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Lane County SAO Panel On Social Media

October 23, 2009

Good Social Media Meeting at Symantec in Sringfield

Interesting day in the Valley for me yesterday. Jamie, our intrepid reporter,  and I shot an excellent interview with Dan Whitaker about the founding of the SAO and a discussion of some of the 17 companies he has helped start. We’ll post Dan’s video early next week.

I then headed to Springfield to participate in a three person Social Media Panel. I was invited to sit-in with Wayne Skipper of Concentric Sky and Kelli Matthews with University of Oregon to discuss Web 2.0 and the ever so popular Social Media phenom. There was a good turnout and the Lane County SAO Chapter has new leadership and is rebuilding its chapter.

The Symantec folks have a world class support facility with 1,200 people in Springfield. I will be including Symantec in the History of Innovation Project.

Along with a good discussion a couple of interesting points came-up. Wayne said that his company Concentric Sky developed the back-end code for the Michal Moore web site in Python/Django with a custom admin interface and social media aware CMS. The site is handling  around 10 million hits a day.

I added my usual sage and wizened commentary. You can watch a Social Media for B2B presentation I did for the Corvallis SAO back in Feb. if you have trouble sleeping some night.

Kelly while discussing the potential downside to social media brought-up Amazon’s mis-handling of a recent controversy. Back in April, Amazon provided a weak response to a programming “glitch” that caused many gay- and lesbian-themed topics to be stripped of their sales rankings.

There was a Twitter Storm of backlash on #amazonfail. Amazon, Kelly advised, could have done a lot better job of using Social Media to quell the controversy. Instead of bungling the admittedly “… embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error…”

We wondered how badly Amazon would be hurt by the vicious backlash. Would it be temporary or cause lasting damage to one of the world’s first and largest online marketers?  Today’s Wall Street Journal may have the answer, good news for Amazon:

Hot Stocks: Amazon Surges To All-Time High,  Oct. 23, 2009
Shares of Inc. leap to record levels after the online retailer reports a 69% jump in third-quarter earnings. The shares have more than doubled since the start of the year. MarketWatch’s Dan Gallagher reports in San Francisco.

I thank Kevin Kenan of the Lane County SAO Chapter for the invitation, contact him if you want to get on their email invitation list. It was good to be there and we hope to see a strong contingent from the South-Valley at the Nov. 5 WIN 2009 Event.

On a sad note, one of my early anarchic heroes Soupy Sales has died at 83 yesterday. Soupy along with Mad Magazine and Rocky & Bullwinkle served as major influences on me and other wiseguys growing up in the 50’s.

So today a will dance and sing a slow liturgic version of “The Mouse” and pray that Soupy is now cracking-up the angels the way he used to break-up his stage crew.

On a happy note, I’ve been watching the IFC special on the 40th anniversary of Monty Python. If we went through grade school with Soupy we went through college with Python. This six-hour docu-series Monty Python: Almost the Truth (Lawyer’s Cut) is told in six parts, airing one-hour each night during IFC’s “Python-a-thon” beginning October 18, 2009 at 9:00 p.m.

Probably my favorite sketch is “The Argument Clinic” shown above. The six part documentary is excellent and is a joy for Python fans. One of the things I learned that surprised me was that Elvis was a big Python fan and could recite “The Holy Grail” word for word…

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