Things are brewing: San Antonio Social Media Breakfast

I attended the second-ever San Antonio Social Media Breakfast yesterday and if I knew anything, I’d say it was a great success.

The guest speakers at the breakfast are all members of the San Antonio media who are dabbling in social media – and they dabble well.

I have been adding fellow San Antonian Twitter followees to my account on a pretty constant basis, but it was exciting to SEE how many people in San Antonio – media and the public alike – are embracing social media. More importantly, how many want to DO something with it.The big obstacle is not just convincing others that social media is the way of the future (did I say future? I meant present…) but to convince publishers and editors that it is something worth investing time, people, resources and efforts into even though there may not be tangible (as in $$$) results at first.

Ways of monetizing social media and the need to revise the business model of print newspapers were certainly part of the conversation.

The speakers also touched on social media policies, the appropriate use of personal style and censorship. To this I say – sooner rather than later, YES! and… ok, try to keep your job but don’t let it cramp that personal style.

At the heart of the discussion was what media are currently doing with social media.

Although there is still a divide between journalists who use social media and those who don’t – pushing the news out to the public via services like Twitter seems to be the main use of social media. Media are also engaging their readers via social networks, blog posts and comments. Certainly the start of a two-way flow of news and information.

But is it? What say you to the people bringing the news to the media via social media?No news tips hot lines, no press releases… Twitter baby. Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook, blog comments…

Joe Ruiz said it and yes, crowdsourcing is a huge concept for anyone to wrap their head around. You become susceptible to rumors, false or misleading information, etc., but I do believe social media is making our society more responsible about the content that is put “out there”.

I’m not exactly talking about citizen journalism, rather, opening up the doors of social media not just to let links out but to take things in – both ways.

About the Social Media Breakfast Bryan Person started the event in Boston (he now lives in Austin) and Jennifer Navarrete and Jennifer Milliken took on the initiative to bring the concept to San Antonio. Many thanks to them, the attendees and everyone who followed, participated or is looking forward to taking part.

If you missed it or are curious to know what others are saying about it – Some of us were live-Twittering the event, Bob Gambert from WOAI wrote follow-up post and the entire breakfast is on Ustream. Check those out and join the conversation.


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