WeMedia 2009: Social media workshop liveblog

I’ve been at WeMedia 2009 at the University of Miami this week. Here’s is a liveblog of a session about social media, led by Susan Mernit (@susanmernit) and Rebecca Watson.

Political World: Hope vs. Reality in Campaign 08 (WeMedia)

From the WeMedia site:

Political World | Hype vs. Reality in Campaign 08
It’s supposed to be the YouTube-MySpace-power-to-the-people campaign. So why are online political junkies so frustrated with what they’ve seen so far?

Session Chair: Brian Reich, author, Media Rules!


12:04 a.m.

Schatz: You have a lot more out there in terms of media and it’s harder for candidates to switch off. More people are asking questions and sometimes the candidates slip up and actually answer the question.

Washburn: The Register saw that people were using traditional means to learn about the campaigns, such as watching a debate on TV or going to an event to meet candidates face-to-face.

Wojtkowiak (12:11 a.m.): Mentioned Will.i.am video on YouTube and the influence of such social media.

Della Volpe (12:18 p.m.): “I think the real innovation is connecting the online with the offline.”

Schatz (12:24 p.m.): I think we see a lot more innovation this time because of the number of candidates. Examples include Dodd, though it didn’t translate to votes. Also Ron Paul, whose supporters are very Web savvy and have helped him raise millions of dollars.

She noted how campaigns are limited in their outlook because they only last the life of the campaign cycle.

Geanuracos: Thinks we’ll more innovation going forward.

Reich (12:28 a.m.):

Wojtkowiak: It’s important to keep the conversation going and keep the audience involved by letting them as questions.

Washburn: She’s interesting to see what we’ve learned from this cycle. Also, how to create stories around smaller races–keep things local.

Geanuracos: Stop thinking about people as someone to talk to in the moment and then forget about them. Your campaign never stops.

Della Volpe: What are you going to do to continue the involvement?

Miller: More openness, transparency will build more trust and allay concerns of trust and special interest role. Public sees information as an antidote to corruption.

Schatz: Techniques to build communities will happen a lot more on the local level.

Silberman: Move from treating voters like fans to let them have value roles in campaigns, i.e. have jobs not just donors.

Reich: We should do that in policy as well.

Power to Change the World (WeMedia)

From WeMedia site:

9:50 am The Power To Change The World
With the traditional media losing its monopoly on information, opinion and storytelling, all sectors of society now have the power through media and communications to make themselves heard. How can we use this new power to make the world a better place?

Session Chair: Andrew Nachison, Co-Founder, iFOCOS

Check out Dave Cohn’s liveblog on WeMedia’s site.


10:34 a.m.

Brady: Washington Post‘s role is not activism. Not everything they cover has two sides, such as Walter Reed story.

Shaikh: OneVoice has used technology, trying to go from from micro to macro.

YouTube has been a big part of spreading their message. “People aren’t getting what they need from traditional media.” Facebook and SMS messaging have also fueled the growth of the movement, which has grown from 250,000 to more than 600,000 in the past few years.

10:42 a.m.

Verclas: Recent studies show that 3.5 billion people have cell phones.

Mobile phones are important in many ways and SMS is a hugely powerful tool. People have their cell phones on them constantly, and that allows them to keep in touch all the time.

10:59 a.m.

Yearwood: Bloggers made the Hip Hop Caucus. “Media is really life and death. Media has the ability to move the masses. It has the power to make the guilty innocent and the innocent guilty.”

When you are oppressed, you have to created a way to tell the story. The Internet now helps to tell that story, such with.

“The revolution may not be televised, but it will be uploaded.”

“Media is one of the most critical moments to deal with people getting engaged.” If media does not shed light on injustices, people will die.

Power to tell a story takes different forms: “Music has always been the drumbeat for freedom.”

Bloggers and independent media get stories out that aren’t told by the mainstream. Sometimes, such one of his experiences on Capitol Hill, alternative media force stories into the mainstream.

11:05 a.m.

“How should media be used to create a better world?” Nachison asked.

Verclas: Told story of the murder of Indian model Jessica Lall who was murdered. The state of the Indian justice system was called into question after the accused was let off, but media attention brought the case back to retrial and the accused was convicted.

Grassroots movements now are helping bring stories to the mainstream. “There’s an equilibrium now that very interesting and very dynamic.”

11:25 a.m.

There’s been some back and forth about non-profits and the Washington Post, limited space and resources and how people aren’t using news outlets such as the Post to spread their message.

Print Reincarnated session (WeMedia)

(Also, check out my Twitter. There is a storm of conversation taking place–I’m trying to jump into it.)

A discussion with Richard Sarnoff and William C. Weiss.

There is no longer such a distinction between print and online publishers, Sarnoff said.

He also noted how the death of books is predicted nearly every decade, with each the rise of a new medium.

9:38 a.m.

The “Next Media” will offer more choices, not be a replacement, Weiss said.

No matter what is king (content, etc.), the consumer is God, Sarnoff said. He also cited how audience members are using Twitter right now and noted how there will eventually be a business model for such media.

9:40 a.m.

Weiss said that Next Media will not be something new, but a combination of current media. He then segued into a question about how social networking is affecting media.

In response, Sarnoff explained how sites such as MySpace have become a means for recommending products. But, he noted, it has to be done in subtle ways for it to not be seen as outright promotion.

9:45 a.m.

Weiss said the reincarnation doesn’t have to be complication; it can come from gentle nudges.