Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Columbus Social Media Summer

As the Summer of 2008 draws near its end, I can safely describe the last few months as A Columbus Social Media Summer.

The momentum started last year as WOSU started engaging the blog community in Columbus with the Social Media Cafe. This, of course, occurred following the great success of Columbus Underground in building a loyal community.

But it seems to have just exploded over the last few months with the community of individuals and organizations embracing the Social Media movement.

Perhaps is was the visit by Doc in May thanks to Resource Interactive that real kicked the momentum into high gear because that was followed by PodCamp Ohio, Tweetups, Meetups, and Startup Weekend Columbus (see the article below), and BarCampOhio. Comfest has embraced Social Media has have many in our local media --- particularly by our friends at NBC4 with its strong Twitter presence (of course WOSU has had a Twitter presence for more than a year!).

As we move from summer to fall, I expect the energy to continue to move forward quickly. This past week, my friend Andrew Miller put together a meeting to share his vision of Convergence Columbus that was embraced by many diverse sectors in the Columbus community.

It's examples like this, where one or two people come forward with an idea, that the power of social media takes hold. It was Alvin for StartUp Weekend, Angelo for PodCampOhio, and Andrew for Comfest.

I have come to appreciate living in an area where individuals - particularly individuals who do not necessarily sit in the traditional positions of power within the community - are able to bring about positive change that makes our region better better. This is what the power of social media is by giving influence to the individual, no matter who they are and where they come from if the idea they have resonates with others.

Here's hoping there's a lot more of this to come to Columbus in the coming months.

Read this document on Scribd: Columbus Monthly SWC 2008 article


Dan Harris said...

Thanks to this social media summer I realized there are people in the community that understand the power of social media, embrace it and promote it. For several years I struggled to get startups I worked for to move away from traditional high cost marketing and give social media a try. Now that I work for a public company, social media is not something they care to embrace. They are very conservative and will probably never engage in the social scene.

Thanks to this Summer, people like you Tim, Alvin, Rocky, TechColumbus, Andrew and Dan Rockwell and the angel and VC community, I now have an outlet to express myself, look for opportunities, learn from brilliant people, and contribute when possible.

Because of startup weekend and all of the fellow socialmedites I now have a blog, twitter, linkedin, facebook, and a mention in Columbus Monthly. Because of social media I feel deeply connected to central ohio and my new friends.

Summer may be over, but my hope is our collective will embrace the fall and winter and find ways to give back, pay forward, and most of all enjoy the ride. I say we work with TechColumbus and their Innovation Awards and figure out how we meet and recognize social media efforts in central Ohio. Maybe they could add an award and recognize one of you frontiers people.

Just thinkin' outloud while I post. It could be fun!

Dan Harris

jquaglia said...

100% concurrence with Dan's comment! In fact, I feel like I could have written it myself! This summer has dramatically diversified and expanded my social media quiver (yeah, I am coining that one). Great to hear it had a similar effect on others through CSMC, SWC, etc!

Alvin said...

Tim, excellent post. Dan and JC, great comments as well. I've got to admit, when I first blogged about Startup Weekend asking people to vote for it to come here, I never dreamed of the response that I got. It's all because of the great folks here in Columbus that we were able to have a great event. It showed me the power of social media and what a handful of passionate people can do. We truly can do things to make Columbus a better place and I am more than happy to be a part of the social media summer.

Let's keep it going.