- Fizzy Thoughts: FoB - Social Media Panel

FoB - Social Media Panel

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

So yes, like a total dork I took notes at all of the panels I attended at the Festival of Books. This is because I am so not an auditory learner, and I tend to forget things as soon as I hear them. So over the next few days I will be sharing all of my (somewhat disjointed) notes from the various panels.

First up, the Social Media panel. This was the first panel I attended on Saturday morning. Moderated by Andrew Nystrom, from the LA Times, this panel consisted of Wil Wheaton (of Star Trek fame, and who is evidently one of the hottest things on Twitter…since I’m a total rube, I was clueless not only of his fame but even of his existence), Otis Chandler (founder of Goodreads) and Sara Wolfe (dance columnist for the LA Times and a really good example of the stereotypical ditsy artsy persona).

Given the topic, there was a big push to tweet during this panel. Unfortunately, I had no internet connection, so no tweets from me. Which is okay, because I’m a lousy multitasker, anyway.

Otis Chandler started off by stating that reading is broken. He said when it comes to reading your ideas are locked in, not shared. Goodreads tries to change that…he sees it as the equivalent of discussing American Idol at work the next day. He wants to create social peer pressure to read.

Wil Wheaton responded to the idea that social media contributes to dumbing down and short attention spans. He sees Twitter as a communication tool…it’s like instant messaging, but you choose what you want to read and respond to and link to. He uses social networking and self-publishing to reach more people. He also mentioned that he heard Twitter grew by 90% in March.

Sara Wolfe talked about Facebook and how she uses it to connect to the dance community. She also talked about constellations and constellating and how she really didn’t understand Twitter…at which point I’m afraid I tuned her out. Oh…except at one point she mentioned her colleague who gives tests on Twitter. Huh? Her predilection for the word constellation in various real and made up forms was too distracting. In fact, she sent our group into giggles at one point. She also talked about the dance community and dropped names as if we all knew what she was talking about. Which we didn’t. If we could have voted her off the island, she would’ve been gone.

Wil Wheaton mentioned that it is important to remember that what you put online is there “until the lights go off on Planet Earth.” I thought this was an excellent point.

Otis Chandler said he started blogging to remember what he had read, which I so identify with. He went on to say that unlike watching a movie, reading is a commitment. He sees Goodreads as an addition to social media. With the “what page are you on” feature, you can share thoughts about a particular part of a book. Wil added that as an author, he likes this feature, because then he can see what pages people are talking about in his books. You no longer have to be in the same room with someone to have a connection and share your thoughts.

Andrew Nystrom stated that it is important to listen to others on social media and remember that it is not all about you. Wil added that the users own social media, not the marketers. The people who ruin it will show up sooner or later, so it’s up to the users to block or not follow or report spam.

I really enjoyed this panel. I especially liked listening to Otis Chandler share his thoughts on Goodreads, since I use it (sporadically). Wil Wheaton was also quite entertaining; I can see why he is such a popular figure. Like I said earlier, if we could have just voted Sara Wolfe off of the island, it would have been even better.

For other notes and thoughts on this panel, check out the posts from my fellow attendees:

Lisa at Books on the Brain
Trish at Hey Lady!
Tracy at Shelf Life
Wendy at Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Natasha of Maw Books
Florinda at The 3 R’s Blog
Amy of My Friend Amy

8 comment(s):

Betty and Boo's Mommy said...

I love that ... "until the lights go off on Planet Earth." Very true.

J.S. Peyton said...

Great post! It may be dorky to take notes, but it's smart. I would have gone, listened, and then been unable to give a coherent answer when someone asked me about it the next week. Besides this makes me feel better about not haven't been there. =)

lilly said...

It was very interesting to read what otis had to say since I use goodreads quite a lot and actually prefer it to LT or Shelfari.

BTW, I gave you an award :D

Ti said...

I sort of regret not attending this one but it overlapped with one of the fiction panels I wanted to attend. At least with your write-up it sort of feels as if I was there :)

Beth F said...

Thanks so much for the posts about FoB. I love reading about everyone's experiences and takes on the panels.

bkclubcare said...

Hmmm, seems I need to record in goodreads my notes from books as I go along?

Gentle Reader said...

Great wrap up of a great panel! I tuned out Sara Wolf and her constellations, too :) Wil Wheaton was cool, and I'm now one of his gazillion followers on Twitter. And Otis Chandler had some really interesting thoughts on making reading social...Was so great meeting you!

Joanne said...

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others,
By the time I finish my song?

A dance columnist? Really? That just seems like they were stretching the connection a wee bit.

Seriously though it sounds like it would have been a great panel.

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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