Friday, October 4, 2013

Social Media Week 2013

Whether you like it or not, blogspot readers, we're all part of a global initiative ...connected via all platforms of social media. From Facebook to YouTube to Tumblr and more, we as a global community are sharing, "like"-ing, befriending, "Skype"-ing, etc with others across the vast corners of the world than ever before. Recently in Chicago as well as simultaneously in 7 other global cities (London, Toronto, Berlin, Bogota, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Sao Paulo) it was Social Media Week in which this week-long conference featured educational and networking events. Open to the public at various location across the city, people like SouthSide were able to attend series of interconnected activities and community-sourced conversation based on the theme Open & Connected Principles for a Collaborative World. It was co-hosted by Zocalo Group and Tribune Media Group's 435 Digital. 

Having over 180 free events (pre-registration was required) at venues like Chicago's Cultural Center, Morningstar, JBTV, Triune Tower and many others, Social Media Week Chicago 2013 was a unique experience for this reviewer. So why would SouthSide attend an event like this? Because, blogspot readers, she was interested about the impact social media had on everyday life. Plus she was given the chance to meet other likeminded people from area companies to academic institutions to non-profit organizations and bloggers in sessions such as advertising and marketing or culture and lifestyle. Social Media Week Chicago 2013 featured keynote speakers like Joe Mansueto (founder of Morningstar) and Ben Huh (CEO and Founder of Cheezburger, Inc.) includingB Mendelson (author of Social Media is Bullshit)  ...all experts from the social and digital space. And she wanted to attend panels that included a live streaming of Momma Cuisine cooking talk show,  how to "mommy blog" her way to success and learn the relationship between social media and music industry, blogspot readers. 

Besides the many panels, there were opportunities to unwind, relax and network too. On Monday (September 23rd) at Rockit Bar & Grill, SouthSide attended the official Social Media Week networking event. Held in the huge upstairs lounge, the vast space allowed many other SMWChicago 2013 attendees to socialize and/or network as well as sample some of this venue's delicious menu. In honor of this social event, there were also specialized drinks/cocktails  like one called Tweet-tini. Now, it was off to a series of panels throughout the week, blogspot readers. On Tuesday, she attended one titled Generational Mashup: Millennials, Baby Boomers, and the Privacy Question in which brought up good points on what and what not to share of the world web as many more Baby Boomers discover the many uses of surfing online and/connecting with their Millennial kids/grandkids. Plus the panel offers a look into how the internet is shaping today's households and each generation views the subject of privacy - you would be surprised (or not), blogspot readers, that most teens have no qualms about sharing everything whether it's texting to sexting and sharing inappropriate photos. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are more reserved about sharing information on public sites. It was a very enlightening as well as informative panel.

On Wednesday, SouthSide attended the Mommy Blogging Your Way To Success but unfortunately didn't find this session informative or helpful as she hoped because it was more like attending Blogging 101 class. Though the panelists (Julie DiCaro, Carrie Goldman Segall and Nicole Knepper) in some sort of way are successful (judging how they view what "success" is by the number of tweets and/or who's following them), they brushed over on how they became "successful" with very little or limited details. On a bright note - despite it was a "mommy" blogging session, blogspot readers, it was nice to see a few days (with the kids in tow) attending this session with other mommy bloggers. After a short lunch break at Daley Plaza watching the Austrians celebrating their day, it was off to Morningstar for a live streaming with Momma Cuisine! Cooking Talk Show. This special Social Media Week session featured foodie Johanna Cook (aka Momma Cuisine) with several Chicago-area guests - Caryln Berghoff (CEO of Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group, author of Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kid), David Blonsky (Corporate Chef of Sienna Tavern), Catherine DiOrio (the new host of Check, Please!), Nina Mariano (Community Relations Manager for Mariano's Fresh Market) and Andrew Zimmerman (Iron Chef American winner and of Sepia).  With Chef Zimmerman, Momma Cuisine asked about one of his competition challenges in which he had to make five (5) dishes using one single ingredient - his was cream cheese and mentioned how there was one judge who wasn't getting enough of the cream cheese flavor in his dishes. Then they briefly discussed about his restaurant (a contemporary American place that specializes food in what he feels represents America) before quick cooking demonstration. And with Catherine DiOrio, it was about the new season of Check, Please! in which she disclosed about about the set but the same format as before however with a slight twist, blogspot readers. Catherine said they would be shooting a few more episodes where locals will be taking her to their favorite Chicago/Chicagoland spots to eat.

