Guru on Deck at Vancouver – Scrolling on a Trackwheel (part 4)
Posted by: Vanessa LeClair
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
It’s Tuesday morning (pacific time) and I’m exhausted. I’m also a day late (hopefully not a dollar short) on my Engage365 blog series. Forgive me, but I arrived in Vancouver a day later than expected due to a flight cancellation Saturday morning. So I gave myself an extra day to finish this entry. Thankfully, my other fellow Gurus picked up the slack, and the conversation continued.
What’s It Been Like On The Scene as a Guru You Might Ask?
It’s been positive, but again, not without it’s challenges. MPI loves social media, that want to be hip, they want to keep up with technology, they want to engage those members both attending the congress and watching the stream from the comfort of their home (or office). But is it technology overload?
My biggest issue right now, Twitter overload. There are so many WEC attendees updating the Twitter stream without being asked to by MPI. So the question might be, did MPI really need this program? Maddie Grant (Social Fish) asked the same question in her Case Study: MPI and the “Social Media Guru” program for #WEC10. There are so many digital extroverts who would be happy to promote the event, the knowledge sessions, etc., without being asked.
What about the attendees who don’t Tweet? I attended a session with Corbin Ball on Technology Trends, who asked the room on a scale of 1-4 (one being the least), who feels they have an experienced handle on social media tools – half the room was a “one” (they are NOT connected). To put it in perspective, there were probably 100 people in the room, and many standing in the back.
Overloaded? Yes. Distracted? Maybe
I give MPI huge props for designing this program. They want to engage their members, event attendees and the virtual audience. And they should! But with only five official Gurus on deck, I personally felt that we were not enough to effectively represent the entire congress of over 2,500 attendees. How are five people supposed to blog, tweet, update Facebook, Foursquare, etc. all day long while trying to attend sessions, receptions, network events, and the tradeshow to name a few? Are we really engaged in the congress or is social media too much of a distraction for us? For me it has been not so much a distraction, as one more thing for me to try and squeeze into my day. Not that I can’t tweet during a session or two, clearly I did so, but I feel pulled in two directions.
Twitter Fatigued? Yep!
How much can one person really tweet? I thought I had this in the bag. But I have realized that I am getting tired – and it’s not just because I’m going on about 5 hours of sleep per night either. It’s difficult to keep up. You want to share the information with the world, with those who are following the stream. You want to provide them with useful tips and tidbits, but sometimes it’s just too much. During a knowledge session on Career Management, information was flying around so fast, that I had trouble just taking quality notes on the subject, let alone sharing it with the rest of the world.
Post Event Blogs
I attended MeetDifferent virtually in February, and after each day I posted a blog about my experience. I have wanted to provide updates like this for WEC on my personal blog, but again, unable to do so as we are so busy with networking, knowledge sessions, and general twitter updates, it’s hard to find the time. Actually, I find that with all sharing and contributing, I feel less inspired to write a blog about the experience. At least when I was participating virtually, I was sitting on my couch – I had time, I could reflect.
Who Needs Guidelines?
Although I’m here, I am not always sure what I should be reporting on, or chatting about. Guru’s are free to share whatever they wish to share – and as often as they would like to share it. My communications channel was Twitter, so I continue to share my experiences and take-aways from sessions I attend, and I spend time re-tweeting MPI messages as well as fellow Guru tweets. We are in a sense, managing ourselves. Sharing things that are important to us, and attendes, not just the gospel of MPI as some would lead you to believe.
How’s the Wireless?
With such a large contingent of attendees plugging in, wireless access was a big concern. Props to MPI and their wireless internet sponsor – connection here at the convention center is awesome. Wireless might be great, but I’m running low on power. MPI needs to give Gurus (and attendees) better access to power strips and outlets, as well as tables during events, so they can plug in and report. Smartphones, iPhones, iPads laptops, it’s inevitable that I’m going to run out of juice!
What Do WEC Attendees Think of The Gurus?
- My biggest comment was, “we need to get more involved in social media!”
- Second biggest comment, “doesn’t social media get in the way of being focused?”
- Others included: “we’re really glad you’re doing this, how can you pay attention during an event and tweet at the same time? Can you show me how to use this application?
MPI Guidelines and Open Forum
The MPI WEC 2010 Social Media Guru efforts caught a little heat last week, and several blogs were written about it. (see below) If you are interested in the conversation you can check out my third third blog in the series. I think we’ve just about exhausted this issue, but it was important to discuss the language. We need to remember to stay focused – if it’s the language that’s a problem, that’s one thing, calling into question the integrity of others will ruffle feathers any day.
- Is MPI buying positive social media mentions for WEC?
- Being a social media guru isn’t without it’s challenges
- Is MPI gaming the social media gurus for positive press plus salmon?
- Is MPI’s social media guru program a winning idea?
- MPI social media guru debate highlights changing face of journalism
Stay Tuned for More Adventures of a Social Media Guru
This is the fourth blog of a series of my trials and tribulations of a social media guru and how you can learn from our team’s success.
Part 1: Harnessing the Power of Social Media Leaders: MPI’s Social Media Guru Program
Part 2: The Power of Social Media: Making it Work for WEC Attendees
Part 3: Being an MPI Social Media Guru Isn’t Without Its Challenges
Part 4: Guru on Deck at Vancouver – Scrolling on a Trackwheel
Part 5: A Social Media Guru Farewell for WEC 2010
About MPI’s Social Media Guru Program
MPI recently came to the conclusion that traditional media and social media had some significant similarities: both groups attended events and covered important issues for attending and non-attending public alike – and social media representatives even became a part of the event. This revelation led MPI Public Relations Specialist Kristen Kouk to create a Social Media Guru program to empower members of the industry to lead their social media efforts and help engage members around the World Education Congress (WEC) in Vancouver this year.
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