Earlier this week, I was invited to speak at Jeff Pulver’s Social Communications Summit #SocComm. It was one of the most fascinating events I have ever attended. First, there were a group of extraordinary speakers including: @garyvee, @jeffjarvis, @kenbot and @chrisbrogan. But, as extraordinary as the speakers were, the attendees were more so. Everyone I spoke with during the day was extremely optimistic about the future and the opportunities that social media technologies will afford them. But, more importantly, everyone seemed to be energized and empowered in a way that I truly have never seen. The source of the empowerment was obvious — they felt that they had a voice.
What a remarkable day.
My job was to entertain the crowd with thought provoking anecdotes and aphorisms and, if possible, create conflict by dowsing naive ebullience with facts and historical context. I did my best. But, try as I might, I could not escape the sheer power of technologically empowered social force in the room.
If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, here are a few of the 500+ tweets that were sent while I was speaking. Dozens of audience members used their PDA’s or laptops to send these small 140 character messages to their followers in real time.
Note: What you are about to read is a collection of tweets that share the common key phrase "Shelly Palmer." This is a digest assembled to make it easier for you to read here. In their original form, these micro-blog posts appeared in the news feeds of the followers of these individual tweeters with the intention of being read in near real time.
@thinkmaya Shelly Palmer talking at #soccomm
@Jennifer Shelly Palmer’s on stage at #SocComm. "First of all, social media is OLD. Really, really old."
@NYCRockStar Shelly Palmer is restarting #soccomm… Says that we should "suspect" everything we’ve heard today.. Agreed! "Social media" is 3500yrs old.
@meshugavi Shelly Palmer calling BS on the crowd at #soccomm
@elliotschimel RT @meshugavi: Shelly Palmer caling BS on the crowd at #soccomm
@digitalsista shelly palmer (nt a wmn, unfortunately) make sure all these "experts" know that soc. med is really old not new. Have been saying it #soccomm
@elyrosenstock Shelly Palmer "social media is not new" – Random audience member " I love you!" #soccomm
@SukiFuller "social media has been around since the first two people" – Shelly Palmer – No BS, I love it #soccomm
@ilissanyc RT @meshugavi: Shelly Palmer caling BS on the crowd at #soccomm
@elyrosenstock RT @elliotschimel: RT @meshugavi: Shelly Palmer caling BS on the crowd at #soccomm
@elyrosenstock Shelly Palmer, "attention and intention are currencies" #soccomm
@davekerpen OMG Shelly Palmer current speaker at #soccomm did "Let’s Go Mets" song??? I’m freaking out-someone please @ or dm me deets!
@leoraisrael #soccomm shelly palmer is talking about the delusion that media is dead
@derekhalpern I will have a shelly palmer is disagreeing with @garyvee – video to follow later _ #soccomm
@venndiagram8 #soccomm Shelly Palmer says big media is in best position to take advantage of new media.
@GloriaBell Just because you can get it out there quick does not mean it is any good. Shelly Palmer #soccomm
@DeepakDas "just because you can get it (content) out there quick, doesn’t mean its good" Shelly Palmer #soccomm
@elliotschimel Shelly Palmer gave an excellent speech at #soccomm.
@venndiagram8 #soccomm Shelly Palmer needed more time! Lots of questions!
@karengg Shelly Palmer does not think that things are fundamentally different today except for speed and reach — fundamental talent has always won.
@NYCRockStar RT@elliotschimel Shelly Palmer gave an excellent speech at #soccomm. Word Up.
@davekerpen Sorry I haven’t been tweeting last hour re #Soccomm Was talking to my new hero Shelly Palmer. Let’s go Mets!
@elyrosenstock @garyvee Shelly Palmer did a number on your speech @ #soccomm You should have hung around
For a moment in time, circa 2:20pm to 3:00pm this past Tuesday, I was micro-famous to about 15,000 collective followers of about 25 assorted micro-bloggers all sharing a common experience. This, by itself, is amazing. But it takes on a new meaning when you notice that each of these individuals crafted what they were hearing into something they felt was valuable enough to share with their followers. Each person added something and the collected work is humbling.
Add the RT (retweets) that you see above, a feature that lets tweeters resend each other’s tweets — then add the collected #SocComm tag, which lets unrelated people who were following the event (not the individual tweeters) read the feed, and you start to feel what everyone at SocComm felt — the power of their own voices.
I was not famous for 15 minutes or 15 megabytes … I was famous for 15 words. Awesome!
Anyone wondering if there is a commercial application for this technology should give me a call. The commercial potential of micro-fame and micro-blogging is mind boggling. Truly, the tweet is mightier than the pen.