The @cairnquartet added its thing to the bright and airy space at @CCA_Glasgow. A bottle of Cava was on every table. By the time I arrived people were seated in small groups and the air was buzzing. I spotted @redjotter and @rufflemuffin, but before I had the chance to flip flop over, I’d been introduced to @Tjmsandford and found myself joining a table, and talking about the challenges of bridging the gap between Design Methods and Product Management. No we weren’t talking about Twitter. That is how we met. We were talking about things that interested us and that we had in common.
@markofrespect managed the event perfectly. Before the night was out I’d have talked to twenty or so people and met Twitter buddy and founder of #media140 @AndeGregson from Down Under. There would be Tweeting throughout and a proliferation of blogging and news items the next day. It was a crowd that liked to chat [full list here http://twitter.com/scotland140/media140-june-17%5D and we did.
@theplayethic is author of blog and book ThePlayEthic, which promotes the concept of a playful approach to making a living and living a life. We were all aglow with national pride as he talked about social inclusion rather than socialising and described social media as a ‘Civic Space’.
@TreyPennington looked the part of the American marketeer, with hair and shoes to match, but told a remarkably down to earth anecdote. Flailing South Carolina Manufacturing tapped into an eccentric meme in its customer base gave meaning to their lives and turned its business around. We all took home a bandana as a keepsake. Some posted them on flickr the next day [Cute as apple pie http://yfrog.com/2d8qqj ] Ready to meme in the real world, I took a bundle for a kids party.
Last up, digital social media doofus @unloveablesteve, talking about Transmedia Storytelling. He spoke about his coalface experience working on the prequel to Bladerunner and subsequent projects managing the space between the slow moving world of film-making, and the fast moving world of #socmed. Well… I’m a very big fan of Henry Jenkins, but he got me with the words “I know Ridley Scott”.
“But how can you make money?” the audience asked.
Twitter is of course a great mechanism to gather information about how your brand is perceived and offers the opportunity to grab customer feedback, good and bad, and respond to it. God forbid we don’t want those complaints becoming memes. It is ripe ground for anthropological research, which can feed very useful data into market research and gather the seeds for future innovations. Of course, Twitter is too young to have a proven track record.
Q: How do you put an ROI on that? A: All research is novice… until it isn’t any more. There are no social media gurus.
“What is the scarcity you are managing?” asked @theplayethic, audibly dropping the penny.
While most people were probably thinking through their unique selling point, I was thinking how much I love that the Internet has given birth to enterprises like http://www.glasgowcraftmafia.com/ and http://www.stuffyourdoodles.com/. I love the democracy of the Etsy community (http://www.etsy.com/). I love that we have this opportunity to change from a throwaway society to one that values things that are scarce… and further pennies dropped.
Yes! Twitter can be used to help make you money and excels at customer management. But it’s so much more than that… It’s about people, linkages, connectivity, it’s about freedom of speech, it’s a new kind of journalism, it’s grassrootsy, it’s an extreme democracy, its potential is really enormous… and if you like to talk, you will probably like Twitter.
Author Morna Simpson @girlgeeks http://www.girlgeekscotland.co.uk