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.


Nick said...

Sounds very interesting and dynamic - any idea when the next one might be? I didn't see anything on the calendar.

I agree though, I think finding ways to connect across multiple streams (professional v. student, etc.) has presents tremendous learning opportunities.

Big B said...

I do not know when the next event will occur. Probably not until UGA is back in session in the fall. Grady College also has a CONNECT conference they run in the fall as well. All of these UGA led conferences are on communications, new media and the changing culture due to new technology services.

Don B said...

Great to meet you. I thoroughly enjoyed the day both educationally and interpersonally. Dr. Shamp has a history of being a catalyst between industries and education. In addition having excellent student projects which come out of the New Media Institute.
As a new media educator I see there are an incredible amounts of challenges and opportunities for all of us, not the least of which is to break though the barriers internally and externally to help facilitate the education of next year's leaders
don barth

Lizz said...

I'm glad you enjoyed Technology for the Turnaround so much! I know that all of us in the NMI were excited to have everyone visit and share the day with us.

Big B said...

Here is another very good article on the subject of the "Future of Journalism Schools" - Time Magazine, June 8, 2009 - Can Computer Nerds Save Journalism?,8599,1902202,00.html?xid=rss-topstories