  One of the most important things I learned from Amanda was that just because you have graduated, doesn’t mean you can stop learning.  Many people who I have spoken to over the years have looked at graduation as the culmination of all of their studies.  In my opinion, this could not be further from the truth.  Because traditional colleges often don’t require students to have any social media training in relation to the job search, you must train yourself.  Using some of the pointers from Part 1 of this blog can be extremely beneficial, but following some influential people like Amanda on Twitter can certainly help your social media training.

Amanda had great insight on a subject that many job seekers do not know what is out there about themselves, be it positive or negative.  Amanda offered insight on this topic by asking all the attendees of the panel to now only Google yourself to find out what is out there, but to also set up Google Alerts so you know when people are searching about you.  She also noted that it is important to be proactive in keeping up with your Social Media privacy settings, but to not rely on them as a way to keep information private.  It is important to moderate your page, to untag photos of a late night last weekend, and to let others know that you value their friendship but not their constant tags or obscene comments.  Amanda pleaded to us about thinking about the bigger picture of our job search and to use connections as an asset.

On a side note, this is part of the reason I was so distraught after last year’s Social Media Summit.  I do not think that college gives you the proper tools to prepare yourself adequately for the job search in today’s job landscape.  Maybe I didn’t utilize career services to the utmost extent, but I was an extremely diligent student that was active at both Slippery Rock and Shippensburg.  I should not have this much trouble finding a job that I enjoy and am good at.  I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to attend the last two Summit’s as I have learned so much invaluable information that I can now relay to my connections.  I want to help in a way that I don’t think my professors did.

Another person who had a great impact on not only this panel, but the Social Media Summit as a whole was Rachel Strella, of Camp Hill’s Strella Social Media (http://strellasocialmedia.com/).  Here is a quick bio about Rachel and how Strella Social Media came about:

“It was Rachel’s mentor who suggested that she might be an entrepreneur. She understood that in order for Rachel to be happy, she had to run her own show!  As it happened, Rachel’s mentor provided her not only with inspiration but with a problem that Rachel knew how to solve. That same day, Rachel’s mentor attended a social media marketing event that left her feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about the new tools. She suggested that Rachel use her knowledge of social media to help small business owners understand it and use it properly.  Rachel took a leap of faith and decided to start the business, alongside her day job, in July 2010. The business began as Central PA Webster, a company helping small business owners understand the mechanics of social media. It soon evolved into a social media management business as Rachel found that many business owners did not have time to maintain an effective or consistent social media presence by themselves. By September 2010, Rachel was able to leave her day job and focus on the business full-time.”

As any fan of this blog will tell you, I am an advocate of small business, especially in the Harrisburg area.  I am extremely proud of Rachel and her hard work and I wish her nothing but the best.  But it’s not just well wishers that have made her successful, it was hard work and perseverance.  Rachel has come to the forefront of social media marketing in the Harrisburg area and has a lot of great advice for job seekers.  Rachel stressed to the panel how important personal branding is, using the available tools to make you stand out from the crowd in the job search.  That was the one thing that struck home to me and my situation.  I have worked hard over the last year to make my personal brand stand out and I feel I have done a great job.  She was also quick to point out that the concept of Social Media is much larger than a single social networking site, it is the collaboration of all of them that creates your personal brand.  Letting your personality shine through on social media is one quick way to stand out in the job search.

Overall, this panel was so informative that even I couldn’t imagine covering every single point that the panelists discussed.   To close the discussion of this I would like to give those still in school or those having graduated already a 5-step checklist for using social media for their job search:

1.  Linked In – Completing your Linked In profile to 100% is the easiest thing you can do to help your search.  Consider former professors, present colleagues, former bosses, managers, superiors, etc. to write recommendations of your work.  This provides a personal touch that can go a long way with potential employers.

2. Google Yourself, set Google Alerts, Familiarize yourself with Facebook privacy settings – Knowing what is out there about you and what is and is not available to the public allows you to know what potential employers can see.

3.  Volunteer with local Non-profit organizations – Volunteering your free time (in my case, what little I have) is a powerful way to not only create more connections but to add different skills to your arsenal.  There is an opportunity to network within your non-profit work, but remember that the organization comes first, not your personal agenda.

