SXSWi2009: The Future of Social Networks

#sxswfsn is the hashtag

Charlene Li

Her paradigm – social networks will be like air. They will be where/when we need them – not site-dependant

Shopping as an example
– walk into a store, you see people.
– “walk into amazon” – who do you see?
– Showed a mockup of filtering reviews to people you know

Even TV is getting social
– newscasters have been inserting twitter hashtags into the news ticker feed
– Charlene really wanted to just see what her friends thought
– some set top boxes have this functionality

Enterprise networks are starting to be social, too.

Three things are needed to make social networks like air
1. Identity – who you are
2. contacts – who you know
3. Activities – what you do

Two sets of standards/rules that exist right now
– Facebook
– Open Stack

Many, myriad identities:
– she’s an author/writer person
– she’s a mom
– doesn’t want to blend necessarily

Friend management is tough
– facebook now lets you sort friends into groups
– she friended her co-author … at least 20 different times in a variety of places – why isn’t is just once?

Have to put our trust in someone
– with identity, with contacts, with activity stream

Talking about social algorithms
– ex. gmail showing your top 20 contacts without you asking for it

What gets everyone to be open?
– the money
– ex – Facebook Connect taps into offsite – this gave them more awareness, more people, more views
– ex – earthwatch trip

Talking about ads that can appear on many different networks

The Rise of the personal CPM

What should you be doing to prepare?
1. evaluate where social makes sense
2. think about your back end
3. prepare to integrate social networks into your organization

The idea of a flipped org chart with customer on top, ceo on bottom

I sent a twitter hashtag comment/question – her whole point is that social networks are like air. But then she’s basically suggesting that we should control where the “air” is and is not. So my comment – But if it’s like air, you can’t choose where SNs makes sense and where they don’t – it would be everywhere no matter what, right?

SXSWi2009: Change (v2)

Speaker – Lawrence Lessig

aside – GREAT speaker. Fun use of Keynote, well-paced.

He’s talking about current issues – scientists taking large sums of money from drug companies … and then they “approve” a drug, other similar money things (ie., lobbyists)

Money is not evil

These dependencies weaken trust
– scientists say it’s ridiculous to say that the money they get affects their viewpoints
– politicians say the same thing

Wow – basically showing how lobbyists influence government. Scary.

His point – government gets easy 2+2=4 style questions wrong, because they are guided by dependencies that guide them the wrong way

Now talking about government-regulation / extortion problems

A great way to change this:
– only taking donations from citizens, each person capped at $250
– another idea – don’t give any more money to politicians until they agree to this.
– His site –

SXSWi2009: Integrated Multimedia (IM) Video Journalism

Speaker – David Dunkley Gyimah

Starts in 1994 … and it relates to video journalism today
– read a definition of video journalism from 1994
– They were called VJs

gave an example of how he does different cuts for a video interview – he does it quickly

Shoot with the edit in mind – so your goal is to shoot the final product

If he shot this session, he’d take 4-5 shots of the room, no more than 30 seconds wort, then do a quick interview with the speaker later

2005 – the bottleneck – new theories are appearing.
– how does this inform what we do?
– called 2005 the “what if” year
– there’s now more of an integrated design aesthetic – you do the interview, the video, the web page, the promo, the design that stretches across all of those things (hence the title of this presentation)

Played a clip of Tom Kennedy, former head of video at the washington post – basically said video journalism is simply allowing other people to tell their stories.

Q&A – what can we do with iMovie and a cheap camera? Answer – it’s not the gear, but about what you do with it

SXSWi2009: Try Making Yourself More Interesting

Panelist’s last names: Oberkirch, Becker, Halvorson, Byron, Gupta

#roux is the hashtag

Moderator thinks does this well

A couple of points from the moderator:
– apprentice yourself to great work – whose work means something to you? Watch it.
– Give side projects front and center. Twitter, blogger, etc started as side projects
– focus on delicious details
– go long
– share –
– instead of “getting the message out” celebrate all the cool stuff you do
– they have a “Latest Activity” page that brings in all their activity (which is mentioned online, so it’s rss aggregation of flickr, twitter, comments, etc)
– also holding Bike-related mobile socials. They get together with like-minded people to socialize (a crowd-sourced customer service & support community)
– Companies can be here (hint hint – libraries can, too – in fact, there’s a couple already there!)

– does an event called “Jelly”
– basically, you allow strangers to enter your living room and work (& probably use your wifi)
– it spread to other cities, they made the morning show because of it
– He also does photojojo
– plan – what happens next? IE – you want to start a blog …. what happens next?
– self knowledge – knowing your limits, & not letting it obscure your potential.
– courage. You are “out there” & have visibility. Make sure to stay focused, and remember your original goals/who you are/why you’re there

How do we know it’s working?
– stories, knowing what to measure
– how do you measure engagement?
– Gupta says “we measure love” – It’s an ROI thing that attempts to measure how much money they’re making vs how much “love” (good comments, etc) [i think – he didn’t actually go into much detail]

Treat people like humans!
– don’t treat customers transactionally – that can dehumanize the experience
– move to a relationship model
– we need to figure out how to measure relationships

“Waiting for the tourists to leave” – talking about people signing up for a new social network & trying it out

Is marketing dead (audience question)? Is advertising dead (panelist reframed the question)? She seems to think so. She’ll find word of mouth stuff about product/service from other real people rather than get info from the advertisement.