Social Media Week Comes to a Close With Support From Mayor Bloomberg

Just as Mercedes Fashion Week wraps up, Social Media Week will come to a close as well. With the final round of events happening today, keynote speaker Alec Ross from the Office of Hillary Clinton will present followed by a panel discussion called "Team Obama Talks Digital," in addition to presentations by Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn and venture capitalist Jalak Jobanputra.

The City of New York debuted four new social media channels yesterday at the NYC Tumblr headquarters as part of Social Media Week under the handle "NYC Gov." NYC Gov will now be on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Foursquare.

"In this era of the information age," Mayor Bloomberg said, "these social media platforms are where so many New Yorkers are increasingly getting their news, conducting their business, sharing their opinions, and living their lives."

The City designed these channels in direct partnership with each of the social media forums, and will use them to streamline top-level news to its followers. Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne commented on the necessity of embracing new technologies if New York is to continue increasing the potential of its digital sector.

Last night we attended the Pinterest and Pints after party at Definition 6 in the Flatiron Distirct following the presentation "Pining for Pinterest" given by Helen Todd, CEO of Sociality Squared.

Todd chatted with us about the phenomenon of Pinterest that has swept the internet in recent months.

"Pinterest is a visual curation website, it follows a virtual pinboard. The interesting thing, and why it’s so successful, is that it doesn’t compete with Facebook or Twitter, it actually compliments these services and adds another layer that they don’t fulfill."

Tonight’s Social Media Week closing party will be at District 36 from 7-10:00pm. From nightlife to panels, this week has been a whirlwind success for startups and veterans alike.

UPlanMe Celebrates Launch During Social Media Week

For the past few days, BlackBook has been attending events for Social Media Week 2012. Yesterday’s panels included "The Future of Sharing," "How Street Style Blogs Affect Retail and Design," and keynote presentations from Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance, and Chris Kaskie, President of Pitchfork Media. It wasn’t until last night that we finally had a chance to wet our feet in some SMW nightlife. With a full roster of after-parties set to end this year’s event on a high, or at least drunk note, these next few days will entail boozing and schmoozing of the networking type.

Last night’s UPlanMe Launch took place at Pranna, an upscale lounge and restaurant in downtown Manhattan. We meant to hit up the Instagram NYC Community Party at Tribeca Grand Hotel, but by the time we got elsewhere, reports were flying in via Twitter that it had been filled over capacity and didn’t have WiFi. We stayed at Pranna and got ourselves a drink, chatting with UPlanMe Co-Founder and former BlackBook Senior Account Executive Brian Kantor.

"What UPlanMe strives to do," Kantor said, "is to take everything in our users busy lives that they’re interested in, all of the events and everything in their schedules that’s going on from their favorite bands to TV shows, restaurants, bars, all your favorite brands, and put it directly into your account here." Kantor and colleague Sean Barkulis started the website in 2011.

As the "Pandora for your social life," the UPlanMe website provides users with a personalized calendar based on their interests, suggesting events that UPlanMe’s "Busy Bee" selects individually.

Partnered with Medea Vodka, Radeberger, and Summerstage at last night’s event, UPlanMe has additional services for businesses seeking to directly communicate events to their consumers, and offers analytic and demographic information straight from the site.

"So when you need to find a new shirt for an event that you have tonight," Kantor said, "You can go to your UPlanMe calendar and see all your favorite brands, saying well these 5 brands are having in-store events today, I should go check them out, or I want to stay home with my significant other tonight and just watch TV, which of my favorite shows are on?’"

In the spirt of SMW, Kantor discussed with us the uniqueness of each online platform, acknowledging that there’s really no such thing as "typical" in the world of social media.

"Facebook is all about communicating with your friends, and Twitter is essentially the new global news organization. We focus on capturing our users while they’re in the act of planning their lives."

Social Media Week Takes on Social News Strategies

As the second day of Social Media Week began, digital savants gathered in venues across the city for presentations centered around what host firm Crowdcentric considers to be social media’s role "as a catalyst in driving cultural, economic, political, and social change in developed and emerging markets." Keynote speakers of the day included gamification expert Gabe Zichermann, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services founder Rachel Lloyd, and entrepreneur/raconteur Kevin Slavin.