4.  Join Linked In groups – Linked In groups are a great way to keep up with the pulse of your industry.  Becoming active in the conversations are a very easy way to add connections and possibly land a job.

5.  Blogging – Start a blog about your subject matter.  Create content and start a conversation.  Interview those in the field that are knowledgeable, but stick to your opinion.  Just because they are an expert does not mean that their opinion is paramount to yours.  It is your blog after all!

I truly encourage readers to follow @ahaddaway and @rachelstrella on Twitter for further information about all social media topics, as well as job opportunities.  Thank you so much you two for an amazing panel!

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

At the 2011 Social Media Summit, the Social Media and the Job Search panel was by far the most informative panel that I attended.  I learned an amazing array of techniques to increase the probability of finding a job in my job search.  Some of the things I learned last year were:

1. The Importance of Linked In – Linked In creates 6x more job opportunities than Facebook.  It is also very important to have recommendations on your page from former managers, bosses, colleagues and clients.

2. Using WordPress (or any blog site) – Blogging about your subject expertise is a free way to enhance your personal brand.  I started last September blogging about Social Media and have had a great experience, with my blog last month going over 500 unique views.

3.  Knowing what is out there about you (Google your name) – Googling your name is something you can do to know what is online about you.  I have a common name and it is important to know what Paul Miller (be it myself or another Paul Miller) is doing.

4.  Using the privacy settings in Facebook so your personal information is not public.  Knowing the privacy settings on Facebook is extremely imperative when searching for a job.  The last thing you want your perspective employer to see is pictures of you partying last weekend.

This all being said, I was extremely excited to attended the Job Search panel this year.  I wanted to see what new advice was available for the Job Search and how things may have changed over the last year.

To start the panel off, the panelists discussed how the job search is now 100% online.  I don’t know if I agree with that totally, but I would agree that the present day landscape is at least 95% online.  The panelists also noted that between 60 – 80% of jobs are found via networking with colleagues, present and former bosses, and recent clients.  Being able to leverage your connections to find a job as well as using your connections as an asset is the easiest way to find a job in today’s economy.

There were two people on the Job Search panel that I found extremely helpful with their information, Amanda Haddaway (@ahaddaway on Twitter) and Rachel Strella (@RachelStrella).  I will go into detail in part 2 of this blog about specific information for each of these two intelligent women, but I want to focus on more general information in Part 1.

The most recurring theme during this panel centered around Personal Branding.  Positioning yourself as a professional with expertise and engaging readers can create a whole community of contacts.  Using relevant information to your field can help you connect with the decision makers that you want to connect with to find work.

Other than blogging, becoming active in your community by volunteering with local non-profit organizations is a free way to enhance your personal brand.  Finding a non-profit organization that you support allows you to not only add more connections to your arsenal, but shows potential employers that you care about your community.  Personally, I am involved with two local non-profit organizations, The Bethesda Mission of Harrisburg and the Autism Society of the Greater Harrisburg area.  I became involved with the Bethesda Mission because it is important to have an outreach program for those who have become down on their luck and allow them to get back on their feet.  The Autism Society hits close to home for me because I have a son that was diagnosed with autism.  The Autism Society of the Greater Harrisburg Area is something that I will be a part of for the rest of my life.  Through these organizations I have received a great deal of connections and recommendations through my volunteer work.  It also gives me an amazing way to give back to the community as well as a way for me to feel good about myself.

I would highly suggest that you begin with Linked In.  LI is the most important thing that you can do to get on the right path to finding a job.  There is so much more to talk about from this panel that I will continue in part 2 of this blog for next Monday, June 11.

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

The 2012 Social Media Summit was an enormous success both on a personal level and on a professional level.  Solutions for Advertising had an opportunity to sponsor the Facing Forward:  A Discussion on Social Networks and the Future.  This was our first time sponsoring a panel like this and were very pleased with the outcome of the panel.

