At the end of last year, I worked very hard alongside some colleagues at Factiva (Dow Jones) to coordinate a roundtable event to discuss Social Media with thought leaders in the Bay Area. The thought to have the roundtable came to me after speaking with Jeremiah Owyang and sharing my frustrations with the fact that every time i met up with people who were talking about Social Media, I always wanted my Factiva Insight product folks in the room- to listen and participate in those conversations. So what i managed to do was bring them West using a combination of social media itself (i blogged, reached out to other bloggers via comments etc) and good old fashion networking (i went from pub to pub in San Francisco- seriously i am not kidding) to engage members of the community that i knew would make great participants. We also reached out to a handful of local clients that we knew where dealing with these issues internally.
The location was a wonderful place called Zibibbo's in Palo Alto, CA where the food was incredible and the wine nicely poured...and what a great crowd we managed to get.
What were some of the questions we were/are trying to answer during this roundtable ?
- Do you believe Consumer Generated Media is important and should be measured?
- Who is creating Social Media? What are they creating? And is the who more important then the what?
- If you are producing Social Media as part of your PR/Marketing plan, how will you measure ROI?
- Do you think that Social Media needs a structured, mutually agreed upon measurement techniques and metrics (e.g. MSM's ad value equivalence and article impressions) to make monitoring a more serious practice?
- So what should be measured, and how do you want it delivered?
One of the agreed outcomes of the roundtable was that we would produce a white paper of the information that we gathered along with our co-author Jeremiah Owyang. Well for months and months i have been bugging (read harassing) Marketing about this white paper and when it would be finalized. Well as you know, Factiva has gone through a lot of corporate changes- we officially became Dow Jones in January and then five months later the news about the News Corp acquisition- well i guess they have all been busy. I am sure i have made more then one enemy being a pestering little bug- oh well i hope we can make up soon.
So the final outcome is this report authored by Matt Toll of our Marketing group and Jeremiah Owyang. You can Download the Report here: “Tracking the Influence” (PDF).
Since the event- many of the participants have continued to talk and address issues of social media measurement- some of the companies that participated have implemented strategies that they continue to refine. The white paper has some good thoughts and ideas by the participants and we hope that their voices are heard. As Jeremiah describes it, the white paper serves as a good primer for those that are new to the concept, or for those who need to start deploying a program but also provides a good insight into what was going through on minds on that day in December of 2006.
Additional information about the roundtable is available on the Factiva Roundtable wiki that was used to coordinate the event and provide a place for reflection afterwards. More pictures from the event here and shortly if i ever get to re-re-encode my video files i will post video clips of the participants.
and some final words?