An interview with John Katzman and Jeremy Johnson, founders of the groundbreaking online school 2tor started off the morning, followed by a panel discussion on the future of higher education and the central question: "Will colleges survive?" Katzman commented on Peter Thiel’s theories of the education bubble, saying, "Anything you learned in college you could have learned on your own just getting the textbooks and being an autodidact. I don’t think it would be the same, and higher education done right is a terrific thing… There’s nothing that anybody does for us today that we couldn’t do for ourselves. We could make all our own meals, but there’s something to be said for a community coming together."

Featuring the social media leads of NBC News, The New York Times, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg News, and CNN U.S., luncheon panel discussion "Socializing the News" was the day’s predominant event.

Presenters Jake Porway, Anthony de Rosa, Steve Krakauer, Elizabeth Heron, Craig Kanalley, and Mat Yurow discussed their own roles in leveraging content effectively now that news sharing occurs around the digital watercooler. Reuters social media editor De Rosa, known as the reputable Tumblr personality SoupSoup, remarked on the fine line between witty and deceitful social media strategy, "The thing with social that’s different than writing headlines on the web is that you need to grab people’s attention, and you don’t want to be as literal as headlines on a website… There’s so much information flooding by people’s eyes when they’re looking at Twitter and Facebook." Porway, data scientist from the Times, debuted "Project Cascade," a visual representation tool that will help analyzers understand how people are sharing news content on social media forums.

Tuesday evening’s programming catered to the Valentine’s Day sentiment, with "More Than ‘Likes’ Can Say," "Supercharging Your Love for Facebook Marketing," "Social Love: The Future of Social Media and Relationships" and "How Sweet It Is to Be Liked By You." Social Media Week continues through Friday with many more events from the gurus of digital strategy.

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.

Interns First Fashion Show: Yigal Azrouël

Do you remember the first time you drove a car? Broke into your parents’ liquor cabinet? Fell in love? It’s an overwhelming feeling of adrenaline mixed with anticipation and slight hesitation, all at the same time. The feeling was just the same at this morning’s Yigal Azruel show, my first venture into the white-tented world of NYC Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

It started off just like any other day- get up, get dressed, get coffee, get to work. Typically, a “usual” day in Manhattan is suddenly off-set by a simple date with destiny- sitting across from Agyness Deyn on the subway, running into Karlie Kloss in Union Square, finding a crinkled twenty-dollar bill in a jeans pocket (later used to pay the month’s electric bill). But today wasn’t just “unusual”, it was straight up magical. Ushered in front of the masses of people waiting for a glimpse of an Olsen or Ronson, I found myself in those majestic white tents fashion devotees dream of. Men and women dressed to the nines in the latest sky-scraping Choos stood defiantly, either pretending to be famous or unrecognizably so. And there I was among them, Chucks, Forever 21 jeans, shirt from Goodwill, and all. I continued through the fashion rubbernecking, keeping an eye out for Tavi and Jane Aldridge just in case other minors had decided to take a walk in Bryant Park. Finally, I was seated. It’s a peculiar feeling, waiting for a show to start. Cameras are snapping, high-heeled ladies are yapping to their companions who are nearly always gay. Writers settle in, notebooks ready, and then everything goes quiet. The lights dim as the excitement grows. Everyone is waiting for that moment; blinding lights on, music pumping, with the first model stomps in rhythm. For my very first show, this moment came at Yigal Azrouël with a tuxedo-jacketed first look, the model’s sleeves outfitted with solid black fur.

image My blurry show shot.

But I had to calm down and take in the finer points of the show. I noticed that Azrouël stayed true to his mastery of draping and refined his Fall 2010 looks with a structured, futuristic flavor. Oversized turtlenecks, asymmetrically cut backs, one-shouldered dresses, and oversized leather and wool ponchos sprinkled the runway for approximately 120 seconds. Just as quickly as it started it was over. The lights returned to their normal state, and I returned to reality. My NYC Fashion Week cherry had been popped, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.