I will be blogging about the two best panels that I attended, Social Networking and the Job Search and the Facing Forward panel.  I’d like to do a two-part blog about the Job Search, which I will post part 1 June 4 and part 2 June 11.  I’d also like to do a two-part blog about the Facing Forward panel, with part 1 being posted June 18 and part 2 being posted June 25.  I like to lay out when I’ll be posting each so I can keep myself on task, but also so my readers know when to expect new blogs.  And if it is one thing that I learned at the Job Search panel in regards to blogs, it certainly is don’t do more than you can handle.   I feel that one blog a week is certainly within my means, and for the summer at least, would like to post one per week (or so).

With this entry, I would like to go over some of the main ideas I’ll cover in my coming entries in June.  First of all, kudos to Harrisburg University for another outstanding event.  Steve Infanti and all of the staff at Harrisburg U should be proud of what they are able to with the limited resources that are available for this event.  Panelists of this event come without being paid and even have to foot their own travel expenses.  That being said, without the expertise of the panelists, this event would not be the success that is it.

There were two specific individuals that made the day very special to me personally.  The first person I would like to mention is Amanda Haddaway.  She has been quoted in several national publications for her HR and marketing expertise and has written her own book, Destination Real World: Success after Graduation for new and soon-to-be college graduates.  I also recommend job seekers follow her on Twitter (@ahaddaway) for added insight.  In next week’s blog, I will chronicle what amazing things Amanda had to say.

The second individual that made an amazing impression on me was Chris Dessi.  Mr. Dessi spoke at the Facing Forward panel and is CEO of Silverback Social. He is also an award-winning digital media executive, best-selling author, university lecturer, prominent blogger and keynote speaker.  His book “Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It”, shot to #1 on Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases in its first two weeks of publication. Dessi is a regular contributor on Fox News, and Good Day New York.  It truly was a pleasure to have the opportunity to not only enjoy his comments on the Future of Social Networking, but also to have the pleasure to have dinner with him and discuss my career path with someone who I extremely look up to.  I will discuss what amazing advice Mr. Dessi had for me in the Facing Forward blog entries later this month.  Follow Chris on Twitter @cdessi and find Silverback Social on Facebook.

This year’s experience overall was quite different from last year in a positive way.  Last year I didn’t have the knowledge that I have now.  I didn’t know about Linked In or even where to begin with blogging.  In the past 10 months, I have made every step to put myself in a position to succeed and I’m very happy with my progress.  I did realize at the Summit that I still have a long way to go to be where I want to be.  I’m sure I’ll find my direction with the help of people like Amanda Haddaway and Chris Dessi.

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

The 2012 Social Media Summit takes place at Harrisburg University, May 23, beginning at 9 am.  There are 9 panels and 4 workshops and best of all the entire event is free.  I would like to speak about how the 2011 Summit has forever altered my career and how you can make the 2012 Summit a life-changing experience.

When I attended the free Social Media Summit last year at Harrisburg University, I did it mainly because of my hardships trying to find a job.  The first panel last year was entitled Social Media and the Job Search.  I learned so much valuable information in that one hour that inspired me to become what I have.  First, I created this blog, which in its first seven months has nearly registered 500 unique views.  This is my milestone 20th blog in that time, and I have received numberous accolades and have even parlayed my social media/blogging skills into work in a field that I love.  Needless to say, I enjoyed last year’s Summit.  But it was not just because I learned how to search for a job, it was because I was never taught some of the most important aspects of social media in grad school.  I got out of Shippensburg thinking I knew enough to have no problem finding a real job in a field that I love dearly, but I had not known enough about how important social media is to someone looking for work.

Over the last year, I have honed my social media skills and now represent two (and soon three) different companies as their Social Media Editor.  I have maintained my online brand to the point where my resume and work experience are second to none.  I have only now put myself in position to find the job I so dearly desire.  And none of this would have been possible without the 2011 Social Media Summit and meeting Associate Vice President of Harrisburg University Steven Infanti.  Since the 2011 Summit, Steven has been a mentor to me, both helping me by doing interviews about the recent BarCamp Harrisburg and the 2012 Summit, as well as giving myself and Solutions for Advertising an opportunity to sponsor the Facing Forward panel.  Steven commented on several questions I had about the Summit, which I will discuss below.

In our interview, my first question regarded why Steven had interest to take time out of his hectic schedule to sit down with me and have an interview.  He made it clear that social media has a power that other forms of media do not possess.  He said, “Blogging is important and can bring about change; be it social, economical, or political.  Our world around us is changing and it is important to embrace these changes.”

