SoMeTime2010 Conference in Finland
I had an honor to be a keynote speaker at the SoMeTime2010 conference in Finland last month. It was a special occasion for me – I am from Finland, and this was my first time speaking about social media in Finnish. I had my challenges; the industry has been moving so fast that some words simply don’t have translation in Finnish yet, and even the words that do – are not found in any dictionaries. I didn’t let it bother me, I think the best is to be authentic, being perfect is way overrated.
SoMe is a homey short for Social Media, and the SoMeTime2010 conference is one proof it in deed is Social Media Time in Finland. The event was entirely organized by Finnish social media influencer elite, and run by Heikki Hallantie, Development Expert at Aalto-University, School of Science and Technology, where the event was also held. The unofficial organizing company was social media agency MEMEGroup, and my sincere thanks goes for Kristiina Pääkkönen of MEMEGroup, she was a key person making my participation possible.
The main sponsor for the conference was Nokia, and the theme fittingly mobile social media and the conference-goers even enjoyed a musical performance by Helsinki Mobile Phone Orchestra, played with Nokia N95 phones. My keynote subject? Social Media “on the go” – social mobile marketing in the USA today and tomorrow.
While it would have been easy to focus my keynote on technology and great apps like Whrrl, however, I was hoping one main message came through at the conference: social media isn’t about gadgets, technology, platforms or apps – social media is about people. I think people easily mistake social media being about Twitter and Facebook, and a bucket full of other tools, and forget the very essence: it is about community, finding your tribe(s) and a new way to communicate and engage.
Finland has always been ahead when it comes to technology and education (note: you may not know this because Finns traditionally are not good marketers), but communication has never been the biggest virtue for shy Finns. Thankfully Nokia has been Connecting People in Finland for decades; cell phones have been widely used in Finland since early 90′s and currently over 85% of the population use text messaging as a form of communication. Social media however is still a shiny new penny or a scary unknown lurking to snatch your privacy, and I am glad that events like SoMeTime2010 and the way the industry people are now organizing will make social media more approachable in my homeland.
I am honored and thankful to be part of the social media discussion in Finland, and I have to admit, even this “guru from New York” like they called me, learned a lot from her fellow Finns. I came home with a bag full of new ideas and my mind refreshed. Social media does cross national lines and cultures well – I felt like I was part of the social media tribe in Finland, and the people in the conference were “my people”. At the same time, the thing what I missed in the conference the most, was you – I missed my Collective Bias community. So next time, I am not going alone, but bringing you with me!
Written by Katja Presnal, Community Manager of Collective Bias. You can also hear Katja speak at EVO Conference, Type-A Mom Conference, AffCon2010 and Las Vegas Market Trade Show among many other events this year.
Photo: Tuija Aalto