If your media habits are at all like mine, you got as much if not more of your news about Sandy yesterday from social media. Not only did the hashtag #Sandy dominate Twitter, providing an endless stream of updates from both media properties and individuals, Twitter itself created a page to serve as a content hub, sharing posts from officials, government agencies and media outlets.
You could isolate content by location – New York, Delaware, Massachusetts – or by type. There were hashtags on Twitter for #SandyNY, #SandyMA and others, and on Instagram for #SandyNY, easily filtered by searching in Instagrid.me.
If phone lines were tied up you found out if friends and family were OK from their status updates on Facebook. On Twitter utilities posted outages and expected repair times. On Instagram media of all sorts crowd sourced images from neighborhoods and streets. For most of the day the front page of the New York Times featured posts and re-tweets from its Metro account.
It’s not as if social media will replace the depth and analysis of the best traditional media, but it has certainly elevated itself to a point where it is an essential tool for staying informed. Even if you don’t have a Twitter account or have one and never posted, the #Sandy page was among your best sources of content for events as significant as yesterday’s storm. It showed you a broad swath of coverage, gave you instant access to a wealth of information, and allowed you to find and consume what mattered most to you.
My guess is that Sandy will attract more users to Twitter and Instagram and encourage more active participation from those still reluctant to share and post. And while both platforms have become an integral part of how traditional media gathers and distributes news, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more users start with the platforms, allowing the posts they see there to send them to a source.
Sandy may have been devastating for millions. But it will be very good for social media.
It’s year three for FutureM, Boston’s annual marketing and technology conference. And while it may not yet rival SxSW or the now global Social Media Week, its local influence continues to grow. Think of it as the city’s answer to the MIMA Summit in Minneapolis.
This week’s four-day event has 100-plus speakers and more than 75 sessions. I’m personally looking forward to Shiv Singh’s keynote on why no one is really equipped for digital marketing (Tuesday at 4:45) as well as Thursday afternoon’s Shark Tank, where early stage startups pitch local angel investors with $100,000 available for winners.
If you’re interested, you can find the full schedule here (granted it’s an annoying website as you can’t link to individual events, but scrolling through everything won’t take too much effort.)
Unlike last year, when FutureM was spread all over the city, organizer MITX brings everything together at three key locations: Back Bay’s Hynes Auditorium, Microsoft’s Nerd Center and Fidelity’s Technology Center on the edge of the city’s Innovation District.
Mullen has representation at a few events. Michael Bourne talks about “Social Media for Social Good” on Friday at 1:00 at the Nerd Center. A Mullen contingent of digital thinkers and creators, including Sean Corcoran, Matthew Ray and Christian Madden have one of the conferences best sessions titled “The New Island of Misfit Toys: Attracting Talent to the Agency of the Future.” Joined by Pam Scheideler of Google Creative Labs and Joe Corr from CP&B this creative and tech crew will cover new ways of working, the evolution of agency output and the technologies and team structures needed to change the industry.
If I were attending only one event Misfit Toys would be it. However, my session – “Harvesting Consumer Intent from the Social Web” – takes place at the same time, Wednesday 10:30 am at the Hynes. I’m joined by Springpad’s Jeff Janer, Mom101 Liz Gumbinner and Ad Age’s David Teicher, to talk about what comes after the social graph. It’s a reprise and update of our popular SxSW talk last spring. Hope to see you there.
It’s not too late to get yourself a four-day pass. And if you’re a student, you can pick one up for free. What are your FutureM plans?
I’ve been playing around with the new updates and features on Springpad* and there’s no doubt they make the platform more useful and productive than ever. The onboarding process is clear and encouraging. The UX for the entire site is vastly improved – it’s easier and more intuitive to add content. And best of all you can now drag your “blocks” around to re-order the content of any notebook.
We have plenty of options when it comes to posting and sharing links and images. But if you need a way to collect, organize, share and regularly access information – whether you’re saving recipes, planning a journey, researching a book, or teaching college courses – I can’t think of anything that might serve you better than the updated version of Springpad.
Sure Pinterest works in a similar manner, but because Springpad lets you collect many more different kinds of data — from links to images, ads, videos, Slideshare decks, white papers, lectures and simple notes or calendar items – you can use it for more than a basic expression of your interests.
I just began organizing content for the classes I teach at BU. While I count on Lore for my syllabus, calendar, class submissions, grading and out of class conversation, it’s not the best format for viewing class content. (I’m actually hoping there’s a way for Lore and Springpad to get together.) Springpad lets me organize lectures, books, creative inspiration, and relevant content in a manner that’s visually appealing, easy to access, and available for re-copying into students’ own notebooks. It also becomes the perfect collaborative tool when I’m co-creating content with graduate assistants or other faculty members.
If you are a publisher or author, especially of non-fiction, seems Springpad is the perfect way to augment a book’s subject by topic, place, historical documents, photos, etc. Take Larry Tye’s Superman. Imagine a notebook to go with each chapter? Right now on the author’s website there’s a list of links to different resources and background material. How much more accessible and useful would that information be if it were organized on Springpad.
Hard to imagine that this industry couldn’t benefit significantly, from corporate all the way down to the local offices. Given the franchise model, the platform would work great for the distribution of corporate materials. At the local level, with the ability to instantly create a notebook that includes all a town has to offer, even a small, under-staffed office could more effectively market a community, endear itself to local businesses and make itself a more useful and innovative partner to both home-buyers and sellers.
In what is an increasingly competitive industry that wins and loses as much on service as on price, hotels, airlines, others could leverage Springpad in a multitude of ways. Concierges could organize recommended restaurants, venues and attractions in a digital format that guests could actually use. And if those guests re-sprung any of the content, the hotel or travel company would have instant feedback on what content was useful. Get a little smarter and high-end urban hotels could even use it as a service to which guest contribute, sharing ideas with other guests who likely have similar interests.
How many times have you attempted to access content after a conference only to find that videos, decks, presentations and blog posts are all stored or posted in different places? Or if there is a single site, it’s rarely very navigable. How great would it be if conference organizers simply presented everything in one place? It might actually get seen, used and spread in a more measurable way.
No doubt there are many more curatorial uses. If you have good ones, please share. And if you teach advertising, digital or emerging media or marketing strategy, stop by my professor’s page every now and then. There might be something useful.
*(Note: I was the interim CMO for Springpad in early 2012 and remain active on the board of directors.)