I've been wanting to write about the meet the makers conference I attended earlier this month which was put on by influx insights and Ed Cotton. It was a good exhibition and get together. Ed brought together an eclectic group of doers essentially, from a craft brooklyn bicycle maker Thomas Callahan of Horse Cycles to Behance co-founder and author Scott Belsky to Sarah Rich, of the 48-hour magazine Longshot.
Ed also had in Mark Barden, author of Eat Big Fish. He's a long time name in the business, and it was very grounding for me to see some of the work and new insight gathering techniques Mark had adopted that dovetailed with work I've been comfortable with for a while.
The session also included a 'creating an instant character' exercise run by improv performer Gary Hirsch of On Your Feet - which was fun, and got the group on their feet, collaborating and of course, making. (photos below).
The greatest impact on me was the Sarah Rich's 48-hour magazine (now called Longshot) - developed entirely online, and with submissions, ideas, and understandings also all gathered digitally and through Twitter/social media. This effort was the really the first step in my belief in the power of social media to create something very cool and positive, and not just some game or contest sponsored by a client.
This was a people effort. Which today brings me to step 2: Lady Gaga - and her use of Twitter to raise awareness for the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy and insistence of its repeal - which this past weekend Congress did in fact vote to strike. She didn't do it alone, but using her platform, she helped move this policy forward. That's a huge step for social media. It maybe Twitter is the channel or property of power, as the landscape begins to take shape. Myspace for music, Facebook for social calendar, fun, and pics. Twitter for news and business.