IABC International Conference: Neville Hobson, Shel Holtz, Alan Jenkins

UPDATE: Neville Hobson has posted his slides for this presentation on NevilleHobson.com.

Shel HoltzNeville HobsonNeville Hobson led an un-conference session on Organization communication 2.0: The age of social communication. He was joined by Shel Holtz and Alan Jenkins as panelists.

Neville opened the session with a general presentation of the key concepts and elements of social media: citizen generated content; open-source software; search engines; wikis; podcasting; the Web 2.0 Meme map; the Social Customer Manifesto; MySpace; SecondLife; OhMyNews; tagging (del.icio.us); photo and video sharing (Flickr and YouTube)

Some takeaways:

The Thin Membrane between internal and external communication. “There is a blurring of the division between internal and external communications.” Consumers can speak directly to employees inside companies without intervention from traditional corporate spokespeople. “Eventually, the line between internal and external communications will disappear.”

“The social media ecosystem is primarily technology tools that fulfill something we all do as human beings anyway – which is to connect.” The social media ecosystem includes: blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasts, vlogs, moblogs, MMS, Internet telephony. These tools facilitate communications, engagement, transparency, trust.

Technorati is now tracking 44 million blogs tracked, with the number doubling every six months. The blogosphere is now 60 times larger than it was 3 years ago.

“Community is what this is all about. Building that sense of community is key to Organization 2.0. Whether it’s with consumers, shareholders or whoever that might be.”

Neville cited The Hobson & Holtz Report as an example of the power of social media. Using Skype, Neville and Shel are able to regularly produce their show across a 13 hour timezone difference – at virtually no cost. Today, the podcast’s Frappr map shows listeners around the globe – a community that has grown up around the hobby of two communicators. Question: Will we reach the point where citizen generated content (blogs; wikis) will become as trusted as mainstream media.Shel Holtz, “I don’t trust blogs. I trust some people. … I don’t think we need to have trust in the tools. We need to trust the tools to enable people to have these kinds of conversations. …. In the era of social computing, the power is transferred from instutions to individuals and audiences.”Shel Holtz provide a A good explanation of the Long Tail concept for communicators who speak to narrower or smaller audiences. The magic middle can have a very real impact through time.

Alan Jenkins pointed out that Steve Rubel has become a “trusted agent” for many people. Few know him personally. But many read him and have a sense of familiarity through his blog.

Shel and Neville reach much larger audiences through their blogs than they do through their podcast. Alan Jenkins began podcasting a couple weeks ago. He reported that the number of subscriptions to his blog have increased significantly since he launched the podcast.

After 1 hour and 45 minutes, Neville called for a mid-session break…