Social Media Week is an eclectic, multi-city, global event (Sept 20-24) aimed at connecting people, content, and conversations around emerging trends in social and mobile media. Last February edition attracted more than 7,500 attendees across 200 events in New York, Berlin, London, San Francisco, São Paulo and Toronto, while this week many simultaneous events are scheduled in Los Angeles, Bogotà, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Milan [it]. Social Media Week first took place in February 2009 in New York with over 2,500 people attending across forty different events.
Over 90 free events are planned in Milan [it] alone, managed by more than 250 people including bloggers, entrepreneurs and experts. A large kick-off event is scheduled for Monday September 20 at Milan University focused on the City 2.0 [it] about how technology, and social media in particular, can help support sustainable development in the cities of tomorrow. According to some estimates, more than 70% of world population will reside in an urban environment by 2050.
The whole machinery for Social Media Week runs through a variety of online media and venues, from the main website and Twitter account to a Facebook page and YouTube channel. Each city also manages its own website and social media. Here is a promotional video projected in Piazza Duomo in downtown Milan:
Along with many discussions and presentations related to entertainment, new gadgets and platforms, fashion, entrepreneurship, and so on, the Milan program will address issues related to the non-profit world, new media and citizen media. For instance, there will be presentations from Italy-based projects such as Socialidarity 2.0 (social & non-profit news) and Eticmedia (a web-TV based on Corporate Social Responsability), while a local team will offer ongoing internet workshops for the elderly.
In the afternoon of Wednesday September 22 [it], the mediateca Santa Teresa will host a series of panels on user-generated content, particularly covering the current blog evolution and the rampant success of Twitter and Facebook for distributing information. Also addressed will be the new relationship between traditional media and the growing trend of relying mostly or only on online sources. In other words, how are social media affecting the news-gathering landscape and the information industry? Could citizen media play an even larger role in defining such environments in the future? A round-table discussion will include Global Voices in Italian [it], represented by Eleonora Pantò.
In cities such as Buenos Aires and especially Mexico City the local participants will also address matters pertaining to education, such as an all-day event called Educación 2.0 [es], focusing on teacher and student partnerships using multimedia and collaborative tools in the classroom. The Los Angeles team launched a fundraising campaign supporting children in the heart of Skid Row — promoting and strengthening the direct involvement of digital citizens in the society at large.
In addition to the physical events, Social Media Week organizers will also live-stream many of the events and host real time conversations at socialmediaweek.org, thus reaching a vast worldwide public. Also planned are live interactions among participants in the various cities (where time zones permit). And of course there is always need for volunteers to help organize or promote events in your city for next year, to spread the word around the globe…