When I left the 2011 Summit, I was almost angry with my educators because I had not been taught an efficient way to find a job, but moreover why wasn’t the University requiring some sort of social media training?  Granted, I graduated in 2009, but social media surely was around then.  Which led to my next question, why are social media classes not required learning?  Steven claimed that in a communications field, social media is kin to the Wild West.  There are few laws and even fewer etiquettes.  This, however, does not have to be a negative.  Networking with colleagues and college friends is an essential part of today’s business landscape.  Steven stressed, “Network with people when you don’t need anything and they will be there for you if you do need something.   Networking with people only when you are searching for a job is counter-productive.”  Steve also made a statement that hit me close to home regarding students lack of knowledge about their university’s Career Services Center.  He claimed students did not take full (or any) advantage of Career Services.  Honestly, I’ll admit that I didn’t take advantage and remains one of the few regrets I have in life.

I want to stress the importance of this event once again, but also point out that is a free event.  Beyond that, a catered breakfast and lunch is provided (and based on my experience last year and at BarCamp Harrisburg, it is the best free lunch you’ll ever have).  Steven made this point to me, “With the economy and budget cuts that many companies have endured, free information is paramount to our culture.  New knowledge can and will bring about new innovation.”  Steven is also quick to add that the Social Media Summit is nothing without the presenters.  The wealth of knowledge that is available at the Summit is unparalleled in our region.  In fact, Steve left me with this statement:  “To bring about regional change you must have reasonable goals and attitudes on a regional level.”  This to me embodies what the Social Media Summit at Harrisburg University is striving to accomplish, and I believe it has.

For more information, to sign-up, or to contact please use the following links:

Information and Sign-Up:  http://www.harrisburgu.edu/academics/professional/socialmedia/index-2012.php

Twitter:  @HUSocialSummit or #HUSocialSummit

Subscribe to Harrisburg University’s Social Media Summit 2012 Alerts by texting sms2012 to 90210.

See everyone May 23!

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

BarCamp Harrisburg is the annual “un-conference” at Harrisburg University.  In a previous blog, we discussed what exactly BarCamp was and why it was important to the Harrisburg area.  In this feature, we will discuss my participation in BarCamp and what I learned at the conference.  Let me begin by providing accolades to the staff of Harrisburg University responsible for putting BarCamp on.  The facilities at HU are second-to-none and the lunch provided was extremely well done.

Being the Social Media Editor at Solutions for Advertising, I felt that I could try something new at BarCamp.  While I have a decent amount of Twitter followers, we all ideally want more.  I thought “live-tweeting” from the event would be something that would not only allow me to interact with my followers, but also receive real-time questions from them as well.  I promoted that I was attempting these endeavors and received an immense amount of feedback, which I will discuss below.

I attended three panels at BarCamp:  Ethics and Information Technology, Virtual Presenting, and Does Technology Move Too Fast for our Own Good?  I will summarize what I learned in each panel, as well as discuss questions that I asked of the panel via my Twitter feed.(@SolutionsforAdv).

Ethics and IT:

While this panel didn’t specifically apply to my social media background, I was immensely pleased that I attended.  The concept of “ethics” is something that certainly applies to all fields, not just IT.  Here are just a few bullet points of what we discussed during the panel:

  • Many IT problems stem from the concept of ethics.
  • Software comes to the market without proper testing and often with shoddy workmanship.
  • People are now patenting ideas instead of building their invention.
  • Honesty is key:  Do you possess the skills that you claim on your resume?
  • Billing for work:  Are you working the hours that you are billing your client for?
  • The state of Pennsylvania rewards the lowest bidder for IT bids.  The lowest bid is almost always too low and will require a change order.  This process costs constituents more money and takes more time in the long run.

The inherent nature of these panels is not so much question and answer, but an open communication about questions that are posed.  Just because I’m posting them here does not in any way reflect my feelings on the subject, but points that were brought up during the time we discussed this question.

After a short discussion about privacy, I was tweeted a question about the privacy efforts of Facebook.  The question was:  What challenges ethically arise for Facebook in regards to their privacy policy?

