It’s funny how we have “days” marked for days. Today is Canada Day. Yesterday was Social Media Day. But before we look at that, ahat’s Canada Day all “abut?” Canada Day, like U.S. Independence Day, in a way points to the once incredible power of Britain. Canada Day is the celebration of the fusing of three British colonies into a single country, which became the independent Canada in 1982. Yeah, 1982, not 1882.
No wonder the British are so smug!
Thankfully, the UK had nothing to do with the formation of Mashable Social Media Day.
There were over 1,400 events, and San Francisco and Atlanta (where I am right now) were among the largest gatherings held. Atlanta really must be considered a social media hub. But before I blog more about Atlanta, I see that while Mashable’s San Francisco event had 527 sign-ups, the one set for Oakland had just six people. Next year, it should be 160, at least. There’s no reason Oakland should not be in the map here, but for now, our city’s basically invisible.
Not so for Atlanta.
This is an interesting place: a very complex mix of the Old South, The New South, hyper-liberal and hyper-conservative, a growing group of techies, a rising Asian population, vast educational gaps between some natives and transplants, and all within a metro area that’s so spread out, you can drive almost a hundred miles from one appointment to another within a day.
In all of this, the power of social media, both tech and practice, to bind a region together is critical, and its the next wave of media. The Atlanta Journal Constitution should be applauded for sponsoring the Atlanta Social Media Day at 5 Seasons Brewery and Jill Levenson, the event organizer, should be congratulated for a massively successful party that drew over 400 people during the course of Thursday evening. What follows are two of several videos I created from the event.
Crazy Dancing At Atlanta Social Media Day.
This was an “interpretive dance” contest where the participants made up their own “social media” dance. The winner, Jeff Funk @BrandDynamite had a little help to form his dance, but he scored an iPad for his social media day dance work!
The following video is 27 minutes long and in time span covers the full event, from 7:20 PM to 9:30 or so, when I left. This, maybe the only full video of the Atlanta Social Media Party. The Video includes a talk with Ms. Levenson, and views on what the party says about Atlanta and Social Media. (I have to explain that the extreme close-ups are a byproduct of the Flip Video Mino I used, and was given to me last year by the CNN iReport staff. That particular model of Flip has a small aperture, producing tight window videos.)
Thoughts On Atlanta and Social Media
Even though I have flown back and forth between Oakland and Atlanta on a near-monthly basis since 2005, when my step-father passed away there, I’ve seldom ventured into Atlanta itself, let alone got involved in its culture. But with my Mom’s advancing age, and the flexibility having an Internet-based occupation provides, I thought it was time to dive in and find my niche here.
I got lucky.
Last week, I went to what I thought was going to be a small gathering of Atlanta bloggers; it turned out to be the first meeting of a new Atlanta-based version of the Big Ass Social Happy Hour (BASHH) events in Austin. Then, a group called Digital Atlanta was holding its own meetup right next door; I found out while at the BASHH party.
So, after being dunked right into an emerging part of Atlanta Culture, I have to say, Atlanta’s a much more progressive city than I expected. Frankly, with the ideas that some Metro Atlantans have that center around a hyper-race-based view of life, I wondered if I would actually find intelligent life there.
For all of the Old South stuff, Atlanta is a corporate and marketing center in America, so it holds a number of people who see how digital media can improve what they do, pay close attention to what happens in the San Francisco Bay Area, and are in many ways early adopters of tech.
Also, a lot of the people I’m referring to are transplants. A lot of Atlantans are from other cities, and its that dynamic, combine with cheap real estate, that’s driving the city’s rapid rise in the tech community.