No secret handshakes at Social Media Club Sydney

social-media-club-sydney1It’s been a weird couple of weeks for social media.

We’ve had grumpiness over the plans for Social Media Club Sydney; grumpiness over last week’s #beachmeet; grumpiness between old skool and new.  

One of the more sensible pleas for everyone to chill out a little then came from Kelly Tall, who pointed out that things were turning into an online feral sandpit.

I suspect that some the testiness comes from those who got onto Twitter before it got big.  Much like when you love a band before it suddenly gets famous, it can be a bit annoying when your private passion is taken over by everyone.

And some of it comes because it’s very easy to express yourself in a tweet in a way that you probably wouldn’t to somebody’s face.

I also take my share of responsibility on Mumbrella when I write about these things.  It would be easy to claim that once something’s in the public domain, it’s fair game, but of course, with a bigger audience you can throw fuel on the flames. But equally, just because you don’t write about something, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.

I’m not sure where that thought process will lead me, but I think that ultimately I’ll choose, rather than writing about them, to leave some tweet rows I witness on Twitter, unless they raise a wider issue.

Yet when social media folk get together in the real world, it’s usually an entirely charming experience.

Last night it was the first meeting of Social Media Club Sydney. I wasn’t involved in the organising, but did do the Q&A with Adam Ferrier of Naked and Leslie Nassar, aka Fake Stephen Conroy. So as a result of being on stage, the two things I can’t claim to be are a) neutral and b) in possession of any notes.



But my impressions are this.

First, there’s clearly an appetite for that sort of event. There were probably about 300 people there – most crammed in the room, with more having it relayed to them in a second lounge.

Incidentally, it’s also apparently the first time anyone has been able to successfully overload the wifi at Will and Toby’s. Little wonder #SMCSYD was the number two trend on Twitter last night behind swineflu.

Leslie Nassar was, as expected, both funny and popular as he told the story of his Fake Stephen Conroy persona.

But what may have surprised more people was that Adam Ferrier won over a fair few people with the story of Witchery’s man in the jacket campaign. Although there was still scepticism  about whether it’s okay to lie to consumers, there was a sense that he moved that debate on last night. And he certainly got credit for fronting up what could have been (although in the end it wasn’t) a very hostile audience.

He was also provocative – although many seemed to agree with him – on the nature of the social media community.

it felt like an event worth having.

I’ll add a few links to blogs from last night as I spot them.

Lexy Klain has already put her take up.

And here’s her video of the first part of Adam Ferrier’s conversation:


You can also see, via Twitter Search, what was being said about #smcsyd

(Social Media Club Canberra is on Friday, by the way.)

This view from the stage shot was taken by Heather Ann Snodgrass:


Tim Burrowes


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