Today we have a special guest post by Andrew vonNagy, CCIE #28298 (Wireless), author of the blog Revolution Wi-Fi, Twitter @revolutionwifi and a Cisco customer. Huge thanks to Andrew for taking the time to share his Cisco Live experience!
Last week Cisco Live! 2011 took place in Las Vegas, NV. This year was my first time attending the conference, and I am a bit amazed at my experiences looking back on the event now that it is over. In addition to the deep technical content the conference is best known for, I found more valuable benefits are afforded to attendees willing to take a more active role in the technical community.
Arguably, the most valuable aspect of the conference is the opportunity for professional development through interaction with influential members of the industry, both internal and external to Cisco. Professional networking provides a foundation for growth and success by drawing on the energy of a collective group of friends and associates who share similar ambitions and have a drive to be successful, enabling the group to move forward as a whole. Building communities within the industry is when the magic starts to happen. Joining these communities can provide access to shared knowledge, creation of new and exciting opportunities, leveraging of broader connections throughout the community, and promotion of valuable content, products, or services created by trusted members within the community.
Many of these communities begin as virtual communities, built on social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and the rapidly growing Google+. These platforms enable greater access to members within the community, but must be used appropriately to be effective. Individuals trying to join the community must provide value to the larger collective and interaction must be genuine. A quote from a widely successful writer and blogger comes to mind…
Networking is always important when it’s real, and it’s always a useless distraction when it’s fake. – Seth Godin
Industry events, such as the Cisco Live! conference, bring the virtual community together allowing attendees to build on existing relations formed online and expand on them by providing more personal interaction, helping to form more meaningful relationships.
We’ve all heard of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and some of us may even have our own blog, but the question remains — how do we effectively use these online communication tools and how can we start to apply social media as a revenue generating engine?
An independent label manager in the audience of the SXSW Music panel, complained there are too many social networks for musicians and label / artist managers to keep up with. He wondered which ones are the most important to maintain presences on. Moderator Bill Werde, Editorial Director of Billboard Magazine, Michael Fiebach of the digital marketing and management agency Fame House and Paul Sinclair, SVP of Digital Media of Atlantic Records offer some strategy for this independent label manager asking the question.
As Paul Sinclair pointed out, musicians shouldn’t chase every new social network that comes along. But at a minimum, musicians are expected to have a dialog with their fans on Facebook and Twitter, and then use the conversations there to drive fans back to the artist web site.
At another SXSW 2011 panel about social networks and musicians titled ‘Musicians and the Social Graph’, DJ and video producer Mike Relm offered to the audience that musicians should take the time to figure out which social networks and services lend themselves best to the kind of conversation they want to have with fans. Relm offers that he primarily focuses on YouTube because he’s focused mostly on the production of video content. Yet he still uses the videos to drive fans back to his web site – http://mikerelm.com :
If Facebook and Twitter are the main social networks musicians are expected to engage with fans on, which other social networking services are important to fans? At the ‘Social Graph’ panel, Jonathan Crowley, Director of Business Development for Foursquare, talked about how rock giants Soundgardenused the location based social network. Twitter’s Jonathan Adams and SF Music Tech’s Brian Zisk joined the conversation, explaining how messages from musicians over social networks can then be amplified by their own fans.
Personally, I wasn’t using Foursquare as a music fan at SXSW 2011. It turns out if I had been following some of my favorite bands on Foursquare, I would have been let on the news that they were playing some secret shows. Please use the comments section below for any thoughts on the video conversations offered in this post.