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My Take on the #Social India Conference 2011

It’s been a busy, packed weekend but very fruitful. In all the conferences and sessions I’ve attended on Social Media this one offered the most bang for my buck. Since I think it added value I’m writing this post to thank all the speakers for sharing and to let others interested in social media know that they shouldn’t miss the #Social India Conference 2012. 😀

Before I go on, here’s a few people I met over twitter and then in real life at the conference.
Prasant Naidu – @LHInsights,
Ambuj Tiwari – @TweetGyan,
Thilak Rao – @Thilak,
Sachin Karnik – @_SachinKarnik,
Millie Khanna – @Anomillie
It was nice to put a face to an ID; keep tweeting 🙂 I met a lot of other people too; thanks to all who made my weekend such fun.

Now onto the conference, we had 11 speakers by my count and the majority were great. I’m gonna list out and thank those that added value according to me, the rest I’m choosing to ignore 😀

These are just my highlights! The speakers talked about a lot of things and I can’t and won’t go into too much about it here. If you missed it, tough luck; make sure you attend the next conference. 😛

Stefan Kolle@FLB_StefanKolle
Stefan reinforced all I believe Social Media is about. It’s putting the customer first. It’s not about what you want to tell your customer but about what customers want to tell you and what they are saying about you. It’s about what they need and not what you want. Thanks Stefan.

Shashank Nigam@simpliflying
Shashank’s talk was an eye-opener to all the airlines are doing across the world in social media and some of them are doing a great job even if their (customer) service still sucks 😀 I kept wondering how he chose the airline industry to work in until Kiruba told us. Wish I had had the chance to ask Shashank myself. Do you want to know? Ask Shashank at @simpliflying 🙂

Valerie R Wagoner@valrozycki
Valerie’s company offers a very interesting service for India where almost all of the population has mobile phones but only a small section has smart phones and uses the internet extensively. ZipDial offers companies a way to get feedback and activity from users using phone numbers that they just give missed calls to. That means it costs customers nothing but gives companies invaluable feedback and a way to engage with users. Make sure you check it out!

Gillian Muessig@SEOmom
Gillian shared her story of how SEOmoz came to be and a lot of other things. Her story was an inspiration – as mother of three kids working is tough and making it even tougher – thanks Gillian for reminding me about tenacity. They other point that I’m not likely to forget soon is their company ethic – TAGFEE – Transparency, Authenticity, Generosity, Fun, Empathy, Exceptional; I loved that and hope to follow it always.

Also Gillian thank you for the sticker and the little MozBot pendrive. It’s going to be a prize possession for some time to come. (Can’t wait to show it to the hubby and see him burn :D)

Jim Long@NewMediaJim
Jim talked over Skype at the conference and reminded me yet again of just how small our world has become. It was interesting to listen to an NBC Newsman – his life and his take on social media. Your quip that you don’t have 44,000 followers but rather 44,000 teachers touched my heart.

Eric Weaver@weave
First of all thank you Eric for spear heading the conference, it added a lot of value to my work in Social Media and MY LIFE. Touching peoples lives is the key to social today and you led by example. 🙂

Eric shared great insights about how companies use social media and how they should be using it. Just like Stefan, you reinforced my beliefs when the world seems to be saying otherwise; thank you.

Kiruba Shankar@Kiruba
Kiruba is a man you should make time to meet and interact with. He is so many things and yet just one man and a humble one at that. I’m looking forward to getting to know him better on Twitter and maybe even in the real world 😀

BTW if you’re a comics person or even if you’re not – please help Kiruba with his Limca Book of Records Attempt to have the largest collection of comics in India.

Shauna Causey@ShaunaCausey
Shauna has worked for Comcast and had the opportunity to experience the difference one man can make. If you don’t know the @Comcastcares story, just Google it and read Frank’s version . Thanks Shauna; I knew the Comcast story but it was great to hear it first-hand.

Narendra Nag@narendranag
I bumped into Narendra at coffee on the first day and got talking just coz I felt he had a wacky sense of humour (don’t know too many people like that and I like that – wacky people that is :D) Took me a while to realise he was a speaker but not before I’d said some things I might not have if I’d known. 😛

His presentation was insightful and thought provoking. Here’s a guy I’d like to hear more from over the years.

Sean Moffitt @SeanMoffitt
A friend on twitter told me she was a friend of Sean’s and that I shouldn’t miss his talk. Truthfully I didn’t take it very seriously and almost did miss his talk. Mom was baby-sitting for me (I have three dogs, if you can call them that!) and she had to leave so, I had to return home before 6pm. At the last minute I asked her if she could please extend her deadline; and Moms being Moms she said yes. Thanks a ton Mama.

It was totally worth it, Sean’s presentation was fun but also very insightful and thought-provoking. A great way to end the conference – with a head full and packed with thoughts and ideas. I can’t put it all in words so gonna simply say – Thanks a ton Sean for making it! (Special thanks to Mariellen @BreatheDreamGo for pointing him in the right direction :D)

Last but not the least a special thanks to AkshayaPatra, Anant and Infinity. I have heard of AkshayaPatra’s work before but listening to so many people who have seen it first hand was touching. Lately I seem to be coming across so many people who are making a difference and changing the world – not in big ways but in small steps – but like they say ‘little drops of water make an ocean’. Kudos to AkshayaPatra and Anant. If you have a moment, check them out and help out – it doesn’t take much and costs just as much as a Pizza these days 😀

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