September 29, 2022

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Second Thinking (Not Second Thoughts) About the Twebinar

Second Thinking (Not Second Thoughts) About the Twebinar

I wrote about it last week and have blogged
about it as well
, but now that the hype has faded and the dust has settled
regarding last week’s Twebinar conducted by Radian6, Cross Tech Media and Chris Brogan, I have
some additional thoughts to add.  With
distance comes perspective, so I am adding two more cents to my commentary,
making my total four cents.

My latest thinking is that there was a tremendous amount of
hype that accompanied the Twebinar.  I helped pimp it
.  Since I like to back up my
blatherings with some statistics, I consulted Tweetscan to check the number of
times the term “Twebinar” was mentioned, because when I checked last week, it
was a fair amount.

The result?

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘;’ in
/home/ts/public_html/cache/s-twebinar-u–p-0-d- on line 17

I’m no programmer, but the message above tells me that
Tweetscan is busted and someone needs to go in and fix a line of code (line 17,
if anyone at Tweetscan is reading this). 
So it is completely unintended, but it is a perfect segway into my
thinking about the Twebinar:

  1. Building
    and promoting an event that became so large that WebEx could not handle it
    and basing a large part of it on Twitter is dangerous as hell.  I mean, the “replies” tab on Twitter was
    not even working, so Chris and David Alston had to do a work-around with
    Summize.  It was fast thinking on
    their part, but this thing was billed as “ground breaking.”  There was a lot of breaking, but most of
    it was on the technology front with Twitter and WebEx.

    My job-issued PC could not handle the event, so I was lucky enough to
    bring my Mac, which could.  I am a
    Firefox user, but having all of those tabs open was confusing, while
    trying to take notes, post comments on Summize, listen to the video as
    well as Chris narrating was sensory overload.  I can barely walk and chew gum at the
    same time, so you can imagine the challenges I confronted.

    I again congratulate and laud Chris and David for making this happen, but
    I’ll tell you that there is no way that I would dare compete in the Indy
    500 and base my success upon driving a 1974 Pinto.  I don’t trust Twitter, although I keep
    reminding people of two fundamental facts:  First, it’s
    free, and you get what you pay for; and second, give
    me the $150 million and I’ll make the damn “replies” tab work pretty

  2. Mashups
    have been around for a long time, and again, I give Chris and David credit
    for having the guts to base their event on a fundamentally unstable
    platform.  But to me, I came to the
    Twebinar first to learn, and second to find out about the “wow”
    factor.  I learned quite a bit, not
    necessarily about social media, but how to translate it into business-oriented
    terms.  I got a lot of take-aways
    from people like Shel Holtz,
    Shel Israel and others.  But when
    you take a step back, it was Twitter and video from some very smart
    people.  And a web-cam commentary from Chris.

  3. Chris
    has been kind enough to let me know that he’ll give me access to the
    archive soon, but I really want to go back and listen to the speakers
    again.  I was taking notes and
    switching screens pretty quickly, so I missed some of what could have been
    the “wow” moments.  The one that
    stuck with me was Richard Binhammer of Dell saying that since they have
    begun using social media to enhance communication with customers,
    complaints have gone down by 30 percent. 
    This is a compelling statistic (although I have to wonder how much
    the call center in India fiascos contributed to these declines).

  4. My
    final thought is about the definition of “game changing.”   I am anxiously awaiting the archive so
    I can really pay attention this time, but I think that social media is not
    necessarily a game-changing maneuver, but one that is manifested using
    social media tools.  The magic is
    not in the technology, but in their strategic application.  I teach this probably ad nauseum, but many of what the
    experts in the videos discussed could are based upon sound public
    relations ideas, like Arthur Page’s principles:

    • Listen
      to the customer. To serve the company well, understand what the public
      wants and needs. Keep top decision makers and other employees informed
      about public reaction to company products, policies and practices.
    • Manage
      for tomorrow. Anticipate public reaction and eliminate practices that
      create difficulties. Generate goodwill.
    • Conduct
      public relations as if the whole company depends on it. Corporate
      relations is a management function. No corporate strategy should be
      implemented without considering its impact on the public. The public
      relations professional is a policy maker capable of handling.

Again, I give Chris and David all the credit in the world,
but I am not sure I am convinced that social media is truly “game changing.”

Mark Story is a part-time, adjunct professor
at Georgetown University and a full-time communications professional at a
government agency in Washington, D.C. Prior to the government, Mark worked for
11 years in some of the largest online public relations shops in the world.  If it’s working, tweet him at mstory123.

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    David Alston

    Hey there Mark,
    Thanks again for your thoughtful second post on the Twebinar concept. A lot more great feedback for us to digest as we prepare the second in the series in a few weeks. I had a “plurkshop” yesterday as well to get more feedback from those who had joined in and a number of themes for improvement came up. No question that the Twitter/Summize combo tended to have it’s challenges. We are looking at a couple of things that may help to make things easier next time.
    Also, we meant to have the video out earlier this week but unfortunately it looks like we timed out a bit considering the US long weekend quickly on top of us. Hopefully to put out a summary email of the event as well as the link on Monday now.
    Again, thanks for taking the time to analyze this. With feedback like this we are sure to keep improving the concept.

    Mark Story

    Thank YOU, David.
    I hope that the tone was not too negative in the piece and that what really came through was the fact that you guys pulled off a technical miracle.

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