I’ve just returned home from SOBCon09 in Chicago – a weekend gathering of 130 friends and social media practitioners with open minds, big hearts and tons of ideas.
This is the third time Liz Strauss and I have hosted this event, and just as the first two, I was totally blown away by the positive energy and “can-do” spirit of every single person who attended.
It was a perfect environment for valuable and focused learning – and learn we did.
For nearly three days we had an ongoing conversation about the value of this medium as it relates to our business and personal goals and objectives – from seemingly a million different directions.
We talked about building trust, shaping personalities, defining personas, staying true to ourselves – and that was just the first two hours.
After we “gut-checked” ourselves with statements like “free doesn’t pay the rent”, we dug deeper, looking at the nuts and bolts and the blocking and tackling of our businesses, from the “thing itself” to all the discipline, focus and preparation that is needed behind the scenes to fully flower our ideas and passions – and oh yes, make some money.
We realized that our “audience” can extend well beyond what we might have thought before, and we would be well served to make the changes necessary to make us accessable to all who would want to reach us.
And then, day two.
Are we hitting our social media targets? Can we really market on Twitter? How valuable are those conversations? Do we have our analog act together as well as our digital? (Don’t you love panels!)
We learned that how we look and how we act as “in the flesh” humans is more directly linked to our online sucess than we think.
We realized that warhorse axiom “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” HAS to apply in our digital world too, and we got some pretty darn good tools to figure it out.
We tossed around (with great vigor) the notion that social media can and should only be a part, and oftentimes just a small part, of an integrated whole. It’s not the be all and end all. And beware of those “experts” who say otherwise.
And finally, the person who stared this whole thing put it all into perspective, in the form of a simple little house. One with a great big heart in the middle of it.
Then, the next day, we got a chance to apply what we learned for the benefit of our wonderful sponsors.
What SOBCon is creating, in my view, is a new breed of businessperson – the “Digilogger“.
A Digilogger is someone, or a company, who can successfully synthesize what has and always will work on the “analog” side of the fence and blend it seamlessly with the digital tools we now have at our disposal.
Put even more simply, it’s making sure the platform is the extension of the human, instead of the other way around.
It’s old school merging with new school, into something meaningful, vital, vibrant and better still, successful.
And that’s what the “S” in SOBCon is all about.
Yes, I’m a Digilogger. And now, after three years, those ranks have grown by leaps and bounds.
Are you next? If you haven’t already, join the SOBCon family and find out.
My heartfelt thanks to everyone who attended, supported, and sponsored this event.
And Liz, I dedicate this post to you. 🙂
(Oh, and mark your calendars – SOBCON2010 is April 30- May 2)