My #140Cuse Experience!

I’ll get straight to the point: traveling to Syracuse for #140Cuse was worth it in every way!

The idea of the #140conf was created by Jeff Pulver, one of the creators of Vonage. At these conferences, they discuss “The State of NOW,” which covers how people are utilizing social media to help their cause. People give 10-minute talks, regardless of how famous they are or what order they are in the program. This makes for fun, exciting, and informative presentations.

Now I had heard about #140Cuse for a while but I was not entirely sure WHAT it was or how it was organized. That was until two RIT professors, Vic Perotti and Mike Johansson, approached me about speaking at a social media conference held at RIT. That’s when I found out it was called #140RIT and I would be giving a 10-minute talk. This was when my heart started to race with excitement. On April 10th, #140RIT was held. This was where I got to meet Mr. Pulver, Anthony Rotolo, a popular professor at Syracuse University, David Rosen, the coordinator of #140Cuse, as well as a number of students and faculty from Syracuse and RIT. After the butterflies had calmed down, I talked about how colleges are starting to utilize social media both in and out of the classroom, using RIT as the main example (link here). Once it was done, people seemed to enjoy it and they recommended that I go to Syracuse on the 19th. I happily said yes!

Me speaking at #140RIT. What an awesome opportunity!

When the day arrived, I met up with my friend Erin and my former boss Amanda and we sat to enjoy the conference. The list of people on the speaker list was incredible! So before I even sat down and started to network over Twitter, I had high expectations. Then the speakers came out and absolutely blew me away! Here are a lot that caught my attention and my favorites are in bold:

  • Chris Dowsett: Companies are using real-time media to reach out to its customers. Data people can now be marketers!
  • Brad Rosen: Real-time privacy. The idea of privacy has changed. Going past Facebook/Twitter blocks or sharing stuff outside of SM without permission are “NOT COOL, BRO!”
  • Michelle Tarby: When real-time media and crisis communication go wrong. People should constantly be monitoring their internet presence to see what comes up on Google.
  • George Couros: Twitter can be a compassionate place! Use technology to build relationships and to reach out to others.
  • Harrison Kratz: “Social media is not about having social. It’s BEING social.” Use social media to rally your cause. If you get a core group behind you, you can only go up.
  • ALEXIS OHANIAN: Not enough superlatives can describe this talk! The founder of Reddit talked about how influential social media and the internet is. That is why Reddit was so passionate in standing up against SOPA. He said “The world isn’t flat, but the internet is.” Give a damn about your world because it is changing. Oh, and Reddit has only spent $500 in advertising in its whole existence! ON STICKERS! WOW!
  • Beth Beck: The worker at NASA talked about how to build your own social empire:¬†find your coolness factor, know your community, find a niche, & be relevant. Oh, and she said NASA is NOT done with space work, thank goodness!
  • Brent Axe, Jameson Fleming, Matt Glaude: These sports writers talked about the never-ending world of sports and that has been enhanced thanks to Twitter. It is the best source for breaking news, and they targeted the Fab Melo story as their example.
  • Tim Pool: How social media has enhanced the news and brought the news to the real time. He was famous with his work done with Occupy Wall Street. He was encouraging and said “anyone can download an app in order to generate content” and “you can do a lot with 140 characters.”
  • JEFF PULVER: What more needs to be said. After having everyone hug each other, he mentioned that EVERYONE has a point. “If you’re alive, your voice matters!”
  • Alicia Staley: A 3x cancer survivor from Western New York, she utilized hashtags to find out more about her cancers and to connect with people. “Put a hashtag in front of anything and you have a community.”
  • HAJJ FLEMINGS: Hajj gave an awesome talk about creating your own brand in today’s start-up, digital economy. “You have to position yourself to be the guy/gal” that businesses are looking for.
  • JOSH LUKIN: Real-time tweeting in baseball is fun! People share materials with each other before, during, and after the game. “Water-cooler talk is happening in real time.”
  • Kim Svick: This was a similar talk to what I gave at #140RIT. She talked about how social media has expanded our ways of learning. “We can all be teachers. Be passionate about what you teach.”
  • Lauren Greutman: Social media helped her save thousands of dollars a year. She then started her own businesses where she helps others save money over social media. It helped her become aware of her spending habits.
  • Erica Tickle, Aaron Thompson: The two reps from Wegmans talked about how they use social media to interact with and help their customers. “Numbers are nice, but smiles are better.”
  • SAUL COLT: Social influence sites are nice, but not effective. Be influential from your content and don’t care about what those say. For example, mine is higher than Saul’s! That’s not right.
  • Sara Wallace: How to enhance your business with social media: answer questions, share photos, share vids, have promotions, share.
  • Amanda Hite: After telling us her amazing life story, she said to use social media to be an inspiration to others and BE THE CHANGE!

And while all of this was going on, I was networking with plenty of other people over Twitter. Thanks to the hashtag and the uStream, #140Cuse was nationally trending and thousands upon thousands of other people were impacted all across not only the United States, but the world! I gained a lot of new followers and I loved to talk to every one of them as the day progressed. A brand new community was born, and all that was needed was a phone or computer.

This was an absolutely INCREDIBLE two weeks. I connected with so many people over social media that now I do more people-to-people networking than I ever have before. I learned about the different ways to take social media and that I want to utilize them! Social media is fun. It is something I am passionate about. And I want to use it to better myself, my peers, and the world.

Social media is the now and the future. How are you going to utilize it?

Thank you Syracuse University for hosting such an incredible event. Thank you to all of the speakers for being so inspirational and touching me in one way or another. Thank you to the faculty at RIT for encouraging me to try social media.

And thank YOU for reading and giving me a few minutes of your day :)

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