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Social Media Week: My Silly Mistake that Turned Out Very Well

Lesson learned: Social Media Week events sell out fast. So either register for your top picks immediately, or dive in and create a session of your own. [Image by jspatchwork|A few weeks ago, I wrote Getting Social, for the Public Good, because I was so impressed with the way Social Media Week 2012 was shaping up. I couldn’t say enough about the interesting events planned for non-profit professionals and for writers – two of the groups I can identify with the most.

But I did something really silly. I was so excited that I wrote and tweeted about it before I took the time to register myself. When I returned to register a day and a half later, many of the events for non-profits were sold out. I was sad that I wouldn’t be able to go to Now Trending: Social media & the charitable sector with Clare McDowall and Clair Kerr. But only for a minute because then I made what turned out to be a fantastic decision.

Knowing that there was demand among non-profit professionals for social media discussion, and that I didn't want to miss out on social media week, I called PIC colleague Amy Sept of Nimbyist Communications and said “How would you feel about putting on a session together?”

So we dived right in. A few short weeks later, we are putting the final touches on the presentation for Monday, February 13 titled From Slacktivist to Activist: Partners in change, one small step at a time. I hope you can join us.

I’m so grateful to Amy for partnering and making this possible, to TechSoup Canada for being our room and A/V sponsor, to colleagues who helped identify speakers, and to the Toronto conference organizer Entrinsic.

Perhaps most of all, I’m grateful to the panelists who will be presenting.

Kirstin Beardsley, from Canada Helps, will speak about how non-profits can use social media tools to support their fundraising efforts.

Tierney Smith will tell us about how TechSoup Canada uses social media tools to empower non-profits in their use of technology and to bring people together through meetup groups.

George Irish will tell us how Amnesty International Canada collaborated with a corporate partner and pro bono service provider to develop the ai50 campaign.

Boyd Neil, from Hill and Knowlton Canada, will share insight about the process of bringing slacktivists and digital activists into offline activism.

If you can’t join us, you can still follow the hashtag #smwtoslacktivist. The conversation has already started and we’ll be sharing more during the event. We plan to share a recording of the discussion too.

The social media week theme this year is “empowering change through collaboration” – something the non-profit sector and charities know all about. I was certainly overwhelmed by the generosity of colleagues who are giving their time and insight and working together to make this panel happen. I'll share a few thoughts about non-profits as natural facilitators for collaboration at the event on Monday.

Slacktivist to Activist is not the only event added to the Social Media Week schedule since I wrote that first blog post. There are over 116 events planned and over 1800 participants registered to attend Toronto’s digital culture festival.

Here are a couple of the other additions, of interest to people from all sectors, that caught my eye.

  • The Redefine Online Lunch and Learn series, sponsored by PWAC Toronto Chapter and Vengeo, will explore ways to create digital community using simple drag & drop tools to create your online properties
  • The LinkedIn Success Lounge, where you can get advice on setting up or improving your personal profile or company page and have a complimentary photo taken to help you show your best side

Having trouble choosing among the 116 events? Maybe it will help to take a moment to relax and enjoy this cute video from Entrinsic about social media hipsters of the future.

If you’re going to be at the Slacktivist to Activist panel on Monday, the PWAC Digital Journalism for Pay panel that I mentioned in the previous post, or the LinkedIn Success Lounge on Wednesday afternoon, please let me know.  I’d love to connect in person.

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