RISE Austin 2011 Video Interview

Today I decided to do something I haven’t done in a while. Google myself. Now while that sounds like it might be something you do behind closed doors, it really isn’t. Everyone should Google themselves. Simply type your name in the search bar of your browser to see the results of your online activity aka digital footprint. Due to my active online posting style I usually occupy most of the front page. with the exception of 1 result, that was also true today.

However, this time instead of only reviewing the top search results in Google, I decided to let my curiosity run wild by going past page one. (Gasp!) I’ve been online for a good long bit so going back into search results was almost like going back through time. My old podcasts that were hosted on the Internet Archive, past partnerships, accounts on old social networks. There were some surprises waiting to be discovered. One of which was an interview I did for RISE Austin in 2011. I remember being interviewed but had never seen the finished product. I am sharing it with you here. Would appreciate comments on your “googling self” practices and if you’ve been surprised by what you have discovered.

RISE WEEK 2011: Jennifer Navarrete on Getting Tech Savvy from Bridget Green on Vimeo.

Interview On Going To SXSW Badgeless

SXSW Badgeless logo courtesy of Plancast

Several of us who made the trek from San Antonio to Austin, TX for the Interactive portion of South by Southwest (SXSW) were interviewed by San Antonio Express-News reporter, Valentino Lucio about attending without an official badge. In the past 5 years, I have been badged and badgeless at SXSW. While it is true, there are certain things you can only get with a badge like access to panels, the trade show and the Bloggers Lounge. I do advise folks who have never gone to give the badged experience a try. However, do not let being badgeless stop you from participating in the festivities and reaping the rewards of such a large scale event.

SXSW Interactive has become such a big event (15K last year and 20K this year) that there is no shortage of side aka badgeless events happening. You will run into a lot of the same folks who are attending badge-only events. I have to say that in my experience having or not having a badge has not limited me one bit. I have been able to meet face-to-face with my online community and discover new friendships that will continue further online.

Just like in most things, you will get what you are looking for out of SXSW. If you want to “party like it’s 1999”, there are plenty of events to make you feel like you belong to a fraternity. If you want to make connections with new folks or simply reconnect with old friends you can do both at the same time. If you want to learn about all of the cutting edge apps and discover the next Twitter, there are plenty of folks who invite you to “download their app for free”.  Are you looking for schwag? Then you’ll leave with enough t-shirts to last all year.  There is no end to opportunities to learn, discover and have fun.

I would like to make one thing clear, I am not a SXSW-hater. I want SXSW to continue to be successful for many reasons. One of the main reasons is the fact that this is a global event that is right in our backyard. For the most part you have to travel far and wide to attend events like BlogWorld, SOBCon, CES and Le Web in order to have this kind of access to the social and tech community. I’ve met folks from all over the globe who make the annual trek to Austin for SXSW. While it does appear to be experiencing growing pains over the last couple of years, I do wish the organizers much continued success.

Links for the Badgeless: Facebook SXSW Badgeless | Plancast SXSW Badgeless | Twitter SXSW Badgeless

A copy of the article from the San Antonio Express-News is listed below as well as a link back to the original post:

San Antonians go badgeless at SXSW Interactive

Event offers much for techies without $700 registration.
By Valentino Lucio / Vlucio@express-news.net
Published 09:24 p.m., Sunday, March 13, 2011

At South by Southwest Interactive, having an event badge is a right of passage. But for some, it’s just an unnecessary accessory that is costly.

The tech world descends on Austin for five days during the interactive portion of the festival, which started Friday. And for some San Antonians, the trek up Interstate 35 is worth the trip, but the more than $700 needed to register is steep. Still, they don’t let that stop them. Many are able to party-hop, network and grab loads of free handouts without having to put a dent into their wallets.

Jennifer Navarrete, the chapter founder of the San Antonio Social Media Club, has attended the festival five times, sometimes with a pass and other times without. This year, Navarrete and her husband decided to forego the pricey badge. They were still able to meet people and attend events they had planned for.

“Whatever we wanted to get into we went to,” she said. “I ran into everyone I wanted to see, and the parties weren’t hard to get into. Some of it is serendipity, but I connected with people I only get to see a few times a year.”

As a whole, SXSW draws about 200,000 registrants and panelists to the nine-day event. It’s hard to say how many people attend the event without a badge, but several companion events have emerged around the major ones, said Navarrete, who went to various parties and attended panels at the Capitol and at the Social Media Club house near the Austin Convention Center.

“If you don’t have the budget, you can still get a lot of value without a badge,” she added. “Personally, I don’t see any value.”

For the past five years, San Antonio native Veronica Morales has attended the tech portion of SXSW and has never purchased a badge. The social media specialist, who is starting her own company called The Social Being, said there’s a lot of planning involved before she makes the trip to the festival.

