SoCon12, coming up!!

Have you ever attended one of the SoCon events? The next one is coming up on February 3rd and 4th. From a networking party at SweetWater Brewing Company to an all day conference at KSU, there is something for everyone! I find that it’s a great way to stay on top of the constantly changing landscape of social media. It’s also great for networking.

Check out the break out sessions. How will I ever choose???

10:30 – 11:30am Break out session #1
• Always On: Will Traditional Computers Survive the Mobile Revolution
• Augmented Reality
• Lessons in Video PR
• Socializing Local Store Marketing (LSM)
• The Future is Now: Social TV and What Consumers Want
• The Great Unfollow Experiment
• The War On Stupid
• Educating (Dr.) Rita
• Social Service: Cultivating Responsible Fans
• The Value of Incorporating SEO-friendly Content into Web content

1:15 – 2:15 pm Break out session #2
• Be a Big Fish in a Small Pond: Growing Your Venture Overseas
• Connecting Georgia Greens – Real World Examples
• Creating and Leveraging Sustainable Social Media Communities
• Crowd Financing 101
• The Creative (not creepy) Use of Social Media Analytics
• Social Media for Advocacy: Using Next Generation Tools to Spread Awareness and Influence Policy
• Quit the Daily Grind: A Former Newspaper Reporter’s Social-Media Journey to Freelance Success
• The Social Journey
• Designing for the Mobile Age

2:30 – 3:30pm Break out session #3
• Create, Connect, Collaborate: Words that work online
• The Intersection of Social Media and Communicating Sustainability
• The World Has Gone Mobile: Use Your Basic Web Skills to Build iPhone and Android Apps
• Why Time Consuming Blogging, Twitter and Facebook Strategies May NOT Work for Your Business: Consider These Alternative Social Media Strategies
• Mine! No, Mine! : Who Owns Social Media?
• Would You Like A Badge With That? Event Organizing In A 2.0 World
• Building Web-Based Augmented Reality Experience
• She Said, He Said
• Crowdsourcing content: The social consumer as a source for content and dialogue
• Social Media Mistakes and how to handle them (Dealing with Online Reputation Management)

If you would like to  join us, use discount code “CSJ15” by January 20th and get 15% off SoCon12’s already low price. Seriously…it’s a steal!!

Here is a link to their Facebook Event and for my twitter peeps, the hashtag is #SoCon12. Hope to see you there!!

The Writing on the Wall

What if there was a wall in every store, restaurant and café where previous visitors could write helpful advice regarding their previous visits?

Take, for example, Nuevo Laredo, a Mexican restaurant in Atlanta that I happen to know is the shizzle. On this pretend wall, the following people will have left these comments:

On March 14, 2010, David T said, “Taco De Carne Asada…mmmmmm.”

On February 18, 2010, Rob M. said, “The ‘ritas and queso is excelenté. Great for drinks and dinner after work.”

On February 13, 2010, Sean P. said, “Be prepared for a wait no matter when you come on the weekends. Got here at 5:15 on a Saturday night and still waited for 30 minutes.”

January 24, 2010, Jonathan S said, “Brisket Tacos are amazing!!”

January 10, 2010, Christien L. said, “Lobster Tacos = Da Bomb!”

And way back in November, the ever resourceful Angela M. said, “For the Friday wait – bring tailgate chairs, and take your margaritas outside while you’re waiting for your table.”

Imagine how completely helpful all of this is. We now know that there will likely be a wait, even if we go early, so we can set the expectations of those in our party. We also know that we will be the envy of all of the people milling around the parking lot if we bring our tailgate chairs. Further, we already know what we want to order when we get there…definitely a rita, and we’re currently on the fence between the Brisket Tacos and the Lobster Tacos.

Guess what, folks? There is already a service that provides this. It’s called Foursquare. And you need to just go ahead and sign up. I know, I know. You don’t want to. You still don’t really “get” Twitter…and are hesitant to sign up for a user name on yet another social site that you don’t use.

But Foursquare is different. Think about it like interactive yellow pages. But it doesn’t only give you the telephone number…it tells you what’s good, what’s great, etc. So basically it is like a yellow pages, only used for more than just boosting a kid on a seat at Thanksgiving.

Now, if you have a business, you should definitely consider embracing Foursquare. After all, it will drive people to your doorsteps. Foursquare allows business to list specials to attract and/or reward visits. PLUS, your visitors will compete to become the Mayor of your establishment. (The Mayor is simply the person who goes to your joint most often.)

The other thing that’s pretty cool is the ability to run a special on Foursquare that is offered to people who are nearby. Imagine that you own a bar, restaurant or store and that you can advertise your specials, etc., to people who are already out and walking around in your general area. That’s pretty powerful stuff.

Now, there is a downside to Foursquare that can be really be boiled down to one word: Geolocation. There could be some serious repercussions to announcing on the internet where, exactly, you happen to be standing at this moment. Foursquare is a stalkers nirvana and it’s probably just a matter of time before something bad happens to someone who used it.

But just because a few bad eggs use it for something nefarious doesn’t diminish the possibilities for both the consumer and the business owner. Individual account holders will need to be mindful of their security settings and use some good old fashioned common sense when using Foursquare or anything similar…and then hold onto their hats because the writing is on the wall – this is the wave of the future.