Home > Human Nature and Technology > Follow Up on Angry Buzz

Follow Up on Angry Buzz

Let me start this up front by saying I do believe in building a great website and creating great email strategies.

With that said, I attended the TechNow Conference at the gracious invitation of Cindy Leonard who caught my Angry Buzz post about their keynote speaker, John Kenyon who called social media dessert in a Pop City article. I most certainly appreciate and thank anyone who covers my expense for a conference!

I just hope they didn’t expect me to fall in love with the keynote information, because I didn’t. The conference itself housed some very knowledgeable speakers and vendors that gave very good advice to the nonprofits in attendance.  Kudos to them for knowing their audience and giving them information they could use.  There is a lot of down time at this conference with an hour break between sessions, which I am not used to, but the attendees seemed to appreciate it. So, again, good for knowing your audience and their preferences.

But, if you, my readers, were sitting there wondering “what ever happened when she went to that conference?” “Did that keynote speaker put her in her place?”

NO. I’m going to have to just agree to disagree with his style, focus and presentation materials. I had hoped that in person I would be compelled to change my mind and change my tone on the Angry Buzz post. As the keynote speaker, after 40 minutes of sharing why your website is important and something near to a discussion on what your site needs to look like, I still came away empty. I’ll give him a little credit for taking my charge at him and incorporating that even though he calls social media is dessert, “it doesn’t mean that it is fattening or something you should skip” into his presentation.  I had to leave before he got into effective email campaigning due to prior commitments.

I recorded the presentation I did see to review at home.  I am no more impressed on second(or third) listening than I was in session. I’m going to have to chuck this one up to major difference of opinion.  Some points were very good, but clouded in language that was unclear and probably would have been forgotten had I not recorded them.  There are so many points I’d like to make on where the information presented was either inconclusive, misleading or downright incorrect.

But instead, I will tell you what I DID learn.

We spend way too much time telling you what social media and tech are “like” instead of telling you what it IS. Or does. Or how to make it effective for your needs. Or just simplifying the language so you get it without confusing you more. I’ve talked to enough of you to know that my understanding and language for talking about social media is above your heads at times. It’s my job to bring that information into terms that you can fully comprehend and use. This unclear, flowery language, though,  negates the influence, accountability factor and industry standard that “social media” has become.  If you know me, you know I detest the term social media(but understand the need to continue using it). I prefer digital media or online community media. ‘Social’ is what we are at parties and weddings. It suggests a fleeting or abstract concept. Digital is grounded and concrete and a word that is perceived to be lasting.

So, because of TechNow and the comparisons of what content resonated as most useful- from  presenters like Static Made and Pro Donor Solutions-  when I speak or write on this topic, I will cut back on my alliterations, similes, metaphors, and generic comparisons. The point of a metaphor isn’t to be the whole story, just an anecdote that assists in comprehension. Because hearing things like these in a keynote presentation doesn’t tell you what to do when you get back to the office—

(showing pic of leaning house)”If your foundation is off, your whole house is going to lean and I’m not sure you want to live in this house.” (point to leaning house pic)


Using the example(transcribed from the speech) that: “If you’re dealing with an organization that deals with bears, eagles, and salmon. If you don’t have something in your database that tells you what the majority of your folks, what their primary interest is, your fundraising campaigns about salmon that are falling flat and not getting results, when you finally look and ask folks what’s your primary interest in our organization you might find out that 70% of folks are bear folks. They only care about salmon because bears eat them.”


Or this one when he says…

“When we’re talking about websites….you know I’ve gone to some websites and you look at the navigation and it’s like Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph and I don’t know if you’re into Santa Claus or what.”

I’m making a pledge to use language that resonates and quickly and concisely with my clients and readers. That is probably the biggest thing I’ve taken from the TechNow conference. The speaker from Static Made that gave the talk on social media gave some fun analogies, but they were directly related to the content and you were able to follow what he was trying to teach you.

I do like this one from John Kenyons’ keynote session, though.

He’s talking about nonprofits needing to respond to comments on FB and Twitter RT’s and to tell people thanks because “it goes a long way toward being acknowledged and (that) I just don’t have ATM stamped on my forehead like you’re just banging me to get more $20’s out of me.”

That one tells you something valuable in terms we can relate to the nonprofit world.  And got a big chuckle from me.

The other thing I’ve learned is that those who don’t use social media don’t understand it, so they don’t get how or why to advocate for or effectively incorporate it. When a person is presenting information that pushes website over social media instead of simultaneous and equal integration and suggests just regurgitating pieces of content from your website on FB and Twitter links, you can understand the mindset when you learn that they aren’t actively and interactively utilizing social media themselves.  I’m also still not sold on preaching to nonprofits about how necessary it is to have a good website if you don’t live by the rule you teach. If you present a hosted blog as a website and it looks pretty plain and boring and isn’t updated often, how can you show others what they should be doing?

But, what I did get reminded of is that credibility, content and knowledge means a lot. I have this blog that I love and it shows you who I am and what I am about. I give you a tab to learn more about me as a consulting professional. But, it isn’t a business, it’s a blog. So, I went and negotiated a deal in the last two weeks to take over full ownership of an existing social media company. With a website. I’ll be looking for feedback from you on how it should look and what you want to see there. I’m still developing the content and redesigning the home page and I’m not ready to go live with it, but if you’re reading this you get the sneak peek.  If you want to help- as my audience and potential clients or client referrers, your input is important to me. I am now the proud owner of Universal Wit. Take a look at my new website at www.universalwit.com. Soon, my social media content will appear primarily at UniversalWit, while my non-profit and “good works” pieces will continue at Simply Put.

All in all, it wasn’t a wasted day at the conference. The keynote was a little like dessert, though. But, the vegetables from the earlier sessions gave me good nutrition.

Check out pctv who recorded the conference and ProDonor Solutions who presented a great session on QR code, had a table out front and spoke with me at the conference:

Simply Put- Social media information can be ‘simply put’ and understood without talking about it as vegetables, dessert or leaning houses.

  1. November 9, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Thanks for update! I was eager to hear your thoughts on the conference. Kudos on the new venture – looking forward to learning more about it.

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