Digital Summit 2012 Brings the Digital World to Atlanta

When innovators, marketing executives, IT professionals and those pondering the possibility of a startup all gather in one place for a two day conference, something is bound to get accomplished, and it did this past week in Atlanta at Digital Summit 2012.

Atlanta is home to over 13,000 tech companies and there was a great turnout by locals, but attendees came from all 50 states and many different countries.

At a gathering like this, networking is always a goal, but with the quality of the speakers present this week, it was tough to find a session you didn’t want to miss.

Wednesday things got underway with advanced social media workshops covering new social media platforms and how your company or organizations should be using them to get the results you desire.

Wednesday afternoon, the fun continued with a great panel discussion about email practices with Amy Ellis from MailChimp and Shane Eubanks from Shaw Industries.  With the popularity of social media, many people forget email is still an important marketing tool.

The Wednesday evening keynote was delivered by John Trimble, Chief Revenue Officer of Pandora. We all know how popular Pandora is, but in its early days, many questioned whether Pandora could compete with terrestrial radio, but now AM/FM radio stations are looking over their shoulders at services like Pandora.

Thursday was really loaded as Joel Lunenfeld, VP of Global Brand Strategy for Twitter kicked off the day with a breakfast keynote talking about the different ways individuals and companies use Twitter.

“Twitter is unique that it is open an unfiltered,” stated Lunenfeld. He gave examples of how Twitter has been used in unique circumstances. From Tweeting during a NASCAR race to President Obama using it to make announcements, Twitter is a newsfeed like none other.

Taking an informal poll, attendees at my table agreed that Twitter is their primary source when it comes to breaking news, but that they feel better when they confirmation from news websites like CNN and Yahoo.

A panel discussion on SoLoMo: Social, Local and Mobile draw a standing room only crowd. Douglas Busk from The Coca-Cola Company sipped on a Diet Coke while talking about how a company should have a mobile strategy. 55% or Twitter usage now is coming from mobile devices and that is expected to keep rising.

Another session talked about the complex world of SEO, or search engine optimization. Matt McFadden of Merge is an expert in SEO and he told attendees to focus on the content, and then the searches will come.

Topher Kohan from CNN discussed how important video is to CNN’s operations. CNN knows that viewers com to CNN’s websites to watch the videos, so they put object called schema around the videos to keep viewers occupied while on the site.

The day concluded with a great panel on measuring social media. What does the data mean when you get it and what are the challenges facing many workers who are sitting in newly created positions managing social media accounts?

An expo lined the hallways of the Cobb Galleria where new tech companies and some established veterans could show off their wares.

Slimware Utilities was one of the exhibitors and they were showing off a new community-based feedback tool that helps clean the junk off your PC.

“There are five millions users we get information from,” explained Carla Shaw of Slimware.
‘It’s real time and the software relies on other users to submit information about their experiences with programs and apps on their computers.”

Slimware begins as a free service, but a more complete paid service is also offered with a slick SlimDrivers tool that updates all the drivers on your PC. The demo I received from the SlimWare team was very thorough and impressive.

It was a busy two days, but very worthwhile. I saw some familiar faces, met some new people and collected business cards from attendees I never would’ve met otherwise. it’s great to match names you see in the digital universe with faces, and a conference like this is perfect for that.

The second annual Digital Summit in Atlanta is put on TechMedia. For over a decade, TechMedia has been putting on innovative events around the country. TechMedia’s is to Dream, Innovate and Build, and all that happened this week in Atlanta.

Rick Limpert

Rick Limpert is an award winning Atlanta-based freelance writer, columnist, host of The Tech of Sports Podcast and best-selling author. He has covered sports, technology and events all over the world. His works have been featured on Yahoo Sports, Yahoo News, Examiner.com, nba.com and in Sports Illustrated.

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