Desert Diaries: The Social Media Workshop

Posted by: Matthew Trost


(TEDActive 2010. February 9-13, 2010, Palm Springs, CA. Credit: TED / Michael Brands)

Maybe it was news of the blizzard onslaught back on the East Coast that made our 20 Social Media Workshop attendees so nonchalant about the chilly air in the high desert this morning. But the weather today was nothing to shrug off, and it was admirable that it was faced with such pluck … and then just awesome that everyone brought such interesting stories to share!

We brought a bushel of our own leads …

  • What’s “raising awareness” really worth?
  • Social media and the Super Bowl
  • Can real viruses teach us how to make content “go viral”?
  • The rise of social media is a return to the natural order
  • What’s the real effect of the Facebook “Cause”?
  • Black holes don’t “lurk”
  • How to be a lady online

… and our friends brought even more of their own:

We learned how being a social media rock star has its ups and downs. We learned how Twitter can help you stay one step ahead of your political opponents. We learned about “whuffie.” We learned about the difference between The Beatles’ success after Ed Sullivan and Susan Boyle’s success after Britain’s Got Talent. (We learned a lot about Susan Boyle: she’s authentic; she’s archetypal; she was edited well.) A 10-second, one-act, one-man play taught us about the future of face-to-face conversation. We learned about the 7-38-55 ratio and heard a lesson that drilled home the importance of good writing. And we learned that “anything can happen at launch, including porn.”

Comments (3)

  • Sally Halvorson commented on Sep 10 2010

    Hi Ben,
    I would love to know more about how you use social media to “engage audiences and bringing awareness to niche topics”. I am doing a group project for my class that entails the use of social media to engage community involvement. My part of the assignment is the blogs, Facebook, twitter, YouTube and how to better reach the community through this social media.

  • Ben Pirrie commented on Feb 10 2010

    Hey fantastic post, really got me thinking.

    You posed some great questions,

    We use social media to raise the profile of organisations, engage audiences and bring awareness to niche topics online. Social media has given birth to the niche rock star. Its allows people to become the leader of their very specific field, be that ‘wine’ , ‘baseball cards’ , spanish recepe’s…what ever. There has never been a better time in our history to communicate about things we are passionate about, AND get a response!


  • ed whyman commented on Feb 10 2010

    Can http://www.BARcampBAR.org & http://www.WEBiversity.org help using the http://www.Traidmark.org business structure?

    I would love to help enhance your great website so that EVERYONE can talk and collaborate on projects.
    Ed http://www.Whymandesign.com