Thursday, October 21, 2010

SMCakl9: one helluva chilled-out summer social

Social Media Club Auckland NZ #SMCakl Social Media New Zealand SMC akl

Just as spring peeped around the corner, Auckland was hit by a chilly weather-bomb! But that didn't stop us hardy folks from having a summer (yep... summer) party!

The topic for SMCakl9 was Social Media for Professional Networking - Finding Employers, Collaborators and Clients. Our speakers for the night:

Jane Kennelly, Alex Erasmus, Linda Coles

Linda Coles
Blue Banana @bluebanana20
Trainer and speaker on building and maintaining relationships online

Linda shared a beautiful thought "It's not the small that get eaten, it's the slow that get beaten" which holds true in social media as well as other areas of life. To drive home the point, she played this humorous ad during her talk. (Slide 8 of her presentation).

Blue Banana's 5 tips for your brands online success!

Jane Kennelly
Frog Recruitment @frogrecruitment
Company Director of Frog Recruitment, industry veteran and innovator

Jane's presentation included a YouTube video which gave a fine example of how even a public trust (MOTAT - Museum of Transport & Technology) can leverage social media to benefit.

Jane also showed a popular video based on Erik Qualman's Socialnomics.

Alex Erasmus
Bullet PR @alexerasmus
Digital Strategist, co-founder, Media Mingle & Social Media Club Auckland

Social Media for Professional Networking
View / Download/ Share more presentations from SMC Auckland.

All three speakers blogged their views of the event separately. Read
Linda's post here
Jane's post here 
Alex's post here

From virtual hello... to digital handshake.

My take on using SM for professional networking:

Be it professional (employers, clients, talent) or personal (friends, family, partners), forming connections is the very essence of social media. 

Social media forums are often referred to as virtual water-coolers or online pubs - places to make connections and start conversations (casual or formal) with people for the first time; meeting with industry peers (senior/ junior) in an informal one-on-one setting. 

But to make sense of it all, you need to take the conversation offline - be it to put a face to a twitter handle or avatar you've been chatting with; to prospect a business deal; have coffee with a potential recruit or just to mingle and make new friends the good ol' way.

Social Media Club Auckland in itself, is a prime example of how social media networking works - both at intra- and inter-community levels. Arising from 25 people in a room on February 9, 2010, it has now grown to a 1000+ strong community, with attendees & organisers as also supporters & sponsors from all walks of life. While we've been fortunate to have renown industry speakers among us, it is in the meeting & mingling / tweeting & retweeting / tagging & hash-tagging... where social media club actually happens!

@Neatyka & Louisa Redshaw, Urban Fox - host of SMCakl 10

Gareth Poley, Sherene Marais & Sally Turier

David MacGregor, Clodagh (Sydney), Jayson Bryant

A word of praise for Alex Erasmus: Along with managing his day job as Digital Strategist at Bullet PR, in just 9 months, Alex has co-founded (and actively manages) two of Auckland's most popular monthly events - SMCakl & Media Mingle (held on the 2nd & 4th Tues of every month respectively). Add to that, he currently organises Twitter chats every Thursday which livestreams on the #markchat hashtag. And...

As if that's not enough action already, nowadays, he's busy organising the second Social Media Junction (#SMJ) - Securing ROI in Social Media Marketing to be held at the SkyCity Convention Centre on Nov 16-17. SMJ is arguably NZ's biggest social media/ digital marketing event with a stellar line-up of international speakers!

A special mention for Julian Waters of communico website design & development. While he did a splendid job as MC & event organiser, few know that Julian is the man behind the audio equipment & set-up @SaatchiNZ. Check out the cool web construct he created for SMCakl. 

All in all, it was a fun, chilled-out evening. Here's a round of thunderous thanks to all our amazing Sponsors & Supporters. Drum roll please...

* Catherine George - Urgent Couriers
* Neil Forster, Richard Irvine, Carmen Nesfield - Telecom NZ
* Peter Mangin, Chris Macdonald, Peeyoosh Chandra - Saatchi & Saatchi
* Russell Browne, Alex - Monteith's
* Johann du Plessis - YelloDuck
* Hell's Pizza - who saved the day (Hell yeah... they did!) by making an appearance. Hat-tip to Simon who got so excited when the pizza arrived, he quickly clicked a pic!

Once again, the talks were followed by an intense Q&A + We also had the Great TweetWall of #SMCakl where Tania Howard of TalentSeed won Best Tweet of the Day (Monteith's Summer Ale was the first beer she ever had - she had the whole 330ml:). Not only did #smcakl become a TT on Twitter, but even our food sponsor for the night - @HellPizza666 achieved twitter star status on the trendsmap! (as tweeted by @SimoneMcCallum).

Mark Spencer - Winner of Monteith's Summer Ale Best Summer-Dressed

For the first time, thanks to our beverage sponsor Monteith's, SMCakl had a Summer Sizzle fuelled by their Summer Ale. The best summer dressed person - Mark Spencer, who arrived on his surfboard - won a cool summer Tee + a case of Summer Ale - with best compliments from Monteith's.

