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A Look Back at Getting Social in 2009.

by Ken Yeung on December 30, 2009

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It’s been a few months since I started writing for Network Solutions reporting on the social media and technology events happening here on the West Coast and in the world-famous Silicon Valley so I thought I’d take some time out to highlight all the different events here to talk about how busy the West Coast has been.

Starting with South by Southwest, I set off on a whirlwind adventure that took me to the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco where the goal was to understand simplicity and how information can be repurposed to help all save time, energy & resources. From there, it moved onto Startup Weekend, the Society of New Communications Research’s NewComm Forum, Inbound Marketing Summit, Ad:Tech, WordCamp San Francisco, Twiistup and many other conferences. Out of all of these, I’ve learned that social media has played a real big factor in how people view business being done in the future.

I have met with many startups and learned from them what problem they are trying to solve and out of all of these conferences and demos and pitches, there’s one thing that seems to play a factor in any decision: is there a mobile aspect of it?

Sure, while you’re having this “real-time” web phenomenon floating out there, let’s not forget that a majority of people are starting to realize the potential of their mobile phones. More startups are putting out a new app that will run on one of the three major platforms: Blackberry, Android and the iPhone. The time of just setting up a new website and launching a tangible product is now over. Here in Silicon Valley, there are a lot of talk about what’s going to be the next big thing in the Internet and also as it relates to technology. And that, my friends, is all about mobile technology. Not mobile marketing, but just the amount of things you can do with your phone these days has probably far surpassed that which people can do on their laptops or desktops.

In looking back again, there have been a lot of buzzwords that have also been thrown around that probably have also dictated the trends that companies are targeting. That may include things like “real-time” or applications that address Twitter, social gaming and Facebook, blogging tools, etc all that helps to perpetuate the concept that the Internet will provide us with the tools that we need. And in most cases, they were right. There are now multiple tools that will help you discover what you want, tools that will help you create a more memorable & shortened web address, and much more.

Over the past year, I’ve also learned some valuable bits of information that I think is essential for anyone trying to get into social media. For one, how to effectively sell the program to your boss and break through the curmudgeon. Next, understanding how to pitch bloggers and speak their language. Of course, we should always also be aware of safe social media etiquette so we don’t get ourselves into trouble, but also remembering that to be truly successful online, we’re all going to have to build credibility – a.k.a. whuffie. Lastly, I recall Loic Le Meur’s presentation which proves to be especially helpful as a case study on product launching, especially when your advertising, marketing & PR sucks.

So looking forward at 2010 – I’m looking forward to seeing what other companies are going to launch. Will they be more Twitter-centric or will we see the Facebook platform become a super juggernaut that everyone hopes won’t take over the world (or is that Google?). I’m seeing less dependency on the data on the computer and more in the cloud and also on the mobile phone. I, for one, do hope that I’ll get a chance to meet some great startups and do reviews on their product. Expect more commentary from events that I’ll be attending in the next year that I hope you will find informative and stimulating.

I encourage you to drop me a line or leave a comment letting me know your thoughts and/or feedback. So until then, may you have a wonderful holiday and a great 2010!

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