Writing on the Wall: Every Single Talk at GoaFest 2010 Was About Social Media

Last week, I had a great time at GoaFest 2010.

First, I participated in a panel discussion on social media with some really cool co-panelists –

– Eric Ashok Ledergerber, Founder, hub.in|dia
Kiruba Shankar (@kiruba), CEO, Business Blogging
Vishal Gondal (@vishalgondal), CEO, India Games
Gaurav Mishra (@gauravonomics), CEO, 2020 Social
– Patrick Liotard-Vogt, Chairman, ASW.com

Eric moderated the panel discussion. Kiruba talked about the importance of brands engaging in one-to-one conversations with customers, with the help of the now-famous Cleartrip case study. Vishal talked about social gaming, and showcased India Games’ IPL T20 Fever cricket game. Patrick talked about the importance of niche social networks like A Small World.

I talked about how the difficulties in scaling one-to-one conversations and suggested that agencies and brands might find it easier to build community platforms to host conversations between customers and brand evangelists.

I also argued that the big question in marketing in the 21st century isn’t “how do we get the attention of the biggest audience?” but “how do we scale passion?”.

My working hypothesis is that you scale passion, as a business, non-profit, or government organization, by following three simple steps —

Step 1: Identify Passion — Select a BIG lifestyle, interest, or cause.

Step 2: Ignite Passion — Build a focused community around it.

Step 3: Scale Passion — Build scale by leveraging existing social platforms.

I further argued that scaling passion is similar to spreading an epidemic.

– First, you create or identify a potent virus (an ideavirus, similar to a social object).

– Then, you bring together a small group of susceptible people into a small space and infect them (similar to building a focused online community).

– Finally, you let these people out into the world so that they can infect others (similar to connecting your community to existing social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube).

I also used Dell Go Green as an example of this new approach to marketing.

I was delighted that every single international speaker at GoaFest talked about some version of this new approach to marketing. I was also more than a little surprised that most Indian agency veterans still seem incapable of acknowledging that broadcast advertising is at the edge of a precipice. Good for us.

I build and nurture online communities as CEO of 2020 Social. Read my bio, interview me for a media story, invite me to speak at a conference or ask me how we can help you. E-mail me at [email protected], call me at +91-9999856940, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Slideshare.

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