(PS: As a fellow summer-sizzler, I doff my beach hat in deference to all those who braved the chill & dressed in summer wear - @VaughnDavis, @JakeDavy, @SpDalton & all esp. the funky bunch of summer girls;-)

To sign-off, here's a rib-tickling spoof of the Facebook-based 'The Social Network' movie. Julian played it on the evening. Everyone went Like...

View more photos of the Oct event on Scene at SMCakl (Pic Courtesy: Johann du Plessis).

The next SMCakl will be on Nov 9, 2010. For details & updates, join the gang on See you there!
Social Media Club Auckland NZ #SMCakl Social Media New Zealand SMC akl

Monday, October 4, 2010

SMCakl8: The Great Debate - a great one indeed!

Social Media Club Auckland NZ #SMCakl Social Media New Zealand SMC akl

The Great Social Media Debate @ SMCakl 8

SMCakl 8 was The Great Debate - a showdown between social media evangelists and skeptics. And a great debate it was... and as some said, the best SMCakl ever!

As always, the hashtag for the event was #SMCakl and it quickly became trending topic on Twitter as posted (by @DesignPimp) in this trendsmap.

Held on Sep 14 at Saatchi NZ, the moot for The Great Debate was "Social Media is bad for me, for business, and the world." The stage was divided into two sides - those for and against social media.

In the right corner were those arguing for the moot = skeptics = the dark forces against social media:)


  • Professor Joseph Peart, communications lecturer, AUT University


  • Thomas Scovell, digital strategist at Doubleclique


  • Luke Pierson, Creative Director, Doubleclique


In the left corner were those arguing against the moot = evangelists = the sweet angels of social media:)


  • Belinda Nash - does comms for AUT University, and is Twitter famous in her own right!

  • Rebecca Smith - former head of communications at Telecom Business

  • Tara Sutherland - twitterer @TelecomNZ, plus scuba diving social media evangelist.


With MC Simon Young smack bang in the centre (er... left of centre actually!) doing a fine job of conducting the debate and keeping impassioned debaters in check!

It was a very involved, most entertaining and thought-provoking battle of wits. Some great points raised by all the speakers and some really pointed and sharp questions during the Q&A from a very engaged and enlightened audience. Both sides fought well but in the end, the evangelists won (by a whisker) proving "Social Media is NOT such a bad thing after all."

Here's my take on the moot point:

Do you blame the road for every thing that happens on it?
Do you blame your TV set for the content you watch on it?
Do you blame the cinema hall for the kind of movies shown?
Do you blame the airplane for every hard or soft landing?
Do you blame the train for every late and on-time arrival?
Do you blame the plate for the taste of the food you eat on it?
Do you blame the glass for the quality of the wine you drink in it?

Social Media is only a channel, a vehicle, an instrument, a tool, a means to an end. It is just a medium of communication. What you do with it depends on YOU. (There's a good reason why it's called YouTube!)

Social media is in fact a reflection of society. It holds a mirror to our psyche. There is so much to learn out there. Going one-up on Google (which gives us factual data), social media adds personal opinions, voices, views, expressions - there's a very good reason Google included Twitter & Facebook in its search algo. Sure it's good for me, business & the world!

Here's Tara Sutherland's blog and speaker notes; and Simon Young's neat summary of the event.

On a related note, here's some more good stuff:

Social Media is the Future of business - Incidentally, the Auckland Chamber of Commerce held a social media debate too which I attended. Here's an excellent summary of the event on The Unconditional Blog.

Being anti-Social is short-sighted - an interesting and engaging piece on CAANZ's Digital Leadership Group Blog.

Confessions via a blog post - Thomas Scovell aka "Another Anon" comes out in the open!

Some awesome shots from the night:

Mr Madness
























As they say at Nando's... the early worm gets the bird!

The Great Debate was a success. Here's a big Thanks going out from Social Media Club Auckland to all those who made it happen. In particular, our gracious Sponsors & Supporters:

Catherine George - Urgent Couriers
Neil Forster & Carmen Nesfield - Telecom NZ
Mel & Avi - Mel's Gourmet Indian
Courtney Bennett - Heritage Hotels
Brooke Bayliss, Aisha Daji-Punga - Frucor
Shailen, Erwin, Sherwin, Ivashan - Nando's NZ
Chris Macdonald, Peter Mangin, Matthew Marsh - Saatchi & Saatchi
Monteith's Beer & Cider
Johann du Plessis - YelloDuck
Julian Waters - communico
Tom Reidy - Tweet4yourTee

To end on a bit of social media humour...

Q- What would you get if Facebook, Twitter & YouTube merged into one?

A- You-Twit-Face  Smile with tongue


Q- What'd happen if LinkedIN, FourSquare & MySpace joined the race?

A - Answer... and heaps more hoo-haa on > 100% pure Social Madness

The next Social Media Club Auckland event is on Tue 12 October 2010. For event updates & details, add yourself on Looking forward to seeing you all there!

You can view more photos on Johann's Flickr stream > Click here!

Social Media Club Auckland NZ #SMCakl Social Media New Zealand SMC akl