6/2/2010: Inaugural Meeting of the Social Media Club of Lawrence
A diverse group of about 20 social media users met at Mirth Cafe today for the inaugural Social Media Club of Lawrence meeting. Attendees ranged from newbies to experienced users, and personal users and job seekers to employees of hospitals, credit unions, educational institutions seeking ways for social media to help their businesses.
Ben Smith, chapter president, started off the meeting by explaining the purpose of the group. There are other active social media groups in Lawrence and the surrounding communities, but Ben saw a need for a group with a business focus- one that could help employees of businesses and organizations understand the power of social media and also provide a networking component. Ben hopes that local social media groups such as the Lawrence Tweetup, Topeka Tweetup and Social Media Club of Kansas City can partner with this group on various events. The annual Lawrence Tweetup Picnic in the Park will be held on Saturday, June 19, and all of these groups are invited to get together.
The board members of Social Media Club of Lawrence introduced themselves:
* Katy Ibsen, Programming Director
* Andy Bracciano, Partnership Director
* Julie Martell, Co-Production Director
* Debbi Johanning, Promotions Director
* Nate Bunnyfield, Technology Director
* Katie Brosius, Membership Director
* Dave Greenbaum, At-Large Board Member
Wendy Smith is the group's other co-production director, and unfortunately she wasn't able to join us this morning.
The attendees all had a chance to introduce themselves and tell a little about what brought them to the group and what they hoped to get out of it.
Ben explained that the group would meet every Wednesday from 7:30 to 8:30 at Mirth Cafe. Once a month we'll have a more formal presentation about a social media topic or case study, but the other meetings each month will be purely for small group discussions and networking with each other.
Lots of great ideas were suggested for future meetings:
* Best practices for businesses, such as how frequently to post updates, how to engage with customers, and how to deal with negativity
* Balancing the topics so that new users don't feel intimidated, but experienced users will still find value
* Discussions of current social media topics while also looking ahead to what's coming in the future
* Actual case study examples instead of theories
* Recording sessions for people who can't be there, using audio, video, and Skype to allow interaction
We plan to create and maintain Twitter lists and other directories of attendees each week to help people connect with each other online.
A big thank you to the Mirth Cafe for offering to host our weekly meetings and reserving the atrium space for our group. It's a great space, and the Mirth has a great breakfast menu.
Whether you were at this morning's meeting or not, we'd love to hear your suggestions. Leave a comment here on the blog, or contact any of the board members. If you have ideas for program topics, please contact Katy Ibsen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, we encourage you to join the local group and create a profile.
We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday. Bring a friend!