Let's meme it up... Dan Greenfield, Communications Guru at Earthlink, and author of the excellent Bernaisource blog, asks: What was the most notable PR/marketing social media trend or event in 2006 and why?
Wow! Where do I begin? Web 2.0 about took over my life in 2006. I had to launch an entire company, WaySouth Media, Inc., just to keep up. (Site to be built-out when I can catch my social media breath.) It's all so astonishingly personal when I slow to ponder the question -- whether marketing my vlog TrueGritz, being caught up on the periphery of the Edelman/Wal-Mart fake blog scandal, getting serious about growing The Spacey Gracey Review, or seeing my friend Catherine wrangle with the roller coaster of success at Second Life, where she's Director of Marketing.
The biggest social media trend for me is seeing the Atlanta social media community begin to gel. We are establishing our own regionalized identity. We've read each other's blogs, we've come together at various meetings and seminars and social functions. We're starting to get an idea of who's who on the Atlanta social media scene, and we're casting our nets for bigger and better -- together.
And yes, we're still in the baby stages since we saw Creative Loafing's Best Of award for Best Blog go to a Big Media-sponsored blog, Rodney Ho's. Radio Talk is a good blog as Rodney's up on his beat in a big way; yet Radio Talk remains a non-organic blog in that it was created with a standard-issue, ready made audience, AJC.com. It thus had an assist of hugenormous, not easily overlooked, proportions, rather than put out there to grow and flourish and be marketed and build readership on its own creative merits. It didn't percolate to the top; rather, it was placed on the top by MSM, not the natural blogosphere.
Yet, we also saw Amber and Rusty recognized for their incredible hard work and devotion to creating, branding, marketing and sustaining the Georgia Podcast Network. They've been just amazingly supportive of the Atlanta social (and independent) media community, and I couldn't thank them enough, for instance, for coming out to the Punchline and podcasting Jeff Justice's Level II workshoppe graduation night performances. They are the future: energetic, smart, informed, open and community-minded, and incredibly techno-savvy. Yep, the sharpest knives in the drawer, as a good southerner would spin it for ya. (All I want for Christmas is a GAPN thong!)
All of a sudden there are plenty of social media conferences in the works for 2007: Podcamp Atlanta and SoCon (website coming soon) for starters. Who needs SXSW when we can roll our own!
Ultimately, my feelings about marketing and public relations for social media 2006 are entirely regionally focused: within the scope of the ATL, the Dirty South, the Old South, the New South, I see a sparkly, bubbly treasure trove of growth and possibility and fabulous new media creativity for 2007.
Here in Atlanta, we've given ourselves the gift of independent media. Talk about learning to love (and trust) yourself -- and one's own personal network! You built it, you've grown it, you own it. Let us go forth and use it wisely.
Happy New Media New Year!