Last June, on the very last day of school, the longest day of the year for teachers, my friend David Salowe and I came up with an idea, a rough verbal sketch of what would become AsburyPop and the 140SecondFilmFestival last November. The night’s events came from our love of Asbury Park, David’s passion for independent film, and my desire to create an event for local social media participants. We had no idea if we could even pull off the event, but through our creative use of Twitter and good old word of mouth advertising, AsburyPop attracted 9 presenters and almost 80 attendees to Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park.
That initial event prompted such an enthusiastic response from so many different people, artists, small business owners, journalists, new friends and old, that I decided to broaden the locale served from Asbury Park to the Jersey Shore. While the name AsburyPop conveyed my vision of a Pop Culture/Social Media event in Asbury Park, expanding my audience required a new name. David came through once again; while brainstorming titles for a film event, he suggested VoxPop, short for “voice of the people”, to his team. While it didn’t fit for their film event, it was perfect for my expanded vision of AsburyPop.
Social Media is the Voice of the People.
I’ve started the year by organizing monthly social media workshops each with a particular theme. In January, Jennifer Crews of Pearl Advisory Partners, and myself ran a workshop entitled “DeMystifying Social Media for Small Business” at The Showroom in Asbury Park. Again, the turnout was more than expected, and participants left with specific social media goals for their particular business. A number of attendees also asked for smaller workshops on writing blogs and creating Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Look for intensives on these topics limited to 5 participants coming in March.
Our next event on February 27, 2010, also at The Showroom, is entitled “Social Media for Creative People” and will be followed by a showing of short films by ProjectTwenty1 after a dinner break. Stephanie Yuhas, Executive Producer of ProjectTwenty1, will lead this workshop about harnessing various social media sites in ways useful to artists, filmmakers, writers and other creative people. Her innovative use of Facebook and the ProjectTwenty1 persona “Susy Filmmaker” highlights the way social media can spread the word about a creative endeavor – for free! Joanna Carides of Brand New Day Media will also present some ingenious, uncommon approaches to social media to help attendees avoid being lost in the virtual crowd.
Please visit this blog site (or sign up for our RSS feed) regularly to read about upcoming events, how local people are using social media, and posts by guest bloggers discussing their own experience in this new online environment.