Random stuff I learned at SocialMix 2012

So yesterday, I had the priviledge of meeting a bunch of my online heroes in real life at the Social Mix 2012 conference in Toronto. And while stuff is fresh in my mind (okay not *fresh-fresh* after a *few* post conference beers), here are a few things still bouncing around the old coconut.

So yesterday, store I had the priviledge of meeting a bunch of my online heroes in real life at the Social Mix 2012 conference in Toronto. And while stuff is fresh in my mind (okay not *fresh-fresh* after a *few* post conference beers), price here are a few things still bouncing around the old coconut.
Photo by Gini Dietrich of me (left) and Geoff Livingston (right).

Stuff I learned at Social Mix 2012:

  • Danny Brown and his team at Jugnoo throw a mean conference – and on pretty short notice from what Jugnoovians Lindsay Bell and Hessie Jones tell me. They put together a top notch group of speakers with a great venue and a great cause to make one really memorable event. Congratulations to all, buy more about and to Hessie’s question: “should we do this again?” YES!
  • Danny has a great accent (“rogue with the brogue” they called him), but despite that handicap, he’s a brilliant communicator, and all-around great human. Imagine a heavy Scottish accent while Danny says awesome, off-the-kilt stuff like this:
  • The biggest, and most pleasant, surprise of the day was Tim Burrows who manages social media for the Toronto Police Force. Yup. A cop. Talking social. And he’s a brilliant, self-deprecating speaker who demonstrates how focusing on your core brand values allows you to do your job better, respond to a crisis fast, and win back jaded hearts and minds for the forces of law and order. Deeply inspirational.
  • Gary Vaynerchuk owns the stage. It was my first time seeing him live. But I’d seen video, so I already knew that he swears a lot, and that sometimes he says stuff that really pisses me off: like “What’s the ROI of your mother?” But the thing is, in person, you still get pissed off, then realize a moment later that he actually does understand, care, and is keenly aware of Return On Investment in his own business. So yeah, he pokes sticks at lots of sacred cow nests (huh?), but he’s such a great performer, that you still end up in the palm of his hand.  That’s his shtick, and it works.

“Marketers ruin everything.” Gary Vaynerchuk

  • Gary’s actually at his best when he’s “off-shtick”. Yesterday, we saw him deftly handling questions yesterday from the three kinds of fans he seems to attract (1. sycophants, 2. brown-nosers, and 3. sycophantic brown-nosers), but he spikes their loaded suck-up questions back at them, and then riffs out a series of long, cogent, scary-smart ideas.
  • Gini Dietrich and Geoff Livingston are superstars and nice folks, who can lead an engaging off-the-cuff session. Yesterday they free-styled on their book Marketing in the Round. Which is hard, because they’re still in the middle of a long and (from the sounds of it) arduous tour. But even so, they made some time for a riotously fun evening out afterwards That’s Gini’s picture of me (left) and Geoff (right) at a downtown pub.
  • Geoff is a scary, scary man. In a totally cool way. One might almost call him punk. Almost.
  • Susan Murphy is spooky-good at networking. Not that I’m impressed by – or jealous of – social media “A-listers”…. no really! But holy crap my Ottawa friend Susan Murphy is good friends with a whackload of them! Including Gary, who never struck me as a huggy dude, but he veered out of his way on the way out the door to run up and give Suze a massive bearhug.
  • Matt Hixson from Portland Oregon is a smart cookie, and his company Tellagence is onto something with the idea of intelligently mapping and predicting social connections based on people’s real influence in specific interest areas. That’s all I can say… okay, it’s all I understand. But stay tuned. There’s cool stuff to come from this company.

“I don’t care about your friends or followers. I care about relationships you build – in context.” Matt Hixson

  • Apparently I have a very loud laugh. But the origin story? Not so interesting…

Updated: check out their sites

16 thoughts on “Random stuff I learned at SocialMix 2012”

    1.  @jasonkonopinski  @geoffliving Nah, he’s got the attitude, but he’s in some kind of 12-step recovery program, poor schmuck. 

  1. Dennis! Thanks for posting! yes you have a loud laugh but NOW I know it’s your signature!  thanks for coming to the event!  We will definitely keep in touch!

  2. You seriously crack me up! It was SO MUCH FUN finally meeting you and spending some time with you. This is a great rundown of the day’s events (and thank you for the compliments). I also thought Gary was fantastic, but watching belllindsay laugh at him was even better!

    1.  @ginidietrich @DenVan Couldn’t help it – he’s a funny guy!! 🙂 I’m just glad I’ve finally met someone who’s *louder* than I am!! ;D 

  3. What a great re-cap of the event! I think you really captured the essence of everyone you have highlighted in your post.  Thank you so much for including me. Honoured and humbled to be included! Thanks @ginidietrich for pointing me to the post!! 

    1.  @T_Burrows  @ginidietrich No problem Tim. I calls ‘s like I sees ’em. You’re a natural on stage my friend, and you do your uniform proud. 

  4. Oh @DenVan I can just hear you saying this…it’s as if you were just telling the story of the conference to a bunch of us hanging out–somewhere. Well done. Enjoyed the read, smiled a bunch and really did laugh out loud several times.

    1.  @allenmireles Heh. That’s because I wrote it in 15 minutes while I still had beer goggles on. But yeah, someday soon, we’ll need to hang out in RL as well. Amazing to meet digital people in the unplugged world – particularly when their warmth and humanity cross the divide. 

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