“I do my homework,” she said. “It has a lot to do with your research beforehand. If you just show up, you won’t get a lot out of the visit.”

She utilizes sites such as Foursquare and Plancast to meet people and to find out what events are popular. Plus, she added, those that stay up with social media can direct people to free giveaways and contests.

“I have two shopping bags full of things,” she said.

First timer Lisa Baehr said the cost was the main reason she didn’t get a badge. The tech enthusiast wanted to be a part of the event to learn about new, emerging ideas. But, she added that because she didn’t have a badge she didn’t feel like she got to experience enough.

“I need to get a taste of it,” she said about the festival. “It’s an energizing event with a lot of new ideas. I’m considering getting a badge next year because I think I’ll get more out of my visit.”

With a lanyard around his neck, Choco Valdez just fits in with the crowd of badge holders. The architecture student takes full advantage of all the free food and drinks that sponsors provide throughout the event. This year was the second year Valdez has attended the interactive portion without a badge. The planning process for him started about five months ago and even included him creating business cards that he could use to enter contests. So far, he won a pair of concert tickets, he said.

He doesn’t spend money on a hotel because he stays with family. And last year, the Northwest Vista College student said he took $100 with him to the festival and that he made it home spending about $40. This time around his goal is to cut his spending in half.

“I’m definitely getting my money’s worth,” he said.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/San-Antonians-go-badgeless-at-SXSW-Interactive-1114994.php#ixzz1GiNBFaGC

Texas Social Media Awards 2010

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

On Sunday, March 14th the Austin-American Statesman held the 2nd annual Texas Social Media Awards during SXSW. Celebrating folks who in one way or another have made an impact in their communities or industries with Social Media. I am honored to have been recognized. In the judges words,

“Jennifer is driving the social media space in San Antonio. It’s rare that you find an event in the city that hasn’t been organized or touched by her in some way.”

My thanks to everyone for being part of this incredible journey. Who knew back in 2005 when the community building around the new media space began that it would evolve to this level? Not me. Folk ask me how I got involved in community building and I always go back to my start in podcasting in 2005. My need to talk face-to-face with other folks who were just as excited and passionate about podcasting as I was led me to create the San Antonio Podcasting Meetup. I have my wonderful husband, John aka @designminded to thank for the idea to start that first group. From there it led to the first Podcamp in the State of Texas and so on. There have been many people who motivated and inspired me to “do a camp”: Michael De Leon spurred on PodCamp San Antonio. Erica O’Grady inspired me to have a Startup Weekend . Whurley, Giovanni and Cody Marks Bailey encourage me to have a Barcamp. It was the persistent Connie Reece who guided me through the process of launching a local Social Media Club Chapter and Bryan Person who thought it might be a good idea if San Antonio had a Social Media Breakfast chapter. These folks inspired, encouraged and mentored me through the process of community building. I hope to have done so to others in turn.

They say no man or woman is an island and that has never been more true than when it comes to social media and community building. I am extremely proud of the robust, thriving and giving community we have in San Antonio. It is certainly indicative of what I have found in other parts of the state and country. The commandments of camp is: “Learn, Share, Grow” and the motto of Social Media Club is “If you get it, share it”. The key word in this is  SHARE. I truly believe that as long as we as a community keep this in mind in all of our endeavors we will continue to see success that is beneficial for all.

At heart of it all. I am thankful. So, I will end this post as I started it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

RISE Austin and Innotech San Antonio

It’s been a great week of meeting new folks, reconnecting with old friends and knowledge sharing. On Tuesday, I was privileged to speak during the RISE Austin 3-day multi-location event at the Mexican American Cultural Center. The topic of my session was “Cultivating Community With Social Media At The Local Level”. It was based upon my own personal experience of creating the San Antonio Podcasting community in 2005 which then led to organizing PodCamp San Antonio in 2007/2008, Startup Weekend San Antonio in 2008, Barcamp San Antonio in 2008, Social Media Club San Antonio and Social Media Breakfast San Antonio.

Once I created the first group, I was able to find other passionate folks to help champion future groups and events. The same can be true for anyone. Whatever your passion, hobby, business or non-profit the social media tools can be a great tool to find “your people”.

Here are the presentation slides from the session:

Then on Thursday, Susan Price of Firecat Studio and I presented at Innotech San Antonio. We had a morning session called, “Twitter: A Business Tool Or A Complete Waste Of Time?” (< --I think you know my answer to this). The group was comprised of about a 50/50 mix of folks who were either on Twitter or Twitter-curious. In the afternoon we did a session, "Building Community Online and Offline using Social Media". We used the Co-Working model as a way to illustrate how social media can be used to keep folks connected both online 24/7. However, the value of face-to-face community should not be overlooked. For the business person, Co-Working gatherings are a way to have the best of both worlds. With only 25 minutes, the sessions went by at breakneck speed. The slides for the "Building Community" can be seen here:

Building Communities Online And Offline With Co Working

Kudos to Armando Rayo, Hispanic Engagement Consultant for RISE Austin and Sean Lowery, Executive Director at Innotech They were lively, interactive gatherings and I really enjoyed being a part of the vibrant conversations.

