Monday, April 27, 2009

UGA Technology for the Turnaround: Event Summary and Twitter Definition

It was a wonderful, warm spring day in Athens, GA for the University of Georgia, Grady College, New Media Institute, Technology for the Turnaround event on April 25, 2009. Dr. Shamp did an outstanding job motivating the Professors, Students and Educators to come up with new, innovative ideas on how to change University Education now and in the future. I am very grateful to him for including me in this event.

As part of the day, we were asked to come up with a definition for a word provided by Dr. Shamp around a given topic area - Social Media, Gaming, Mobile, Music, Advertising and Video. We then presented our definitions during the "Crowdsourcing the Future: Snackable Prophecies" section of the day. My word was Twitter as part of the Social Media topic area and here was the definition I gave:

"Twitter - A Social Web, open communications platform and ecosystem that enables the creation of an infinite number of services and information resources by innovative individuals and groups. It also enables users the ability to deliver, consume, share, search and analyze information in real-time, participating in an open culture, unencumbered by geography or time. With every new, public message or "Tweet" value is derived by all exponentially."

The topic area discussions were lively and we all had to invest in a portfolio of topic areas. I invested my 300 UGA Dollars in the 60%/40% split Mobile/Gaming venture fund. However, I would have been more excited if one of the venture teams had put at least 10% into Social Media.

The UGA New Media Insititute Certificate Program Student Capstone projects were also thoughtfully presented. Each team developed an integrated, new media solution to solving a business problem. They all used a mashup of mobile, video, music and innovative access and delivery methods. Here are the projects:
  • The Neighborhood: Mobile Audio Blog - A mobile, hyperlocal audio blog that leverages locally knowledgeable individuals like Starbucks Baristas to provide content. Uses Utterli group messaging service.
  • ITwilight: Mobile Guide to the Athens Twilight - This mobile service could also be used for Football games and other large scale atheltic or artistic events. Provides information on closest restrooms, navigating traffic, and food as well as other necessity information for successfully attending a major event.
  • ListenUpLocal: Mobile Local Music Programs - This mobile service provides information on local bands, gigs and concerts. Delivers behind-the-scenes videos and interviews. The artist they used to demonstrate the service is a local Athens, GA, Grady College student - Allison Weiss (@allisonweiss) - BTW: she is an excellent musician, do check out her work on YouTube and at her website.
Jennifer Dorian, Senior Vice President of Network Strategy and Brand Development, Turner Entertainment Networks presented on the topic of Innovation for the Turnaround. Here is a background article from the Atlanta Constitution Journal: Rebranded TNT Ignites Career Success. She felt it imperative to focus on small, marketing and new media experiments and tests, find the winners and grow from there. Do not invest too much otherwise the ROI becomes unachievable. I enjoyed her insights and the TNT Meta Tag project is an amazing case study in starting small and building up a revenue stream before extending a project or program too far.

Here are the relevant articles that Dr. Shamp had us read prior to attending the event and a couple that have come out since. These are all relevant to the ongoing discussion on how University Education must change for the benefit of all in the future.

Dr. Shamp is also proposing a new major at the UGA Grady College: Digital Mass Media Major. Makes me want to go back to school...wish this was available when I was in college.

Overall a fantastic day and event. We need more interaction like this between University and College Educators, Students and Professionals. Crowdsourcing ideas are the beginnings of bringing out the best in all of us.

A special and sincere thanks to Lizzie Azzolino (@lizazzolino) and Lindley Curtis (@Lindley), Grady College students, who introduced me to Dr. Shamp and got me involved in this effort.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Preparing For UGA Technology For The Turnaround Event

I am very excited about participating in the upcoming University of Georgia, New Media Institute, Technology For The Turnaround: A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste event on April 25, 2009 in Athens, Georgia. The event is being led by Professor Scott Shamp (@sshamp) Director of the New Media Institute (NMI blog). The core discussion is around what will come out of the massive economic, technology and cultural changes we are currently going through? How will new media, social media, social web (see "Why Social Media Sucks" by Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst Josh Bernoff (@jbernoff), or what I have been calling the social media ecosystem, impact and be impacted by the amazing amount of turmoil we are now experiencing in our society? We will also discuss the challenges this paradigm shift is bringing about in education.

With the theme of the event in mind, I have created the below list of blogs, blog posts, articles and videos I believe are foundational to the discussion. Of key importance to being included on this list is that the material be free, available and, of course, relevant and insightful.
  • A Chronology of Brands that got Punk'd by Social Media by Jeremiah Owyang is a list of corporate brands that have been negatively impacted by social media. These brands either did it to themselves or something happened in the social media ecosystem to them. The list is a cautionary tale and a must read for those wanting to use social media marketing to benefit their brands, products and services.
  • Here is a video from Prof. Wesch's World Simulation Class Project and Learning Environment:

The Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas

I hope I am able to provide as much information, insights and perspective to this event as I expect to receive in return. I will blog and Tweet about it after attending.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Flutter - Nanoblogging: The Next Generation of the Blog

This is a very funny and maybe prescient video from the team at Slate as part of their article "Do I Really Have To Join Twitter?" by Farhad Manjoo. The article discusses the rapid rise of Twitter and whether you really have to join at this point in its evolution. Flutter is described as the next generation of blogging or "Nanoblogging." Blog posts are limited to 26 characters, equivalent to the English Alphabet. View and enjoy: LOL!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Saturday Night Live Shout Out by "President Obama" for Paper Mate and Levolor Brands

Saturday Night Live opening skit on April 4, 2009 discussed the extension of the Federal Government Stimulus package beyond just the auto industry and financial services. The skit goes so far as to declare winning brands and companies in specific industries. Thankfully for Newell Rubbermaid, Paper Mate and Levolor brands are called out as "winners." It is a very funny and timely skit. Watch and enjoy.