Thursday was the busiest day out of the entire week for SouthSide. Her day began with the panel that was more of her interest since it about the relationship the music industry has with social media. Hosted by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Social Media and the Music Industry session was simply a continuation of where the recent Chicago Music Summit ended featuring panelists - Lyla Catellier (of, Brendan Kelly (of The Lawrence Arms), and Jeremy Scheuch (of DO312) with Jaime Black (of Dynasty Podcasts) moderating. This session featured on ways bands and fans are connecting more than ever through the many platforms of social media - whether it's Facebook, Myspace and/or Twitter, there are so many forms of communication for musicians/bands to reach out to their fanbase, blogspot readers. Topics of discussion included how each panelist can relate social media to the music industry, which social media platform is most viable to them, how they are engaging with fans on Facebook and is social media a good or bad thing. Even though social media gives everyone a voice to be heard (even the ankle-biters and haters), questions were also raised on how does one stand out from the rest to how does one motivate people to step away from the computer screen and attend your shows. Well, blogspot readers, it mostly depends on your fanbase and it was suggested for up and coming bands to try performing anywhere and everywhere they can. Yet on the flipside, if you're a popular band, try not to play everywhere but make your shows an event ...something your fans will remember until the next time you perform. Other topics during this very informative hour included transparency of an artist (think Daft Punk and their mysterious persona), what topics are taboo (advice - don't say anything about Sept 11th on Sept 11th) and whether or not you should keep your personal and business accounts separate. There was a mention about bloggers in which panelist Dani felt blogs have their place but doesn't think they carry any weight meanwhile DO312 doesn't really do or use blogs because they don't have the staff for it.

After that discussion, it was time to relax and have some tailgating fun at Tribune Tower, blogspot readers. There, SouthSide and other SMWChicago attendees enjoyed samples of Tostitos salsas (Cantina Chipotle and Cantina Roasted Garlic) with chips while testing your clue-solving skills to win a fabulous tailgating prize! Nissan provide display models of their vehicles in which had random clues for attendees to solve by tweeting their answers for a chance to have a one-week vehicle loan, $500 gift card and Frito Lay tailgating prize pack. And as an added bonus, blogspot readers, you could snap a photo of yourself standing next to the Heisman Memorial Trophy that came with it's own trophy handler (just like the Stanley Cup) to make sure no one ran away with it. Yet how could you when it weighs approximately 70 pounds or more.

Soon afterward it was time to make another television appearance at JBTV to see not only local band Big Paraid but also a rare behind the scenes look inside where music icon Jerry Bryant edits and creates his shows. She recommends checking out this lively Brit-pop/rock inspired band that rocked the stage with songs likes Kill The Killer, Black And White Wildlife and Innocence Comes And Goes and their own Big Paraid band girls sexing up the performance during the closing song. The many times SouthSide has been here this was very special for her to see the area where the magic happens and where he interviews the band after performing on stage. Believe it or not, this local music television program will be entering its 30th year on the air in 2014 where it has featured iconic bands/musicians like Kill Hannah, Smoking Popes, Filter, Fall Out Boy, Semi Precious Weapons, Electric Touch, Makeshift Prodigy - just to name a few who have graced the stage inside this studio. This reviewer highly recommends attending live taping at JBTV television studios - it's free and lots of fun too.

What a week, blogspot readers, and SouthSide cannot wait until next year to attend Social Media Week 2014 Chicago. Plans are now underway for Social Media Week 2014: The Future of Now being held cities like Tokyo, Japan; New York City, NY;  Barcelona, Spain; Hamburg, Germany and Copenhagen, Denmark during the week of February 17 - 21. Registration will happen in sometime December 2013, blogspot readers. For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

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