Sunday, March 9th, 2008
I guess we should have taken the question mark in the title more seriously when considering the panel
“Social Marketing Strategies Metrics, Where Are They?” yesterday. Because we all left saying “indeed, where are they?”
It seems that lots of attendees expected to hear about metrics. After all “metrics” was in the title and one of the questions to be addressed was “what is the best metric to focus on to gauge success of a social media effort?”
But about 20 minutes in, it started to sink in that this panel wasn’t going to discuss any actual numbers, products, services or case studies. It was gonna be… talk. Theory. Impressions. Rohit did try to drag the conversation towards concrete information, but he was buried in other panelists’ mush.
The ennui first started to percolate in twitter and then leapt over into Meebo the chat room dedicated to discussing the panel. Here’s the full transcript. Many of the comments are real-time parodies or rebuttals to points being made so the full force of the
humor and vitriol may not be apparent.
At one point, up to 30 people were crowded into Meebo venting. It felt like Hungary circa 1988… you knew the wall was coming down, but the public space was monopolized and you had to resort to covert technologies and techniques — coughing, hand-raising — to express your dissent and solidarity with other dissenters.
As one Meebo put it, “How ironic is it that this panel of experts is being heckled in a chat room, but they don’t know because they’re luddites.”
In the end, the total experience — clueless panel and agitating audience — was a phenomenal experience.
I’m a passionate fan of SXSW and hope that this Meebo log, perhaps paired with a transcription of the panel’s podcast, can be used to motivate moderators and panelists to watch and listen closely to the audience (with Meebo open!) and not brush off the first impatient questioner — 30 minute in — who says “a bunch of people are talking on twitter and we’d like some specific data and metrics” with the answer, “we’ll get to that later.”
Because its always later than you think when it comes to social media metrics.
Perfect Porridge pegs me as “avenger.”
Update: more on twitter as a mechanism for angry audience venting.
Avenger and friends intrigue Wired.