  • Facebook acts unethically and exposes more information about us than we can ever imagine.
  • Facebook users really need to be more educated about their privacy settings.
  • Ethically, Facebook should take more responsibility educating people who are not technologically savvy.
  • Facebook gets away with their privacy matters because there is a market for their service.

Overall, this was the session that I took the most away from because it included a lot of information that I had little knowledge about.

Virtual Presenting:

In our current technological landscape, the topic of Virtual Presenting is extremely important.  The presenter had 10-steps to doing a virtual presentation that I would like to share.

1.  Identify Objectives – What do you want your audience to take away from your presentation?

2.  Learn the platform that you will be using to broadcast.  Two popular ones are Adobe Connect or Go To Meeting.

3.  Create a project plan.  Have a SME (Subject Matter Expert).

4.  Work with others, especially your SME.

5.  Create compelling content.

6.  Decide what visuals to use.

7.  Sharpen presentation skills.

8.  Rehearse (at least twice).

9.  Present your Virtual Presentation.  Multi-task efficiently.

10.  Follow-up, offer feedback, and most importantly, keep learning about your subject.

During this panel, I had a follower on Facebook offer this question:  What are some uses for Twitter in Virtual Presenting?

According to the panel leader, Twitter is a great way to promote your webinar.  Encourage people to retweet information regarding your presentation and spread the message to colleagues that would be interested in the subject matter.  Also, #hashtags are effective in bringing certain questions to the forefront of the webinar.  The incorporation of Twitter into Virtual Presentation is sometimes difficult because most Virtual presentations already have a “chat” box worked into the program.  But the uses of Twitter go far beyond the presentation itself.

Does Technology Move to Fast for Our Own Good?

As someone with a vast knowledge of the Diffusion of Innovations theory, the way the panel leader led off this panel was a great attention-grabber.  He discussed a recent conversation that he had with a colleague regarding what to put in a time-capsule that wouldn’t be opened for 50 years.  Many people discuss CDs or DVDs as a great starting point.  But an interesting problem arose, wouldn’t we need to add the hardware to play this software?  Think about it…who still has 8-track (or to another point record players) to play an 8-track in a 50-year-old time capsule?  As VCRs are already phased out, DVDs have already reached their critical mass.  From this discussion arose one point that stuck with me:  “Just because we can do it doesn’t mean we need to. Where are the ethics?”

The panel continued with a discussion regarding the frequency of updates with software, such as Windows and Microsoft Office.  Do we really need upgrades to this software every 2 – 4 years?  Do the newer versions offer a significant relative advantage or do the software companies simply offer new versions just to make more money?  One point did arise in this conversation that stuck with me as well; If you don’t adopt new technologies  when they are available you have the potential to be left behind in a business standpoint.  Client’s expect that our equipment is not only up-to-date but innovative as well.

Another point that was brought up was about face-to-face interviews being a thing of the past.  In my opinion, in the advertising business it is crucial for face-to-face meetings.  However, some companies do not want the burden of paying for travel expenses when there is Skype, Go To Meeting, etc.  and often these meetings are being phased out.  One attendee said that he wouldn’t even consider a face-to-face meeting without a contract in place.  That was really surprising to me, as a face-to-face is almost always the first thing that Solutions for Advertising offers.

A final segment of the panel regarded how difficult it is nowadays to have personal time.  With cell-phones, we are now expected to be available for business purposes 24/7.  This can directly be attributed to new technology.  This new technology directly impacts the demands of a businessperson in today’s landscape.

BarCamp Harrisburg is a significant “un-conference” in Harrisburg and should be recognized as such.  After this event, I certainly look forward to the Social Media Summit, Wednesday, May 23.  I will be posting frequently about this event over the next few months and look for it to be a major success.  Below are all the links you might need to register and remember, it’s free!  See you there!

