Dan Abrams and Jermaine Dupri Kick Off Social Media Week

In lieu of New York Fashion Week and the notorious trendies it brings to the streets of Manhattan, a different ilk of entrepreneurs has taken residency for Social Media Week 2012. Entering its fourth run in the city, SMW returns to New York with the focus of "Empowering Change Through Collaboration." In just under three years, Social Media Week has expanded its audience to over 60,000 attendees in 21 countries, not to mention the reach their Livestream channel attracts.

From "How Sweet It Is to Be Liked By You" to "@HAHAHAHA: How To Be Funny in 140 Characters or Less" to arguably more tactful panels "The Classroom of the Future: How Social Media Can Better Our Education System" and "Translation Presents Connectivity: Discovering the Power of Social Communities in Music," the Social Media Week roster is set to feature a wide range of topics. This week’s keynote speakers include Chris Kaskie, President of Pitchfork Media, Ben Kaufman of Quirky, and Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn, amongst others. Here are a few highlights from yesterday’s kick-off.

Dan Abrams keynote speech on the future of brand journalism in social media: Abrams commented on the week’s importance in acknowledging the divide between broadcast and digital media. "Look, I think that the old media often responds to what’s trending… It used to be ‘What’s trending on Google?’ –that was the thing that people would look to– well that’s now moved. What is trending on Google is just one piece in addition to what’s trending on Twitter, what people are doing on Facebook, and well beyond." Abrams suggested a possible shift in trend evaluation in the next few years, and revealed his own worries in the digital era admitting that owning online properties outright means that he "doesn’t sleep at night."

Jermaine Dupri keynote speech on building a community: Dupri recently launched "Global 14," a social network destination that combines Dupri’s collective sense of online forums and passion for hip hop music and fashion. "I had to create a mindset for everyone who is on the site, that this is their community. If you don’t want people spamming your site, you should say something about it."

Social Media Week has created a video and adjacent Tumblr called "Future Hipsters" to accompany their mindset "See the future before it happens." With a nod to dubstep, community managers, and aimless food blogging, the people at SMW have come scarily close to predicting the 2062 digital age. Stay tuned for more highlights from this year’s event.

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