Learned at [re]think Hawaii

I’ve been mentioning [re]think Hawaii for a while now, so what’s it all about? This three-day conference brings:

a core group of people from our collective networks together who have a shared interest in solving problems and rethinking tech, business and sustainability

I only attended the last day themed Blogworld Social Media Business Summit but other days focused on the economics of Startups aka Startonomics and Sustainability. Here are some tidbits I learned from the day.

The Basics of Social Media and Participatory Marketing

National Geographic is a huge social society and is integrating social media into this historic mainstay. There are and more National Geographic resources that support content generated by users, and did you know that the dog artwork on Weezer’s latest CD Raditude originated at the National Geographic’s site?

Hawaii is playing catchup in the social media space. There is a lot of interest but also a lot of mistrust in social media, primarily based on Hawaii’s old school/tech xenophobic culture. In the PR field, Social Media is viewed as yet another job to perform which causes some resistance for adoption. Already working longer and harder during this economic downturn, PR and marketing people don’t want additional tasks. Though Marriott Hawaii witnessed huge spikes in site metrics from their MarriottHawaiiTweets contest – 50% more visits per month, 120% increase in pages viewed per month, and users spending more time on the web site.

Moms and Dads in Social Media

The reality check for blogging is that there is no check. You don’t make money from blogging. You do get your voice heard and if you leverage that then you can make money.

Getting that first comment and engaging was the reason Jim Turner became a blogger. For Beth Blecherman aka TechMama, she blogged to become relevant and part of a community.

Twitter as a Power PR Tool

Coach Deb’s session offered up interesting tips. What is the emotional need of your client is where you start. Once you understand the psychodemographics, you can start appealing to your tribes and clients. “How will you become top of mind?”

Coach Deb at Rethink Hawaii

Favorite a tweet in Twitter to have it persist, especially now with a shortened tweet lifespan. A way to gain an audience is not to talk about yourself, your products, or your services. Instead talk about your story which is what compels people.

Case Studies: Social Media for Non-Profits

Amanda Rose talked about organizing Twestivals and Jill Buck outlined her Go Green Initiative. What was tremendously clear with both women was their passion driving their tireless efforts to benefit their causes. Simply amazing.

You need to watch Jill Buck’s presentation at TEDxHonolulu when it becomes available. Very impressive! As a bonus, you can read how I looked like a dufus while talking with Jill.

Opening the Social Media Toolbox

Chris Pirillo was back in the islands doing his thing. In this session, he offered up his opinions and thoughts about various social media services depicted on this Social Media “wheel.”

The group also went on a tangent about video recording while talking YouTube. Chris is a big believer in the power of video and supplements his material with video if possible. He recommends the Creative Vado over similar products from Flip and Kodak for video and sound quality. I never knew Creative was in the video space but need to keep this in mind.

Where Are We Going? The Future of Social Media and Business

Yeah, I can understand why Jeremiah Owyang is considered a rockstar strategist and analyst. His presentation about the future of social media was enlightening (need to get the link for the slides) and left many things to think about. He talked about customer trust and how it doesn’t lie with corporate web sites. Trust lies in personal recommendations and social communities. So why not integrate social technologies into corporate web sites? Email is still the largest social network. Jeremiah’s definition of a social network provides a user profile, a way to connect to others, and offers an unique value.

So you might be reading all of this and saying, “no duh.” But it’s the facts and stats provided, the passion on display, the experiences shared that made a difference with these lessons. Sure, you could have learned the same things online or by reading a book, but it’s the social context wherein this knowledge was imparted that really made me rethink.

Read more posts about [re]think Hawaii.

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7 Responses to Learned at [re]think Hawaii

  1. A Maui Blog November 8, 2009 at 3:47 am #

    I flew to Honolulu from Maui for a day to attend ReThink. The trip was expensive but so worth it! You summed it up well on this post and I thank you for it. I was trying to describe to my husband how great and informative it was but I was having a hard time (he’s not into the social media as I am), and this post will help me out. I wish I could have stayed for the whole 3 days but that one day I had was sooo good already. I guess we missed meeting each other in person but I am sure someday we’ll meet in one of the future workshops like this. Maybe ReThink Shanghai? 😉

    • Gee Why November 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

      [re]think Hawaii was enjoyable (and yes, a little expensive without the flight!). I hope this becomes an annual event in Hawaii with more Hawaii aspects emphasized.


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