I was at the BDEvent in Palo Alto this week. For those who don’t know, the BDEvent was founded by Vanessa and Greg Duplessie as a no BS forum for doing deals. Really. No users. No booths. No demo dollies. No BS. Actually there was plenty of BSing but of a different kind. At any rate, the way it works is companies address the audience in brief 15 minute segments and it’s all about who you are, what your company does, why its different and what kind of deals you want to make. Interested? Let’s talk. Not interested? That’s fine too.
In addition to the speed dealing there are more in-depth segments and panels. One was a discussion on social media led by Vanessa with @sunshinemug and @SFoskett. Both Sunshine (yes that’s her name) and Stephen are social media practitioners with plenty of experience engaging people through social media. Sunshine is a social media consultant and Foskett is a serious techie and really clear thinker who can translate technobabble into what it means for customers, vendors and industries.
What I liked about the panel was its authenticity. Let’s face it, when it comes applying social media for business or personal reasons there’s a lot of trial and error and no one has all the answers. The session was really about two people sharing what’s worked for them. What struck home to me was both individuals clearly conveyed that success in social media is not just about mastering the tool du jour, rather it’s about how you engage; and in many cases what you do off-line as well as on-line. The fundamental power of social media is, as Foskett remarked, the way in which it “democratizes communications.”
Toward the end of the session I asked the panelists if they would share their thoughts about the future of social media. Turn the volume up as I didn’t use my wireless microphone– sorry for that.