Jason Toney, currently of CBS Interactive, and previously of AXS/AEG, Disney Interactive, and Bunim-Murray Productions, is all about digital media. He's held site and content production roles and is presently most interested in data-driven strategy work. This is his personal blog. Yeah, he still does that on occasion.

Down and Out at #SMWLA

"Tell me what is going on so heavy out there." - No Doubt, Settle Down

I wasn't inspired today.

Don't get me wrong, there was a good amount of interesting today. Like

  • B666S's takeover of the smwlagoingbig hashtag (which was, really, the most "social media" thing of the conference for me so far and by far for me) and my almost-sort-of-learning-but-not-quite what the #yungkloutgang is
  • NFL's digital lead punting a bit on how the sports league was dealing with the replacement refs issue especially in light of last night's game

But, unlike yesterday, what was missing from the social media week events that I attended today was a consistent reminder that we're all doing this stuff, ultimately, for the people who are receiving, interacting with, and, hopefully, sharing all these efforts.

Today seemed to be more about the struggles of this industry; about how to make it in digital LA; about self-promotion. All valid topics of discussion but not inspiring.

I want to keep talking about communities, and identity, and self-expression, and connecting, and what good, real good, we're doing with all this.

I'm greedy. I got a solid dose of that with the civic-minded focus of much of yesterday's io/LA schedule and I know more is coming later in the week, but I want a little more balance. A little more awareness and discussion of the individuals that make up the social networks that brands or whatever are talking to and why they care so passionately about something, what they are looking for from their interactions with marketing and promotional content, and what else deeper is going on.

We overstate often the power of these social media tools and services to bring about change but what isn't discussed enough at these kinds of events for my taste is the psychology and sociology of it all. The human impact on an individual and her neighbors whether they are down the street or across the world and that sense of belonging (or isolation) that these new ways of interacting bring. 

Amaryllis Fox of Mulu did seem to get this as she noted during the Smartest Girls in the Room panel (and i'm paraphrasing) that no matter the business, the underlying root of whatever it is is a human interaction.

Yes.

May the interactions I have for the rest of the week at SMWLA be a  little more human.

Final Thoughts on Social Media Week Los Angeles

Trolley Jollies, Invisible People, and a City of Angels at #SMWLA