Pushing the Technology on our Closing Twanel at Web 2.0 Expo

(Me, asking a question from my Ustream Chat room, to the Panelists. Photo from David Parmet)

(The panelists: Thomas Hawk (taking photo) Chris Pirillo (interacting in chat), Robert Scoble (headcam). Photo from David Parmet)

I’m exhausted.

I’ve been live streaming for about 8 hours each day since Sunday, I’ve interviewed over 100 people, but I can relax now, after having crossed the finish line as the moderator (interviewer) for the final panel of the conference that was discussing Social Media for Web 2.0 companies.

As if moderating a panel of A-listers wasn’t enough, I was the ears, eyes, legs, and even mouth for those that were watching and interacting with us in the chatroom. I felt really tired after moderating a panel with Robert Scoble, Chris Pirillo, Thomas Hawk. I was specifically selected to moderate this panel as I know all these guys, and can encourage them in a topical path.

Session Strategy
I started by calling this a “Twanel” in that responses were supposed to be short, (Like Twitter + Panel) and I’m thankful for the panelists all chipping in their responses.

My goal was to get a conversation going, make sure everyone had enough time to speak, be entertaining, and give real practical advice to the audience. We probably achieved 3/4 of those goals, guess which one’s we didn’t get.

I tried to keep it very interactive, I strolled the aisles fielding questions, as well as taking a question for the chatroom in my Ustream IRC. (folks, some of the great questions were already answered, that’s why I only asked one)

Pushing the Technology

This panel did make history today, while there have frequently been backchannels at conferences, this time remote folks were able to watch 3 Ustream feeds (Robert’s head cam, Chris’s Handcam, and my Tripod Camera). We used Twitter (pic of the conference screens) to signal to the communities, and Twittermap to show the conversations. The audience was participating on the large screen that was displaying a moderated IRC channel provided by Chris. We also used Twitter to get the word out about the live streams and don’t forget Thomas’s major league camera. The folks in the audience were taking pictures constantly. Although there were hundreds in the physical rooms, most would agree there were way more people watching online in real time. (Thanks Kris Tate of Zooomr for managing my chat room)

Answering the Question: How does Social Media Help Web 2.0 companies?
I’m seeing some feedback that we could have done better, Tris was also a bit spun out. Yes, I agree, A-Listers love to talk about well…being A-listers. Although everyone agreed we’ll not get rich by using these tools, I’ll recite (as I often do to my clients as a Social Media Consultant) the benefits of Social Media:

1) Loud “viral” voice, great for marketing
2) Reaching influencers fast, cut out the middleman.
3) Listen: Keep your finger on the pulse of your community
4) Reduce your product requirements cycle: your community will help you shape your product in near real-time and build products they want.
5) Users will self-support each other, if given the opportunity
6) Speed to respond to product issues
7) Learn more about the marketplace, and competition
8) Build meaningful relationships, be more human
9) Leave a comment

If you want to learn other “how to’s” check out all my posts tagged “Web Strategy“.

Media Overkill?

Sure, we had a ridiculous amount of technology being used inside a bubblesque media box, but we pushed the limits of letting as many people into (and participate) in the session as our technology will allow us using affordable tools.

Thanks Dave McClure for organizing this panel, it certainly ended the conference on a high-energy note.

In the near future, I’ll be writing an extensive review of Ustream, as well as provide practical advice from what I learned, both good and bad.

Update: April 19th

  • The video Mashups are already starting to happen
  • Mdoef has captured some of the video from his camera and uploaded to YouTube
  • Thomas Hawk’s recap
  • Dan Fost: SFGate
  • Jack has an MP3 of the whole session, Thanks Jack
    • Pingback: web 2.0 EXPO: The Social Media Revolution | mad dog in the fog()

    • Just wanted to re-iterate my thanks for all your coverage of the Web 2.0 Expo, it was absolutely fantastic. It was really cool to be able to interact with people I only know as names on a ‘friends’ list somewhere as well as be prompted to try out new services (Viddler is really cool).

      The panel was absolutely superb. I actually managed to have all 3 streams running at once (in three separate browsers though) and it was great to see what was happening from 3 different perspectives. You did a fantastic job keeping everything on track, especially considering you were trying to get *everyone* involved as well.

      Hopefully someone will pick up the baton and do something similar at the next big conference.

      – Neil.

    • great post. what was clear is that companies want to know how to use social media for their businesses. Keep on posting and congrats on the live streaming…very innovative.

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    • Neil

      Thanks for being part of the experience, in many ways, those who were in the chatroom had just as much control over the camera as I did, thanks for engaging and participating. Yes, a great experiment

    • John

      Thanks for your support, you’re one of the CEOs that constantly encourages us to be innovative and push the media limits. You’ve taught us not to be afraid to make mistakes, but to learn and quickly adapt.

    • I wanted to say thanks again for the coverage of the whole event. Great stuff from start to finish. I missed most of the final panel session unfortunately, but I will find the video online and catch up.


    • I’m surprised by some of the negative reaction that live streaming is getting. It’s the same reaction that blogs got when they started gaining traction several years ago – people saying that it is too much information, why would I ever want to do that, this won’t help my business, etc. I really think that this is a trend to watch and we just need to figure out throught trial & error how to use it in the right way.

    • Great post Jeremiah. I’m amazed you had the energy to write this up so soon after the conference. I was with you for most of the conference via the chat room and streaming and at times felt like I was there myself.

    • Sean, there are links above to the session videos. It’s on YouTube and archived Ustream.

      MDoeff, I’m never too tired to blog! They said the same thing about Twitter and podcasting, I’m immune now to critics on new technology. I should tell you about some of my experiences in corporate sometime…

      Tom, The pleasure was mine….stay tuned for an analysis post from me.

    • Jeremiah, thanks for having me on the show yesterday. It was a lot of fun! I had to jump off because a web 2.0 attendee who’s picture was in a the SF Chronicle walked by and I had to give her a copy that I had in my laptop bag. Talk about coincidental.

      Anyway, my brief moment of fame on your show had a sneeze effect. A guy who works for Hyperion in Bend, OR saw me on the show and called one of my colleagues to tell her.

      So, in summation – I wandered onto your show because of a Twitter message I saw from you, then there was live streaming and chatting, I left because of a print article, my participation generated a mobile phone call, then I went back to your blog to tell you. I guess it’s all about right message, right channel, right time.

    • I’m still trying to figure out what happened it was all coming in so fast with Ustream, Twitter, RSS feeds and other forms media I was using to follow the action. I hung out with you nearly the entire time and learned many names and faces of people. It was a great experience, and one that Tris and I are going to explore with other conferences and organizers.

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    • wayne56456@mail.ru

      Ensuring everybody had enough time to talk, be diverting, and give genuine pragmatic guidance to the gathering of people. While there have every now and again been backchannels at gatherings this time remote people could watch 3 stream encourages.