To register:  http://www.harrisburgu.edu/academics/professional/socialmedia/index-2012.php

Twitter:  @HUSocialSummit

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

This blog post will discuss the BarCamp Harrisburg Conference, Saturday, March 31st at 9 am at Harrisburg University.  I interviewed one of the organizers of this event and AVP of Communications and Marketing at Harrisburg University, Steven Infanti (@HUSocialSummit), about BarCamp Harrisburg and the differences between this and the Social Media Summit.  I’m looking forward to both events, with Bar Camp Harrisburg being an interesting twist on the traditional “conference”.   According to the official press release, “The free event–now in its third year at HU–is known as an “unconference” because it is filled with open, participatory events, discussions, and workshops where presentation content is provided by the participants rather than chosen speakers. The annual event draws nearly 200 web developers, cloud computing experts, educators, e-learning experts, application developers and software engineers.”  I find this notion of an ad-hoc conference refreshing in this era because it is important to cover what the audience wants to cover as opposed to a set schedule of speakers.

To begin the interview about BarCamp Harrisburg, I first asked Mr. Infanti why he agreed to do an interview with a blogger like me.  His response was simple, the world has changed (be it good, bad, or indifferent) with the internet.  We now have a connection to peers with the touch of a fingertip.  Blogs are important and can bring about change, be it social or political.  Blogs are new communication mechanisms that have a great importance in our society both now and in the future.  As Mr. Infanti is also a coordinator for the Social Media Summit, there was some overlapping dialogue about both, but here I want to stick to discussing BarCamp.  Harrisburg University uses an outstanding, state-of-the-art facility to acquire top-notch talent for their conferences.  They should be proud of the reputation the University has in the region.  That being said, I will be writing a follow-up piece in April about this interview closer to the Social Media Summit.

BarCamp Harrisburg uses an un-traditional approach to a conference.  Where traditional conferences have panels at set times with set speakers, BarCamp has little structure.  It is specifically designed to allow the participants to come and go as necessary.  It is also free to attend and provides a catered breakfast and lunch.  Steven feels that with the present state of the economy, a free conference like this is paramount to our culture and that new knowledge brings new innovation.  It also opens discussions on subjects that a majority of people are unaware of.

To continue discussion about BarCamp Harrisburg, Steven tried to give me an idea of how it would run.  He stressed the free-wheeling exchange and style of the event with emphasis on great knowledge and great networking abilities.  The presenters that are attending have experience in a wide variety of issues giving them the opportunity to branch out on a myriad of subjects.  There were three specific things that he did mention would be covered; important subjects that should be covered in this day and age:  cyber security, e-learning and mobile apps and their development.  Steven also stressed that the nature of a BarCamp is to allow input from the attendees on what they want to discuss.  Personally, in a setting of this nature, I think a discussion of social media for business would be in order.  I feel I could contribute a vast amount to this discussion but would also love to get feedback from other attendees.

BarCamp Harrisburg is a great, fresh concept and stands to be a great event.  I truly encourage all of my readers to consider going to this event.  At the time of this writing, there were still 35 free tickets remaining.  I also encourage any of my readers that may not be able to attend to Tweet (@SolutionsforAdv) or comment here on WordPress questions that I can bring up at the conference and report back to you.  I would certainly appreciate the interactivity between now and then.

For free tickets:  http://barcamphbg4.eventbrite.com/

For more information:  http://www.barcamphbg.org/

Twitter:  @Barcamphbg, @HUSocialSummit

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

While I was finishing my last blog I realized that there was just a little more that I wanted to speak about before ending the discussion about the 2011 Social Media Summit at Harrisburg University.  I was able to complete my initial goal of doing a separate blog about each panel, and doing a two-part blog about the job search panel.  Over the course of the last 7 weeks, I have begun to understand the reasoning behind blogging and feel it is an important part of success in business.

The Social Media Summit provided a way for me to see how other businesses use social media and why it is effective for them.  As an advertising company, it is important to know business trends and the summit provided industry leaders on the subject.  Above that, it motivated me to begin crafting not only Solutions for Advertising’s online brand, but my own as well.  It made me realize how important privacy is and how amazing networking can be.  Joseph Carrabis was one of the people who inspired me to rethink what I knew about social media and it’s impact in society.  I would say, however, that it was more a group of those that I have referenced in previous entries that produced the cumulative effect.  I encourage you to read past articles and seek out the links I have provided as an easy way to educate yourself.  Better yet, sign-ups are already available for the 2012 Social Media Summit on May 23 at http://www.harrisburgu.edu/academics/professional/socialmedia/index-2012.php.

