I am not an objective writer about Social Media Week. I attended the first two years of this six-year-old worldwide event in New York City when it was free, largely grassroots and spread throughout the city.
The last two or three years, SMW has become inevitably more corporate, expensive, polished and streamlined, though many of the events are still free and available on a first come, first serve basis.
That being said, however, I wanted to share some thoughts. For instance, one of my favorite tools to chart conversations around social media is Crimson Hexagon, which quickly helped me create a “topic wave” of the major topics and when they peaked at the event. Most of the buzz around #SMWNYC happened last Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 18 and 19.
Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of this year’s SMW event was the constant crowds. It was hard to get into many of the sessions, with constant lines forming and moving. Another evolving aspect of event planning was evident: Many sessions had their own unique hashtags so they could better be tracked and engaged with in social media.
My thoughts about Social Media Week were more colored by what took place at the same time, around the event, more than what was going on there. For example, Facebook announced its acquisition of WhatsApp and Sprinklr announced its acquisition of Dachis Group pretty much on the same day. With Jeff Dachis speaking at Social Media Week, the timing of the latter was convenient, though the announcement left me wondering what is next for Sprinklr with its entry into big data.
This time, Social Media Week focused on “The Future of Now: Always On and Always Connected.” I attended two sessions in person: both Unruly Viral Marketing sessions in NYC (#SMWUNRULY). Fortunately, most of the sessions were streamed, and the videos will live perpetually online (but you need to create an account on the Social Media Week site to actually view the livestreams that were recorded).