Well, I missed Social Media Day at the House of Air on June 30th. I had intended on so many levels to attend. You say to me, wall-to-wall trampolines and I’m in, period.
However, that afternoon I received (hang on, time to channel Brando) … “an offer I couldn’t refuse.” Free VIP ticks to the Blonde Readhead show at the Independent. Blonde Redhead, a beautiful music factory reminiscent of The Proclaimers reinvented as hipsters with a Toria Amos of sorts in the role of lead vocals – a band I’ve been following for some time now.
So, I chose a free night of food, best friend one-on-one time, drinks and music I adore – over trampolines, I know.
Sorry to my reading public. This is my formal apology for lagging in my responsibilities as this city’s Social Media Examiner. I’m back, and the news is on again.
Today though, this is about more than news. I had a revelation at work while walking past the Mashable offices that share a wall with my company on the ninth floor of an office building in SOMA.
You see, I share an office space with the San Francisco syndicate of the venerable social media journalism monopoly. We work amid a cadre of Internet start-ups nested in various corners of the floor’s available space, which is dwindling with each week. It’s a coveted spot.
The ninth floor SOMA Central crowd is quite sociable, even for tech-heads. We throw a weekly floor-wide-invite happy hour, mainly to get to know our neighbors better and share a few brews at local spots. We’ve even been known to film a music video on the floor with all the businesses, together.
Team Mashable over the months of our shared residency though, has gained a noted reputation of anti-socialism when it comes to meeting up. Ironic, no?
Some on the floor venture the guess that they snub their nose at the smaller companies that they feel superior to the Lilliputian web ventures sharing their floor, or possibly consider themselves a serious business with a responsibility to the news and therefore, no time for monkey business.
I really could see all of those being the case as I have daily interactions with one or more of the group, many of whom are far more socially awkward than my most nervous of colleagues during my days at the LA Times, and those were journalists who took such a job to avoid video reporting and sometimes, people altogether.
Back to my point… I find it a bit disappointing and sometimes troubling that these are the people viewed as pioneers, or more to the point, ambassadors of the philosophy of Social Media, stated by themselves as, “a force to be reckoned with…spreading information in times of crisis and [changing] the way we live our lives overall.”
Should the anti-social really be leading the caravan into the new frontier of social media?
Social Media Day as stated on the Mashable website began two years ago as a “global…celebration of the technological advancements that enable everyone to connect with real-time information…communicate from miles apart and have their voices heard.”
How well does such an event as this even exemplify the impact of social media on our lives today? What about those who fear personal interaction? Or those who are tired of Mashable? Or those who’ve found a new social experience without physical interaction?
Most of the SOMA Central crowd were adamant about their not attending, simply as a reaction to what they’ve seen as a snub of sorts by their neighbor.
What good does it do us to work on being social across the globe, if we can’t even work on being social with our immediate neighbors? Just asking, Mashable.
Take Mark Z., founder and usurper of the monolith that is Facebook. Zuckerberg has a noted reputation of being unquestionably socially awkward. How is it that those who have such difficulty with social interactions in the real world excel at constructing and manipulating our virtual social sphere?
Leading the social media efforts for a large conference myself last year, one of my main efforts to test real-time and space social meetups for those at the conference who were following us on Twitter, I just three people of a 2,000 following show up and that was for the free SWAG offered. It can be a tough journey, but I think we’re just in the 1.0 stages of understanding how to bring people together with this new tool.
One more note:
Interestingly enough, San Francisco came in third with 996 logged members/participants on the Social Media Day website, second going to New York (1434), and first place going to Sao Paulo with 1628 logged online participants.
Follow the SM Social Media Day on twitter @mashSMday. And maybe next year we’ll meet up at whatever locale they choose.