Posted on : 19-10-2009 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Social Media
A year ago I had an amazing time at Blog World, 2008. In many ways that event was an out of body experience. It was my first ever speaking event. I was on a panel with Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, Brian Solis, Toby Bloomberg and Becky Carroll. I could never imagine speaking with such stars. What I did not realize at the time (at least until the after parties), many considered me a star too. During the party, when people realized who I was, a crowd gathered around. The whole experience was something I will never forget. I am especially grateful for all the friendships that developed.
Well Blog World is about creating experiences people will not forget and 2009 was no different. Again I was on an incredible panel for Social Media Success Stories with Samantha Gammell (Oscar Mayer — The wiener mobile!), Justin Levy, and Brian Wiegand. It was great to be paired with such terrific people. Blog World is so much more than a simple panel that I participated on. Of course there were a lot of parties and meetings. I had a terrific time at the Techset Party at the Bellagio, thanks Brian Solis! AdvertureGirl also put on a great party at Lavo; thanks Stefanie (I also appreciated the burger!). I also have to thank @WynnLasVegas for great conversation about social media and a terrific dinner at Wazuzu.
A big topic of conversation has been charities using social media to raise awareness and funds. This is a topic that has been close to me. As many of you are aware, I helped create the Comcast New Media Exchange, an event for non profits to learn how to use social media. For Blog World, 2009 the topic came up the moment I was getting on the plane. Behind me was a my friend Jay Scott, CEO of Alex’s Lemonade Stand (He and his wife Liz continued the effort of their daughter Alex, and are both hero’s in my eyes – read this prior post). When I arrived one of the first discussions I heard about was setting a world record for conversations in social media. The effort was to #beatcancer. You can view some of the tweats on their website. As you can imagine beating cancer is a big goal in my life. When we ended my panel I put out a plea for the effort in memory of our Angel Gia. Through the #beatcancer hashtag we reached a world record and raised a lot of money for cancer! Thank you Miller-Coors, eBay and PayPal!
The few days were a whirlwind of activity. I met up with so many friends, and gained many new ones. As it was all wrapping up, I was looking forward to going home. I received a call to go on CNN to talk about social media with Don Lemon. The spot featured Blog World found Rick Calvert, Jermaine Dupree, Tamara Knechtel, and my friend from Ford Scott Monty (The new Taurus SHO is very nice!). It was an amazing opportunity. I think I did okay, but looking at the tape I could see the nerves. There is one clip online and it is the one I messed up the most. Oh well, I was still happy with the experience, and hope to have it again some time. After the driver brought us back, I went to dinner with Anthony Edwards (you may know him from Top Gun, Revenge of the Nerds, or ER). I have met a few stars, and different than many, Tony was down to earth and a genuine nice guy. I am so happy we had the chance to meet. We were discussing his efforts to raise $10 from 500,000 people to help build a pediatric hospital in Kenya. I provided a few ideas to create a viral campaign, but I know they would love more. Please feel free to post them in the comments and I will share with them. The effort is part of Shoe4Africa. Visit their website to learn more about the effort. or watch the video below:
Social media, no matter if it is a blog, Twitter, Facebook or other space on the internet, gives you the opportunity to change the world. Seize the opportunity and share your passion to make a difference.