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Moderating the magic of meta

February 11, 2010

I serve on the Social Media Club South Florida Advisory Board, and last night I moderated a panel on Social Media Predictions for 2010 at Citrix in Fort Lauderdale.

Photo credit: Agustina Prigoshin

It was a great chance to get insight from our group of 100 or so early adopters in attendance on what’s new and hot for the coming year in the world of Social Media.  In advance of the meetup, we asked our members to come up with their own predictions and share them on Facebook, Uservoice, and, of course, Twitter.

Screen shot: Uservoice

Then, during the panel, each of the four speakers had five minutes to give their own predictions, followed by four questions I asked of both the panelists and the audience.  One panelist, a friend of mine who is a documentary filmmaker and author, presented her predictions via a video she shot on her iPhone of her dog rolling over 15 times in hopes of getting a piece of a bologna.  The message was, give people what they want from you, and they’ll do almost anything.

In addition to the multimedia content we solicited in advance and what I asked our panelists to provide, we also showed a live Twitter stream of comments about the event (all tagged with #sm2010 so they were easy to find and display).

It was pretty interesting to have the discussion going on with the panel and the crowd as well as on the screen, even including people who were following along and weren’t at the event.  Some of the commentary going on via Twitter was really insightful, and some of it was hilarious.  At the end we conducted a live poll using Poll Everywhere, where people could text or tweet in their votes for the best predictions. The results populated in realtime on the screen, and I asked the winner to decide who won the door prizes based on their favorite Tweets.

Photo credit: Alex de Carvalho

This was my first true experience of the virtual world and the real world colliding so completely. Here I was trying to orchestrate this meta experience where were talking about social media via social media at the Social Media Club, which is not a place but a group of people that morphs from virtual to real interaction once a month or all at once when the screens collide with the panel and the participants and the people outside.

What was most exciting was seeing people use social media in real ways to share and connect with people in the real world. Virtual Water Cooler at its best.

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