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Social Media Club Atlanta and SoCon09

So had the opportunity to talk a little bit thursday and meet some folks for the first time at Manuel’s as social Atlanta showed up for 2 key sessions – Social Media Club Atlanta Chapter and planning for SoCon09.  The first part of the night was trying to figure out what to do for SOCon09, I more listened and distracted than added value, but I was there and tried to help.

SoCon09 is apparently the region’s premier social media thingy, so I’ll be there and apparently I’ll donate some time too.  If you are in Atlanta February 5 and 6, it should be a good time.  I really don’t know how you register, what it costs or like any of that  This is probably something I should know, but I don’t.

The best comment of the night was “Deal with it, Atlanta isn’t silicon valley” and that’s true, you don’t think cool technology or investment, wish I remember who said it.  That being said the level of interest, desire to improve and to develop interesting relationships is alive and well in the south.

photo by you.

The Social Media Club sucked up the second half of the night and provided for an interesting discussion with the active participants.  Peter Fasano definitely sparked a little conversation around the room with the discussion topic/theme of Retail and social media.

Many thanks to the Regator folks who bought drinks and for Tessa and Peter organizing it and getting the ~30 people together.

In the end, there are some really interesting folks in ATL doing this social media thing, some of which I knew about, other who I didn’t like Dan Greenfield.  My only complaint was it made for a rather late day, as I slid into the Unicorn to catch some band, who I equated to Nanci Griffith with a synthesizer. Not really a complaint and not really any bad times.

photo.jpg by you.

What’s Social Media Club?  Check it out and get involved!

Social Media Club: Standards update and Atlanta chapter

Well, I spent the better part of the week just submerged in work, but Aaron Strout and Chris Saad are already syncing up on data portability, Mark Resch over at Cerado is hooking me up with some creative commons folks and the 4 Missions and 4 projects are clearly underway, not just in writing, but in action as well.

So since others are working, I figure I have to continue some momentum on stuff I’ve been hoping to work. I’ve done a fair amount of outreach with limited input, but the input/questions I’ve had were mainly general questions on what some of the standards are, so I thought I would let you know a little more about them, where I actually know something or at least understand via their website.

What is Creative Commons? Well, in their own words:

Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright — all rights reserved — and the public domain — no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain uses of your work — a “some rights reserved” copyright.

In my words, it’s a way to share content and provide the RIGHT sourcing to provide the credit where credit is due. Social media has made access to content easier and represents an opportunity for chaos and CC looks to balance access and creative rights.

What is the Data Portability Project?

The DataPortability Project is a group created to promote the idea that individuals have control over their data by determining how they can use it and who can use it. This includes access to data that is under the control of another entity. Get a creative commons widget

What the heck are microformats?

Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards. Instead of throwing away what works today, microformats intend to solve simpler problems first by adapting to current behaviors and usage patterns (e.g. XHTML, blogging).

I suspect that explaination doesn’t really do it does it, now does it? (edit/update: that’s an awful lot of does its – clearly directionally correct, but needs a little work) I’m still not sure what microformats mean for the average person, but I know it’s important or it wouldn’t be on the list darn it. My sheer lack of understanding has made this the lowest priority. Trust me, I’ve tried to figure this out and even after going to the wiki I’m still stumped on the value prop. Since I would like to learn before I engage I’ve sent Ben Ward an email – will let you know, but basically microformats describe stuff, for humans first and machines second. I may have also found my way in another way… we’ll see.

One ID/Username might be cool – OpenID please.

OpenID eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites, simplifying your online experience.

You get to choose the OpenID Provider that best meets your needs and most importantly that you trust. At the same time, your OpenID can stay with you, no matter which Provider you move to.

Open Web Foundation

Well, this is a new one which Chris added to the list, but definitely an important one, not sure how it has been overlooked until now, but better late than never. Even tho their mission seems a little lofty, looks like good stuff. Since it is new to the list and seems like an interesting agenda, the outreach is underway. Here is the basic high level overview:

The Open Web Foundation is an attempt to create a home for community-driven specifications. Following the open source model similar to the Apache Software Foundation, the foundation is aimed at building a lightweight framework to help communities deal with the legal requirements necessary to create successful and widely adopted specification.