The Social Networking Short-Cut

Social Sites Social Networking is all the rage right now. There are those who have been a part of it in some form or fashion since it’s inception. There are others who are just hearing about it today. I became involved in Social Networking through podcasting in 2005. For me, it was about finding people who were as interested and passionate about podcasting as I was. It turned into more as the online relationships developed. Attending conference events like the New Media Expo and unconference events like Barcamp Austin led me to even more online social networks. It started off as a way to continue the conversation with folks I had met at events.

Over the years it has progressed to first meeting folks online and later meeting them in person at an event.  Even though I was meeting them for the first time, it felt as though I was visiting with an old friend. It was great! I was connecting with folks who had the same interests. It didn’t matter that they lived in Florida, Connecticut or even Canada. Our relationships were as real as any in my own town. More so, because we interacted with one another on a daily basis. I don’t do that with anyone in town with the exception of my family.

So by doing what came natural to me, chatting about stuff that interests me, it turns out I was Social Networking. Who knew?

Fast forward to 2008 and Social Networks are all the buzz. You can’t open a magazine without hearing about Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube and so many more. There is a lot of socializing going on in the Social Networks. So much so that Big Business has started to pay attention. Southwest Airlines, Comcast and Zappo’s are not only on the networks, they are actively participating in them daily. Ford just hired Scott Monty as their Social Media Strategist. Other companies are taking a serious look at Social Networking.

What does this mean for someone who wants to get involved but doesn’t know the first place to start? There are so many networks out there it can make your head spin. Which ones should you join and which ones should you avoid like the plague? Oh sure, there is always the old standard method of trial and terror. It does work. However, it can be time consuming and fraught with Social Media faux pas. If you are a business owner you may not have the time to learn the ropes. And there is a learning curve. There are folks who jump in with both feet and in their excitement proceed to get blocked or ignored.

While Social Networks can be beneficial for your business, organization or group, there is a right way and a wrong way to participate depending on the network. I highly recommend you take the time to learn about each network to see which one best suits your personality, interests and goals. In this case it’s okay to be a bit of a lurker. It’s one way to learn the nuances and ensure your acceptance into the community at large.

Another way to jump into the social media landscape is to participate in one of the unconference-style camp events which happen periodically around the country. They pack informative sessions on podcasting, videoblogging and social media all into one day long event. Here in San Antonio we have PodCamp San Antonio and the upcoming Barcamp San Antonio. Check for an event in your neck of the woods on the various camp wiki’s. Here is the Podcamp Wiki which shows future and past events.

And still another way would be to participate in a workshop or hands-on class. These are meant to be small and intimate affairs where the goal is to not just learn but to do. One of my favorite sayings is, “It’s all about the DOING”. It’s fine and dandy to have plans but if the actual DOING of the plans isn’t carried out then the plan was for naught. This could apply to just about anything but it certainly is applicable when it comes to Social Networking.

You could also hire a Social Media Consultant or Strategist to help you navigate the ever changing landscape that is Social Networking. This would be considered the most personalized method for introduction into the world of Social Networking. Each facet is highly customized to the particular organization. Having a guide to help you maneuver through the nuances of each particular site certainly makes participating less daunting.

Out of the four options I listed above, I consider the last two Social Networking Short-cuts. By hiring a Consultant or participating in a workshop you are able to shorten the learning curve considerably. The margin of error also goes down and your adoption rate goes up putting you on the fast track to Social Media Nirvana. Which is the perfect blend of real world and online world interaction with folks who are passionate about your business, brand, cause or even you.

What will it be like when you share coffee with folks all over the country over a Social Network like Twitter? How much of a boost will your career take once you engage with the LinkedIn community? Who will your dog connect with on Dogster?  Yes, even dogs and cats (Catster) are doing it. So, just how telling is it when dogs and cats have their own Social Network?

In case a workshop is more your style, I have partnered up with Connie Reece and Sheila Scarborough to conduct several workshops on Three Web 2.0 Tools. There are two in July. One is on Friday, July 18th in Austin, TX at the Hilton Garden Inn Northwest.  The other workshop will be held one week later on Friday, July 25th in San Antonio, TX at the San Antonio Technology Center. These workshops will be hands-on and highly interactive. Get ready to roll your sleeves up for an indepth introduction to three of the best ways to start your social media journey.

Regardless of the method chosen to engage in Social Networking, I do believe participation is the key to sucess. I hope you find Social Networking as informative and fun as I have.