Some stats: "Globally, there were over 25,000 physical attendees across all nine of our cities attending over 600 individual sessions that comprised over 1800 speakers. Additionally, over 80,000 unique visitors participated online through our livestream channels and more than 180,000 unique visitors came through socialmediaweek.org leading up to and during the conference."
|Hearst's David Carey|
|SMW founder Toby Daniels|
|4SQ co-founder Naveen Selvadurai|
|Nokia Real-Time Tweet Map|
|PR Newser's Tonya & (Buddy) Joe|
|NYPL's Celeste Bartos Forum|
|Toby and Ben|
|Cassel & Friend|
|Steve and Sola|
|Peter, Shayndi & Chaim|
|Lizzy, Rob & Constantin|
|Ellie & Brian|
|Mashable's Adam Ostrow|
|Drake, Jenna, Jay, Laurie & Vadim|
Each of the panelists had different levels of sophistication, but I enjoyed learning of a couple of cool tools from moderator Lavrusik, including Rapportive, which allows one to see location and profile data of incoming emailers in GMail watch out PR peeps!), and TweetedTimes, which aggregates your tweets into an online newspaper format (Paper.li for the Twitter set?).
|Sysomos Analysis of SMW Conversation|
The next evening Graham Lawlor, founder of Ultra Light Start-ups, held his monthly gathering for aspiring techno-preneurs at NYU's Tisch Auditorium. The evening opened with a series of one-minute elevator pitches on stage before a crowd of a few hundred spectators looking for the next big thing. Talk about pressure! Even the NY Tech meetups allow its presenters five minutes to extol their wares.
Nonetheless, the format worked and the presenters met the challenge of presenting, not to mention some tough questions from the audience, the most popular of which was: "so how do you intend to make money?" Following the ulta-light start-up presos, Graham convened a panel titled "Engineering Viral Media," a concept in which more than a few in my social spheres have a compelling interest.
|Ultra Light Start-Ups @ NYU Tisch Auditorium|
Thursday arrived and thank goodness the sun was shining since two of our science panelists were flying in from Washington DC and Rochester, respectively. In researching the topic, I came across at least three significant conferences over the last two years on the same subject: the decimated science news hole and reporting staffs at mainstream media.
The conferences from two years ago were so morose with this CNN reporter or that NPR reporter lamenting the decline in their ranks. Nearly all painted a doomsday scenario for science literacy in this nation, and a win for forces questioning global warming, evolution and the need for alternative energy solutions.
|Chemistry: Himler, Bell, Leonard, Lloyd, Van Pay @ Edelman|
All seemed to agree that the state of science journalism is undergoing a renaissance right now with "nearly 4000" blogs devoted exclusively to reporting science news. Still, I argued, that we still need a strong voice in mainstream, mass audience-reaching media to balance sometimes nefarious private interests, which today have the capacity to create and syndicate directly to the public self-interested (and sometimes dubious) content. I kinda longed for the days when The NYTimes could unilaterally set the national news agenda.
Emily Bell quickly shut me down. We live in a media ecosystem of Darwinian proportions. It's more of a media "meritocracy," Bell said, wherein the higher the quality of reporting, the greater the eventual reach and authority of the publication. This is clearly a good thing. Robin Lloyd of Sci-Am agreed. Readers definitely weigh the source in evaluating the acuity of the content.
|Step & Repeat|
|McCallum, who knew?|
|JWT's Gemma & VZ's Michelle|
Photos: Peter Himler, Canon SX20 IS