Last month in Seattle, I was fortunate enough to attend Gnomedex 10 – supposedly the last of its kind run by tech geek, Chris Pirillo (@chrispirillo). While I thoroughly enjoyed the presenters who gave rousing talks about how technology has affected their lives and their jobs, I took to the hallway to find out what these self-described “geeks” really think about social media and what glimmer of information they could provide on how businesses could leverage the power of the web. In some way, this turned out to be more of a case study examining what different people really think about the power of the web.
Over the course of seven (7) videos, I’ve managed to talk to entrepreneurs, agency representatives, someone from a large Fortune 500 company, an aspiring filmmaker, author & thought leader, social media strategist and others and I think that when you watch them, not all will be applicable to your industry or profession, BUT what they do provide is an interesting perspective that is both candid and straight-forward in how different industries can really take hold of the web and social media to make it work for them.
Tac Anderson – Waggner Edstrom
I’ve known Tac Anderson (@tacanderson) since we formally met at Gnomedex 9 in 2009, but we’ve followed each other on Twitter over the years. He works for the agency Waggner Edstrom and in this interview, we talked about what agencies are doing when it comes to social media, how can companies evaluate the people soliciting them to find the right consultant that will work with them & their customers in the social media realm, and other pitfalls.
Loke Uei Tan – Microsoft
Have you ever wanted to create your own mobile application? Does your brand really need one? Sure we all know mobile apps can be developed for the iPhone and Android markets – both of these have the largest user base, after all. But Microsoft is working on trying to break through this “barrier” with their new mobile operating system: Windows Phone 7 and is in the process of reaching out to developers to try and get them to convert their apps from just solely being iPhone or Android-based to accommodating the Windows Phone platform.
In this interview, I chat with Loke Uei Tan (@lokeuei), a Microsoft employee who formerly worked in the Windows Phone division, but now is in their robotics division. We talk about the Windows Phone 7 platform and what advantages it holds for businesses and also why should they really invest in mobile applications.
Michael Dougherty – Browncoats: Redemption Producer
In my travels and talks with people, I’ve often heard how the web has opened up a new avenue for aspiring artists to make their mark without having to deal with the bureaucracy that is with the major studios. In fact, being independent has truly become a new definition…you’re not with an independent studio (in my mind, a non-major label), but you are on your own and using digital word of mouth to promote your art. This has been an incredibly powerful tool for fans of musicians, artists and even movies. Michael Dougherty (@wickedjava) and Steven Fisher (@stevenfisher) are examples of fans who have a desire to be filmmakers and have brought to life an incredible sequel to one of acclaimed sci-fi creator Joss Whedon’s work. There’s a compelling tale behind this story on how Browncoats: Redemption came to be and how it is a great example of how filmmakers can still succeed and get their art out into the world without needing a major distributor.
Brian Solis – BrianSolis.com, author of Engage
I’ve been following Brian Solis’ (@briansolis) career over the past few years and he’s definitely a thought leader. After a great opening keynote at Gnomedex 10, I managed to snag him for an interview to talk about engagement, how to use social media, how important it is to get companies to communicate with their customers and several other important topics.
Shauna Causey – Ants Eye View & co-founder of Tech Mavens
Who says that there aren’t any women in tech? Shauna Causey (@shaunacausey) proves us wrong. Formerly of Comcast, she’s now with the agency Ants Eye View, where she’s working to help draft and execute social media strategies for her clients. At Gnomedex, she spoke about a new organization she helped start along with Melody Beringer called Tech Mavens, designed as a way to help promote not just women, but to be a opportunity to get people talking and connected with one another. In our interview, we delve into how she’s done some social good with the help of the technology community to benefit the community.
Dave Mathews – Serial entrepreneur & CEO of Neuaer
For entrepreneurs, this is probably the one video you’ll need to watch. It features entrepreneur Dave Mathews (@ggdm), someone who has been around the block when it comes to working with startups and creating them himself. As an evangelist, he’s worked with great companies like Boxee and PeopleBrowsr and has also been the chief scientist at Radio Shack earlier on. In this video, we talk about his latest project, Neuaer, which leverages the Foursquare model, but builds upon it to create what he calls a “proximity platform” designed to locate nearby gadgets and do some other really cool stuff. Other topics of conversation include tips for entrepreneurs and how to promote your product.
Violet Blue – Author, thought-leader, crisis counselor
One of the last interviews that I’ve managed to do at Gnomedex was with Violet Blue (@violetblue). During the conference, she gave a rather rousing talk about the use of technology in her life and how she applies the latest technologies to her profession as an author, peer-to-peer counselor, and early adopter. In case you don’t know her, Violet is a different kind of person compared to the rest of the interviews. She talks about human sexuality and in her talk and in this interview, we delve into how non-profits that do social good can effectively reach out to those in need and get them to come in for help.
Image Credit: Jannes /sxc.hu