BRITE: Social Networks and Online Communities

Back at BRITE today… check the agenda. If there are any questions you want to ask panelists, comment or email. Just check out the agenda.

First panel today:

“Social Networks and Online Communities”
      Mike Hemingway, Global Managing Director, Ogilvy; Paul Ingram, Kravis Professor  of Business, Columbia; Bänz  Ledin, Creator & Managing Director, Spotme; Craig Newmark, Founder, Craigslist; moderated by Leslie Forde, VP of  Strategic Alliances, Communispace

One company requires a little more explanation: Craigslist.

No, I mean Spotme.

One of the most innovative components of the event’s structure is its use of handheld devices from Spotme. Once registered, guests had their photos taken and were then given a device looking like a PSP. This digital assistant lets you view other attendees’ photos and info, find them with a radar, message them, swap business cards, and rate sessions. A few hours into the event, there were an average of two messages sent per person, indicating some people were having conversations with them and a large number of people tested them out.

Today there’s more than twice as many people here, so Spotme should be even more useful.

On to the panel:

Craig’s the most soft-spoken panelist. He described the number of evildoers or his site as tiny compared to the larger population of do-gooders, and then quoted Jon Stewart: "You hear more from extremists or crooks because moderates have stuff to do."

Craig on the Dove campaign for real beauty: he told Ogilvy to take an ad in a fashion magazine like Vogue that just says "this whole magazine is a lie."

Questions from the audience:

Paul from Columbia: "I think there’s a negative relationship between anonymity and civility."

From Max Kalehoff to Ogilvy: "In a growing era of transparency, how do you reconcile Dove with Axe?" Mike from Ogilvy: "The power of the internet is to make us think again… It is important, it keeps us honest, and it’s a lesson." Meaning, he totally dodged the question, and he really doesn’t care.

Q for Craig – what’s the reaction from publishers with you destroying the newspaper business?: Craig’s noting that Craigslist’s effect on classifieds is there, but it’s a small one.

Q for panel – how should direct response marketers engage communities like YouTube? [great question]: Mike from Ogilvy: "Understand the medium." Some media are catalysts. He mentioned he got 14 million views on YouTube but they’re trying to reach 140 million [my take: most of the 140 million they reach will have a much more passive relationship than the 10% of those who actually take the time to play the video and possibly rewind it or share it or comment on it].

Below: a photo of SpotmeBrite08_spotme