One thing I haven’t truly covered has been the Summit itself.  I was extremely impressed with the facilities at Harrisburg University.  The summit had no cost, and even included an amazing spread of food and drink.  I cannot say I have ever seen such hospitality at a conference, part of the reason it had a lasting impression.  The conference rooms themselves were state of the art and the campus is beautiful.  Special thanks goes out to Dr. Eric Darr, Mr. Steven Infanti, and the many others it took to make this something special.

I have already been in touch with the people in charge of the 2012 Summit and they have agreed to an interview sometime prior to the event.  I look for this to happen sometime after the first of the year.  I will continue to discuss social media in my blogs, but I am in the process of booking other interviews with some local charities in conjunction with events they will be having in 2012.  These articles will be center-stage on this blog and will be in support of their causes.  I look forward to a new look at some of these businesses that we have worked with over the past few years.  I also look forward to continuing this blog and always encourage comments by readers.  I am by no means an expert but I may be on my way.  Thank you so much for reading.

This blog will be on break over Thanksgiving and will resume Monday, December 5.  By then I should have a better idea of what the future holds.

In the final session of the recent social media summit at Harrisburg U., an important discussion of the future of social media was discussed.  It’s important to note that each person in the panel had a similar viewpoint, no one can determine the future of social networking.  Let’s think about the importance of MySpace just a few short years ago.  Facebook was much smaller and Twitter was non-existent.  MySpace was the preferred social medium for a majority of engagers.  Flash forward to (almost) 2012 and Facebook and Twitter are king, with MySpace being nothing more than an afterthought.  While there are some unique sites out there they may be the next big thing, it may be difficult to even unseat Facebook or Twitter.

One of the most interesting speakers at this panel was Joseph Carrabis (http://www.linkedin.com/in/josephcarrabis).  I enjoyed his commentary on the nature of communicating.  He began by speaking about how social media has evolved.  He made the notion that we are still about “telling stories around a campfire”, however the means of communication has changed with the times.  Human behavior is fixed, the mode of communication is the only thing that changes.   I was fortunate enough to speak with Joseph and he was kind enough to give me his new book,  Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History in exchange for a business card.  He commented that this was how business is done, giving something to get something.

Another important point that was raised by the panel involved the potential future of humans use of social media.  Twitter is becoming such an important tool, especially in the relay of news.  Just as recently as two years ago, the public didn’t grasp the power and importance of social media.  We are in the day of instant access to news.  If we don’t say it first, someone else will and it is not just journalists, it’s everyone.  Social media has allowed everyone to have a voice and a following that just didn’t occur previously.  It also brings up some of the fundamental questions that have built the core of the communications for decades:  What is news? Who is a reporter? Who do you trust to deliver news to you in an accurate and non-biased viewpoint?

Mr. Edgar Harrell had an interesting take on people in the social media age.  As discussed in blogs 2 and 3, your online brand is day-by-day becoming more important.  Whether you are a business or an individual, your online reputation is of utmost importance.  Unfortunately, the new world of social media does so much to benefit the business and so much to hurt the individual.  There arose a unique argument:  is it fair that Facebook is held against you?  There are obviously two sides to this argument.  On one side, you have the individual who thinks that Facebook should be a private medium.  Should it be fair that you can be judged by what you post?  On the other side, you have employers that face a daunting task of hiring in the 21st century.  With limited resources for training, human resource managers must make the right decisions.  If someone has drunken photos or photos of drug use, why would they hire them?  Personally, I see both sides of the argument.  One thing as individuals we can do is constantly checking one of two things, privacy settings and content of posts.

The overwhelming theme that I took from this panel was that no one knows for sure the future of social media.  One thing that is for sure is that it is not going away anytime soon and we must make sure our privacy is always kept at the highest possible levels.  Businesses must use social media to their advantage or risk repercussions in the offline world.  I think the future of social media lies in real-time updates, whether it be a sale that is going on or a cause that you support, the world is quickly becoming full of instant updates.

While this is my final blog about the individual panels, I will do a brief follow-up to summarize what I’ve learned over the past few months in my time following the social media summit.  I will be off next week for the holiday, but will return in early December with a new focus to this blog on behalf of Solutions for Advertising.