I recently attended the TEDx Fort Wayne event and was inspired by the amount of enthusiasm, inspiration, and togetherness shown by entrepreneurs, businessmen (and women), and others in attendance. The opportunity to attend was presented to me by my boss, but I was curious as to how others became involved in the event. I was astounded by the prominence of social media in the answers that I found.
Will Upchurch, public speaking professor at IPFW, was gracious enough to speak with me for a few moments about how his involvement in the conference came to be. He stated that a colleague of his had liked the event on Facebook which was then pushed or shown on his wall. One simple click of a button prompted further conversation about the TEDx Fort Wayne event and led to Will submitting a “talk” which was then accepted.
I spoke with several others during “intermissions” in the event where mingling and exchanging of information and stories took place. Some of these business people indicated that they had heard about the event through Tweets as they were following other businesses on Twitter that had become involved in TEDx Fort Wayne.
Curator of TEDx Fort Wayne, Craig Crook, was the upbeat commander-in-chief who was inspired by his love of action and “doers” in the community. His mission was to bring community members together to exchange ideas, start conversations, and get the “right idea to the right person who will do something with it.” Craig addressed the audience several times throughout the event and once stated that “social media was a necessary medium to get the message out due to a small budget.” (TED events are purely non-profit events and rely solely on donations.)
This concept of marketing brought me back to my web writing career as I often work with the social media aspect of SEO at My Web Writers. Each professional writer is frequently reminded of the importance of relevant copy so that buyers, readers, and searchers find what they are looking for quickly. I came to realize (as I had not thought of it before) that the same is true even when people are using social media for entertainment or support.
Clay Shirky spoke about the use of social media to form support groups and how young stay-at-home mothers are the leaders in the social media drive. The need for relevance in the search for their needs is extremely important as they don’t have much time on their hands to find each other and connect with other adults that have similar needs, wants, and desires. “Be careful of people’s attention spans,” stated Will Upchurch during his “talk”. People are busy in their everyday lives and can’t spend tons of time searching for something or someone because of irrelevant information. Sales and group participants will be lost if it requires too much effort and time to find.
TEDx Fort Wayne provided networking through social networking and support for doers in the Fort Wayne community by others with similar goals and passions. Brief social media connections led to an entire day’s worth of face-to-face interactions that will undoubtedly help change Fort Wayne’s community and businesses.