If I am not mistaken, I believe that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (@villaraigosa) declared this DigitalLA month. With events on the 5th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 18th and 27th, founder Kevin Winston (@kevinwinston) has been a very busy promoter of all things social.
Last night I was able to attend the DigitalLA Entertainment Goes Social panel held at the Writers Guild of America @ Third and Fairfax (Yes, I used an “@” without a twitter handle behind it).
Before the event I met up with K.W. Low (@KW) and Jacob Nahin (@JacobNahin) for coffee at the Farmers Market. I think Jacob was happy to see me, but it was only because I was carrying the XBox 360 Elite he won from the Microsoft booth at the TwiistUP event a few weeks back. It was nice to relax and wind down after sitting in the traffic on the 110 freeway.
The Entertainment News Goes Social Panel consisted of some of Hollywood’s most prolific social media go-to’s (aside from Ashton Kutcher of course). They included :
– Andrew Wallenstein, Hollywood Reporter, Editor, Digital Media THR.com @THR
– Abe Burns, Variety.com, Director, Online Marketing @variety
– Andrew D. Nystrom, LA Times.com, Sr. Producer, Social + Emerging Media @latimesnystrom
– Alexia Tsotsis, LA Weekly, tech/business lifestyle reporter @alexiatsotsis
– Moderator: Kevin Winston, Digital LA, founder @kevinwinston
It was a great discussion of how some of LA’s best known entertainment outlets are utilizing social media to further reach their user base and hopefully attract new users. There were the normal questions about the types of analytics used to track ROI, and how Social Media is, and can be used in an unprofessional way, but what really intrigued me about this panel was the amazing interaction with the LIVE audience via Twitter. It all started with Alexia commenting on the following twitter post.
She gave a quick shout-out to @johnayers to thank him, and it had a real dynamic effect on the event. As soon as she said this, it seemed to give the other panelist the “OK” to check the #DigitalLA twitter feed as well. As a society, we are programmed to believe that it is unprofessional to check your phone, especially when you are sitting on a panel for crying out loud.
The crowd, no longer able to hide themselves behind their Twitter feed, and for some maybe not the type to raise their hand in a panel discussion, were now completely intertwined in the discussion whether they wanted to be or not. There were many quotable moments throughout the night, as you can see if you follow the #DigitalLA twitter feed, but the best was near the end of the night.
The room erupted when Andy Wallenstein commented on @MikeSlebodnik‘s tweet:
I don’t think Andy was very amused at the comment ;) ( But yes Andy, you do sound like him)
It was a great panel and a very lively discussion. During the mixer part of the event (and after at Dupar’s) I was able to meet and talk with some very interesting entrepreneurs. Among them was Babette Pepaj the founder and CEO of BakeSpace.
BakeSpace – http://www.BakeSpace.com is a social networking site that centers on the sharing of recipes. It has a very vibrant and thriving 50,000 member base and it is interesting how they weave this into the media world with tie-ins to both Television and Movies. As we sat at Dupar’s having coffee and pie, I was fascinated at the story of how it got its start ( a little elbow grease and a little luck) and the bumps they had to steer around along the way. It is a great site developed and run by very passionate founders.
PhoneSheet.com http://www.PhoneSheet.com – I talked to Jan Zands from PhoneSheet.com about their online phone messaging system written with Microsoft Technologies. They had just released their BlackBerry version, so we took some time to talk about creating a windows mobile version as well as dive a little deeper into the technical aspects of creating sync applications.
SperryMedia – http://www.SperryMedia.com – While I as at the mixer, I was able to speak with Scott Perry, President of Sperry Media about the current state of cloud computing and using rich internet applications like Silverlight. He has a project coming up and is evaluating different solutions. We spent some time discussing RIA Services and all the new features of the Silverlight 3 Release.
I also had some great discussions with the following attendees:
Peter Chen - Writer-Director http://AbsolutelyAmericanMovie.com
Chris Tolles – Vice President/Marketing topix
John Marchesini – Consultant
Patrick - GetListed.org and Seoish.com
Larry W. Johnson Producer/Manager Crescendo Entertainment, Inc
Steven R. Gilson – Consultant
See you Socially - Daniel