Wednesday, September 24, 2014

22 Sept 14 - Social Media Week:Day 1

 Social Media Week ...a week-long event happening in Chicago (as well as other major cities around the world like Berlin, Los Angeles, Rome, Mumbai, London – to name a few) is more than just discussing how to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc, blogspot readers. It’s about utilizing those same web tools to start and/or increase your business growth to finding new ways of attracting traffic to your site or learning how today’s ever-changing technology effects the way you live, work and play from food choices to nightlife entertainment. Whether you like it or not, technology will always be a part of our lives especially when corporations like Apple, Microsoft and  others keep creating new or improving existing products.
Throughout the week, Social Media Week will feature a series of educational and networking events that open to the public around various places in the city. Through interconnected activities across the world, blogspot readers, this event will also offer a global, community-sourced conversation focusing on the theme – “The Future of Now: Making Sense of Our Always On, Always Connected World”. Last year, Social Media Week Chicago featured over 300 speakers at 180 events in 8 venues which attracted more than 4,700 attendees including SouthSide. Some of the events happening this year will feature sessions like The Social Media Marketing Baseline, A Network For Every Interest and There’s No Such Thing As A No-Brainer: Why Behavioral Economics Matter In Social Media. This reviewer on the other hand will be attending session geared more towards her interests like Utilizing Social Media and Celebrity Partnerships or how social media effects nightlife and entertainment.

SouthSide’s first day covering Social Media Week began with a day session at Morningstar featuring Samantha Skey, Chief Revenue Officer of about the “Digital Natives” – a phrase coined to describe this generation’s of tweens and teens growing up in this digital age or mobility and social media access in the session Do As I Say, Not As I Do: how the social media lessons we teach our children will shape the future audience engagement online. They are the age group advertisers target the most when marketing new technology, blogspot readers. During this hour-long session, SouthSide learned a lot about gap between parents and their kids when it comes to technology according to Samantha, kids want us (i.e. parents) to understand how technology works and how they use it. And the stats were astounding. For example, 81% of kids between 12 – 17 are using social media compared to the 72% of the internet population as a whole. Did you know that 59% of kids joined a social network before reaching the age of 10? That’s compared to 52% of kids between the ages of 11 and under who signed up for a Facebook account while more than half are better using a smartphone, blogspot readers. On the flipside, Samantha told the group that 40% of parents learn about how to use technology from their kids and many believe that 83% of kids (10 – 17) use an electronic device 3+ hours a day. SouthSide thinks it’s longer than that judging by the weekend usage by her tween daughter who surfs the net more than her even though 40% of parents believe it’s an hour or less.

Yet there are a few benefits of kids using technology, blogspot readers, according to 76% of Gen X Moms (in which SouthSide’s a part of) while 17% (which includes 9% of “Stay At Home” Moms) worry about cyber bullying and its negative effects on kids. Samantha briefly discussed via a Powerpoint presentation the positive and negative social media has on kids. The positive – it has an impact on self-esteem thus making 20% feel more confident, 28% more outgoing and 29% less shy; social media increases kids’ awareness of the world around them and encourages them to action (for example, Teen’s Fighting Hunder; and some, blogspot readers, see using social media as a creative opportunity. Yet there is a drawback to using social media such as 46% of kids don’t know how to live a real life and 26% have hijacked another’s account before. She then explained why her company launched a tool called Hatch because most kids don’t understand who owns the content they’ve created and/or how long it lasts in cyberspace. Plus kids today need to know and understand the risks by using technology, blogspot readers. It was interesting to know that kids want boundaries when using social media but at the same time they’re not impressed with their parents’ social media knowledge. This reviewer met one such person who didn’t know anything about other sites beyond Facebook and Twitter like Creepy Pasta and Quotev. Believe it or not, kids today have already mastered the “like” cycle and know how to get more “like” on their page as well as use the “like” system to their advantage.

Kids also are into “identity production” – how they represent themselves online which includes not wanting to feel “posting regret” (posting a comment and/or status and then later regretting ever posting it on social media sites). They’re more willing to address real, difficult topics and social issues as well as they know peers equates to media influence. Tweens and teens view YouTube and Instagram as a popular way for DIY (“do it yourself”) campaign but were split on Snapchat – some loved it while other hate it ...basically they found that site boring. And forget about the selfie craze, blogspot readers, they are SO over it only because adults keep making a big deal about it. To close out this very informative session, Samantha briefly went over the “what’s next” steps for Hatch like teaching kids how to make content they could be proud of including with full knowledge of their rights ...parents learning from kids while gaining insight into their social web building campaigns to help express their causes as well as protecting and policing their peers on the use of social tech (i.e. not using their birthdate or the home address as a site password which will lead to identity theft) ...working on a parent, kids and educator collaboration in which Hatch is about to be launched in schools. For more information about Hatch and/or, visit or email Samantha your questions at

After that informative Social Media Week session, it was time to relax and enjoy some foodie samples as well as meet other Social Media Week attendees, blogspot readers. SouthSide's next Social Media Week session was at River North's foodie spot - Yolk featuring #FoodieChats founder and & CEO, Steve Green at its 177th meeting. Here, attendees like SouthSide sampled wine tastings from Columbia Crest and Yolk's famous Tour de France French toast - a creative collaboration of different breads paired with fresh fruit. For example, tart blueberries were paired with the delicious Lemon poppyseed bread while tangy sweetness of orange bread had strawberries and yummy banana bread was paired with fresh bananas to heightened the banana taste. Each unique pairing, blogspot readers, truly wowed this reviewer's palette especially after sipping some of her orange mimosa did those flavors explode in her mouth. This second annual kick-off event also featured #FoodieChats sponsor Mahatma Rice USA along with some recipes prepared by chef Taki Kastanis with Jasmine and Basmati rice. To show off the dishes, Debbie Wheeler who runs the taste kitchen for Mahatma Rice USA had chef Kastanis prepare the rice pudding (using the Jasmine rice) and fried risotto balls (using the Basmati rice), blogspot readers. After sampling both, SouthSide's is going to try making the rice pudding recipe but with a spin of her own for the upcoming holidays.



Then it was off to Billy Dec's Rockit Bar & Grill for the Opening Night party which always draws a crowd of Social Media Week attendees to this popular River North location. Besides it being a Social Media Week event, it was also Monday Night Football with all the wide screens showing Bears-Jets pre-game activities. There was chocolate sampling as well as Goose Island tastings. It was a fun, relaxing atmosphere while attendees socialized, tweeted and et al throughout the night, blogspot readers.



 Overall, Social Media Week here in Chicago got off to a good start ...more to come from SouthSide as she attends sessions slated for Wednesday and Thursday.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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