OTA Sessions: Vanilla Ice, Boats, Spinal Tap and Mythology

Many of Social Media’s mantras were started by Julien Smith and Chris Broganin their book Trust Agents as well as Mitch Joel in Six Pixels of Separation. Often when an author speaks, they just rehash what they wrote. Thankfully, these guys don’t. What the audience heard in the OTA morning session were thoughts and ideas that will likely be the building blocks of the author’s next books.

Most of what they spoke about can be summed up by themes.

  • You’ve made it to the new world. Now, burn the boats. Consider how people communicate online when planning strategies and channels. There is no going back to a world without Social Media.
  • Feel the burner. You will get burned from time to time, but it is the only way to see what works and what doesn’t. Heather Solberg expounds on this idea here. Or see it straight from Julien Smith.
  • Stop, collaborate and listen. Prescient advice from Vanilla Ice. Do something many marketers have trouble with; Listen. Take what you hear into a means of getting people to work together. Thereby building a channel and eventually a community.
  • Hype dies, but channels live forever. When you make a channel, build it to be sustainable so it can become a community.
  • Turn it up to 11. The ghost of Spinal Tap was invoked to remind us to work our asses off and always be innovating.

Battle for the Arts provided lunch time entertainment. Two artists scrapping it out with Sharpies. Both pieces were later sold and proceeds donated to charity.

Picking up where morning speakers left off, Spike Jones dove into the nuts and bolts of community building through variety of methods, not just social media. Heather Solbergcovered this better than I could inher post. Spike’s time at the mic brought out more laptops and notebooks from the audience than any other speaker.

Tim Brunelle shared the history of marketing firm Hello Viking and likened the successful, modern creative business to a boat on the ocean. If you’re going on a long voyage, make sure you have a great crew who are skilled in multiple disciplines.

Then, Jonathan Harris took the stage. Jonathan is like some sort of shaman/guide character that you read about in Joseph Campbell Mythology books. Except he is possibly from the future. His ideas and creations dig down through technology so deeply that he finds what is really at the heart of it. The human collective consciousness. Through his lens, we see that people are just as fragile, resilient, mad, sensitive and unknowingly tied to symbolism as anytime before the web. Maybe more so because of it.

For no reason I can think of, I drew owl masks for about a week or so. The end of that week brought Harris, a wild haired mystic telling a room full of people to believe in signs. His sign being….the owl. How is that for signs?

– Michael S. Hay