Hanging out at Social Capital Ottawa

This past weekend I had a great opportunity to network  while meeting some of Ottawa’s social media minds by attending Social Capital Ottawa. It was a great time.

Social Capital Ottawa, an all day social media workshop, explored through presentations, roundtable discussions, and case studies, what local PR, marketing, graphic designers, mommy bloggers and other professionals are doing in social media. My favourite part was probably the one on one conversation, since I could finally talk to those who I follow on Twitter…in real life! Unfortunately, I can’t rehash everything that was said (your attention span, not my writing ability) so I’ll just dive into 3 areas I want to highlight as my key takeaways from the conference.: the big message, the underlying message, and quotes.

The big message

Something that I gathered from all the speakers is they took action in social media to make things happen. They brought  their expertise to the conversation going on in social media and added value. Sometimes it was a success, other times it was a challenge. Whatever the case, the message is you have to be willing to take action. You can wait on the sidelines thinking about what to do or jump into the fray. For me this hits home when looking at the small things (finishing the multitude of half done blog drafts) to the big things (working on an e-book).

The underlying message

We have a large social media community in Ottawa. I guessed 200 people attending. I was off by 10, as there were 190 people who attended. In the opening keynote, when Glen Gower (@Glengower) asked the audience what social media networks are you on (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn), 99% of hands went up. This was the same when Glen asked who had a blog. Apparently we aren’t a sleepy, government town! People are writing, sharing their thoughts, and pushing change in the community. When Glen asked: “What can we do to get more people participating in social media in Ottawa?”, it made me think. We have a community that is connected online (social media networks), sharing (blogs), but this is only in this small sample of 190 people. Ottawa is over 1 million people. We can’t have success with social media just in this vacuum. There is indeed much more work to be done in the community at large.

Favourite quotes from the conference

The following is a couple of my favourite quotes I collected from the sessions:

Shannon Smith (@cafenoiredesign) on why she writes her blog:

“A blog is a toolbox of support that can be shared to the next person.”

Craig Fitzgerald (Craig_fitz) on measuring social media:

“Its all about experimentation – there is no single formula, measurement is the eyes and ears of the marketer.”

Kneale Mann (@Knealemann) on teamwork:

“Teamwork is about finding who is the strongest for a particular area, not about everyone pitching in.”

on an organizations structure:

“Lower the walls in your organizations and start to share.”

And a favourite of many who attended the conference from Stacey Diffin-Lafleur (@TheStacey) on her social media strategy:

“Proceed until apprehended.”

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