SXSW Interactive 2014: So you’ve got a billion followers…now what?
Every year at this time, thousands of the world’s premiere social media practitioners, technologists, and creatives gather in Austin, TX for South By Southwest Interactive to share ideas and inspiration.
Our team participated in lots of incredible conversations about creating compelling and actionable content, remembering the human element of our business, and the quickly evolving world of social media.
Historically a technology and start-up focused event, this year’s SXSW Interactive had a different tone. In recent years services like Twitter and Foursquare have taken center stage at SXSW Interactive as those social media sites showcased the possibilities of creating a more connected world.
By now, most of us have adopted social media as an integral part of our daily lives. I, for one, knew that the world had changed the day that my grandmother sent me a text about my recent Facebook status update, from halfway around the world. Now, that is a connected planet! We may not be a member of everything, but we have our Facebook friends, our Twitter and Instagram followers, our LinkedIn connections, and so on… So now what?
One of the prevailing messages at SXSW Interactive this year centered around taking this hyper connected world that we’ve created – and doing something good.
Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, asked in one session, “What is the true promise of our connected society? It should be people helping each other.”
Chelsea Clinton openly asked the technologists in her presentation to help NGO’s find the best way to measure, report, and analyze the impact of their programs, so that through our social connectedness, we can make sure that the right people get the resources and help that they need, when they need them.
She went on to point out that through social media and our interconnectedness, “…giving, volunteering, and contributing have been democratized like never before.”
Vic, our manager, expressed his thoughts on the subject: “There was a silent whisper and the precipice of a movement to return our focus back to humans. For too long, social media has been consumed with algorithms, engagement, content production, search optimization, followers, and friends. This has caused us to focus on “Namuh” where our focus has either become scrambled or we have fallen into backwards thinking. The seeds were planted at SXSW to return to a human (people) focus. Namuh or Human? It’s time to hit the reset button.”
Our team was proud to know that many of our actions are helping to enable the social good that is happening throughout our planet. At FedEx, we’re using our social media strengths to contribute globally in many ways, such as the Countless Possibilities through education initiative, providing the world Access to a more connected and open economy, and promoting child pedestrian safety through Safe Kids.
Social media doesn’t solve the world’s problems, but it does connect us in ways that enable us to work together like never before in history.