The evolving brain of SXSE London.

SXSELondon Postponed

posted 27 Nov 2013, 08:31 by Ben Stockman   [ updated 4 Dec 2013, 10:39 ]

The postponement of SXSELondon

This is a particularly heartbreaking blog to have to write - unfortunately, in the last day or so we have had an issue with our sponsor, leaving us in the lurch. While we've had a number of offers of financial help from some fantastic people to help us, we simply can't cover the costs incurred and still make money for the charity, so we have no choice but to pull the plug on this Friday's SXSE event. 

It's especially gutting after three solid months of work and the help we've received from so many brilliant people to pull it together at short notice, and we'd like to extend them all our warmest gratitude for being so very brilliant! 

Refusing, however, to let the idea die, we're going to reschedule the SXSE festival to Friday, April 4th 2014, along with running a series of smaller events starting January 2014, which will be hosted in a series of different venues around London every month. 

Our first will likely be related to digital future and we will be publishing some further details about this in the coming days. 

By putting the festival event in the next financial year we hope to secure more funding and reach an even wider audience, at the same time as putting on the smaller TED-talk style events month-on-month throughout 2014. 

I hope that we will see you at one of our many planned events in 2014, and apologise again to those of you who bought tickets (you have, of course, been fully refunded). Rest assured that we are not giving up on the idea that digital media can, should and WILL be used to bring together a community to help others! 

Ben Stockman, Founder

SXSE London's Ben Stockman Interviewed in Podcasts

posted 12 Nov 2013, 11:35 by Ben Stockman   [ updated 12 Nov 2013, 11:37 ]

The awesome guys at SpecialtyMedia recently featured SXSELondon founder Ben Stockman in 3 in-depth Podcasts covering SXSELondon, from concept to this year's new addition, the Agency Steeplechase in aid of the SXSELondon festival's charity Crisis.

Over to presenter Karl Hildebrandt of SpecialtyMedia and the NewCycle digital marketing agency...

Social Media Weak - 27th September 2013

posted 27 Sep 2013, 10:29 by Ben Stockman

We should probably start by outright stating the fact: we've enjoyed ourselves at Social Media week this year. It's been well put-together, and there's been a lot of interesting content (Our particular highlights were JonBurkhart's "Shock and Guffaw" panel about disruption & humour, andBloomberg's fascinating "Internet of Things" panel). The staff have been helpful and friendly, the venues awesome and shiny... but while we enjoyed ourselves, it wasn't always for the right reasons. 

SXSE London is lucky enough to work with some of the most talented activists and entrepreneurs that the internet has to offer, and across the board, the unfortunate sensation we're left with is that Social Media Week has become something of a corporate shell. 

It's easy to understand why, of course - we recognise that a huge number of businesses still really don't "get" social media even now, and so they come in their droves, desperate to catch a glimpse of what the most successful practitioners are doing in their fields. But with the growing success of SMWLDN, so too come the army of "experts" to fill out the ranks of those presenting - and herein lies the problem. 
Where once all of the presentations at SMW were run by the "do-ers" of social, the huge wealth of traditional marketing agencies who are now "social" ("We used the word 'engagement' again! Now we look like we know what we're talking about!") has pervaded the week and definitively poisoned the well for those of us who aim to use social to bring people together for more than "brand awareness" or "sales prospecting". 

As the week began, our colleague Jon Morter (RATM4XMAS supremo and "Condescending Corporate Brand Page" creator) posted his guide to the game of buzzword bingo that he played throughout the week - points awarded accordingly for each of the following: 

"engagement" = 100pts
"gamification" = 200pts
"organic" = 50pts
"content" = 50pts (DOUBLE SCORE if preceded with "rich")
"earned media" = 40pts
"staying on-brand" = 125pts
"data" (only score points if in same sentence as "traffic") = 75pts
"crisis management" = 40pts
"community strategy" = 77pts
"mobile success" = 100pts

It won't surprise you to know that in at least one of the sessions we attended we scored a full house. Twice. We sat in another session where a well-dressed lady tried to explain how marketing was like sandwiches. SANDWICHES, for God's sake!

If you didn't manage to make it to any of the sessions this week, some genius has collated some of the more ridiculous statements tweeted from sessions to illustrate our point here beautifully: ("Did we make people actually think before they tweeted? We fucking hope so!")

To us, it's a reminder that, no matter what content we showcase at SXSE London, it will be delivered in plain English and a down-to-earth manner with absolutely none of the marketing buzzwords that have populated SMWLDN. After all, isn't the point of social media to help us communicate better? 

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