Today, I attended the Comment Conference morning session at Edelman which was fascinating, a perk of Editorial Intelligence membership.
Some people may wonder why I attend these type of events, but sometimes going totally out of your comfort zone is healthy. I always meet interesting people and learn interesting facts about business which can be very beneficial and over the past 18 months of being a member of EI have used in conversation. In fact I bumped into an old work colleague who I hadn’t seen in over 10 years which was great.
I also met two lovely ladies, both in corporate communications who were genuinely interested in my world of Wedding and Party Planning as, it was different. However, topically having last week had the news coverage of the issue of etiquette and the step mother’s email on her future daughter in laws manners. All, I can say on this matter is that you can not choose your extended family so on a wedding day it is important to remember that it is about the couple whose big day it is. So, the parents and family should put any issues behind them if only for the hours of the wedding and as a wedding planner this is very common.
Anyway, the day kick started with the traditional ‘Thought of the Day’ but with a mobile angle. David Rowan of Wired someone I have heard a few times at EI events and find very interesting as he doesn’t use jargon. I love the idea of his new buzz word ‘SoLoMo’ meaning Social. Local. Mobile. I will certainly be off to make my purchase of Wired tomorrow so I can read more about how it all works as it certainly makes sense and is the way forward.
We then had a really interesting, if somewhat disturbing panel chaired by Frank Gardner a Security Correspondent for the BBC. The topic was Cyber Security ‘How safe can your data ever be?’. It was agreed that education of how to protect oneself was important and that we all needed to take responsibility for our own actions and that we can’t always blame corporates and the government. It was also agreed that when people abuse the cyber world and hack into companies then punishments should be more evident. It was also pointed out though that not everyone is even aware of having a breach / cyber security attack, which is quite a scary thought. The panel was made up of Damian Collins MP, Misha Glenny, Henry Harrison and Inmaculada Martinez.
Then, the part I had been waiting for ‘Tweeting, Blogging, Messaging’ and I was shocked to see when we had to do a show of hands that over 80% of the attendees tweeted actively but that only 30% about had a blog. This discussion was chaired by founder of EI, Julia Hobsbawn who is a complete tweet addict and proud of it. I was a little concerned by one comment from the audience, that this person having attended a meeting and collected business cards that because some people were not on twitter or Linked-In that they were not worth knowing ~ Is it not a personal choice on what social platforms you use and not everyone’s jobs allows this platform of social media. Fortunately, I was not the only one shocked by this comment but tweeting is not for everyone and I believe it would be an invasion of my client’s privacy and that is why I opted for the blog.
It was an interesting panel with Will Straw formerly of ‘Left Foot Forward’ and was therefore offering us a political angle. Then, we had Noam Shemtov who is lecturer in IP and Computer Communication Law so highlighting data protection and content with a legal angle. Then someone, I have followed through blogs and discussion forums for a while was Kerstin Rogers ak Ms Marmitelover who is the founder of The Supper Club a pop up restaurant in her living room, where she invites complete strangers to come into her home for a meal. What a lady she was and it was nice to put a face to Ms Marmitelover. Lastly, it was Jennifer Howze co founder of BritMums presently being re-launched and Cybermummy. It was interesting what she said about blogging and that people use it for different reasons and that it can be an extension of the person, or a brand. I agree whole heartedly with this, as that is why I started my blog to give a people an insight into the real me.
One of the discussions raised as well was the ‘freedom of speech’ with comments linked to articles and how they should be moderated. Well, as everyone said and I can’t agree more that if you don’t want people to know your business or views then don’t put them into cyber space and that includes flippant comments which can be twisted and may come back to bite you on the bottom in years to come. One example referred to was where teenagers use Face Book thinking it is cool to post pictures of drunken nights etc but only 10 years down the line as you start the job hunting your future employee may not see the funny side as once in cyber space it is hard to erase.
It was a great morning and I thoroughly enjoyed the discussions.
The final round-up was a bonus as a special insight into the hot topic of the moment ‘phone hacking and News of the World’ which was delivered by Mark Lewis the acclaimed lawyer acting on behalf of Minnie Dowler’s parents as he was on his way to the House of Lords. All, I can say on this instance, is that it is disgusting that any human could have played with people’s emotions at a time when they were vulnerable all for a story!
If you want to hear the live pod cast from this event you will be able to listen at www.commentconference.com within the next few days.
And for more details on Editorial Intelligence who are the amazing organisation who host these events check out www.editorialintelligence.com as they offer a variety of thought-provoking events.