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


  1. Thanks again for providing a forum that was both entertaining and informative - very happy to have lost to a great opposing team!

    And for a post that reminds me I really need a shave... ;)

  2. Thanks for the comment TS...

    You pretty much took it away... till the lovely evangels of social media turned the heat on!

    Great to have Luke & you at the debate. You guys really brought it on that night. Nice meeting you'll. Thanks for flying up from Wgtn.

    WHAT! You still haven't shaved, you hermit. Cheers ;)

  3. Wow! That is quite a pic of me (the third one of me) good spotting!

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Simon. Yep that pic of yours is quite a capture. (Nice shot, Johann!)

    And I must add, you did a terrific job of MC'ing and organising the event. Hats off!

    I reckon @VaughnDavis summed it all up perfectly in his tweet "Best. SMC. Ever. Nice work, @audaciousgloop"

    Q - Simon, can you tell us what was going through your mind as you took that rare pic:)

  5. Haha ... I have no idea but I'll hazard a guess "These notes I'm reading bear no relation to what's going on here" ... happens a lot :)