Since there are definitely no shortage of opportunities to work on standards in the space, any other ideas let me know and I can bring it back to the group, or you could leave comments over at Social Media Club.

One of the other 4 projects is to expand media literacy and part of that comes through membership I would think. So looking to roll out an event in September 4 for Atlanta to start up again. We are finalizing the location, but tentatively it is at Tony’s on Holcomb Bridge in Roswell, other ideas are welcome as Sherry and I look to re-ignite the group with just a little help from others in Atlanta. Should have it solidified in the next week or so…

Registration Reflections: PodCamp Atlanta

So I’ve spent the better part of the day yesterday trying to register to be able to edit the wiki page and declare my participation. Not an easy process for many reasons – internet up and down, had no idea how to obtain an invite key. So with a little help from Brogan, since it appears he knows something about it and I’m IN! BTW – Chris gives real good technical support – courteous, prompt and succinct.

So what is PodCamp? I had to explain this to Emily, just like she had to explain the water barrel class she went to, so I thought I would just provide a primer on PodCamp, as I understand it. So what is it? Why it’s an unconference of course! Despite all the hype that there is NO structure, It’s a Semi structured event focused on sharing information within the social media community in a open forum. There is apparently drinking as well.

The structure of the event, minimally the content, develops organically based on registration declarations – Session Leader, Participant, Sponsor. Being a newbie, I’ll just participate @ the Emory hosted event on March 16-18th. So with my inability to clear the first geek bar of REGISTRATION without help, I’m confident the rest of the community experience will be cake, since the community governance model is fairly straight forward:

There are 6 main rules which govern what may or may not be called a PodCamp. Your planned event must meet all 6 requirements and sign off on this license in order to be called a PodCamp.

1. All attendees must be treated equally. Everyone is a rockstar. Likewise, registration should be open to the public and unrestricted, subject only to limitations of space.

2. All content created in and around the event must be released under a Creative Commons license: This means that any recordings, video, pictures, podcasts, written documents, promos, and the like prepared for or recorded at the event must be licensed under the creative commons license. The Creative Commons License 3.0 is incorporated by reference.

3. All attendees are PARTICIPANTS. They are encouraged to lead sessions, speak on existing sessions, and contribute to the overall event experience. Organizers must make every possible concession to create an open speaking schedule, suitable for spontaneous participation. Everyone must be allowed to participate. (Subject to limitations of physical space and time, of course). This means that the speaker’s list must allow open registration and must not restrict who is allowed to speak.

4. All sessions must obey the Law of 2 Feet – if you’re not getting what you want out of the session, you can and should walk out and do something else. It’s not like you have to get your money’s worth!

5. The event must be new-media focused – blogging, podcasting, video on the net, social media and any other new media formats.

6. The financials of a PodCamp, including details about sponsorship money and how said funds were used, must be fully disclosed in an open ledger, to the PodCamp Foundation.

3 days will be tough, but the open discourse should be fun. I have a hard time at a 3 day MSFT conference and you typically get a cool show with Duran Duran or another not so currently “in” band, but not a lot of communication. The good news is the first night is just beer at a pub and the event schedule isn’t too daunting, but the registrants list is – almost 200. Since the list IS publicly available, I did some research on the registrants to better understand the GA/ATL blogging landscape a little more:

Jen GordonTrue Gritz and a not so current blog. Her year old lament about a bloke from the UK who snagged “her designs” reminds me of who’s cribbing. It is however; theoretically possible he randomed into a header, main and 3 column footer on his own.

Right Rev Chumley – I had an old english sheep dog in college named chumley. I didn’t have time to watch an old school short which is front ended in crazy, but you might.

Heather Smith – Honest little intro.. Cool little mashup information architecture. Indie chick music – right on.

Buzz Brockway – Apparently republican, I think. He asserts McCain can beat Obama in a recent post. Per the post $13.40 is the current definition of a living wage has gone up from the $10 I previously endorsed as a workers world card holder – circa 1992.

Clearly an eclectic group! These folks are considerably more passionate, creative, diverse and artsy than I would have thought. The wonders of community!

Lesson learned: I guess I shouldn’t use my sterile and benign musings as a fair representation of the market entry requirements for social media.

YUP, I am sooo out of my league – I think I’ll wear black – it makes me look taller. But then I realized it was for last year… what a waste