My reactions to the 1st Annual New Jersey Social Media Conference


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First and foremost, I need to give the proper credit to Eva Abreu, who put the Conference together.  It was filled with people both interested & interesting, and it fed both types of people’s appetites. 

The opening keynote speaker was David Mathison, author of Be The Media, which I am in the middle of reading right now.  He shared some pretty insightful thoughts with those of us at the Conference.  He was a phenomenal speaker who, truly, wanted to help the audience learn how to make their professional  lives easier (and more successful)!  Some of my favorite points that he made were, “You are what you tweet!” and “There are so many ways to get the message out there without using “traditional” media.”  For those of you who are interested, my next few posts will include reviews on Be The Media!  I definitely recommend checking it out!

Alan Levy, CEO of Blog Talk Radio , was up after David (and David gave him quite the Intro)! Alan spoke about making social media more personal, and adding a voice to the “social media conversation”.  I found Blog Talk Radio to be pretty interesting, but honestly, I found to be even more awesome (in fact, I found it to be so awesome that I made an account (!  Basically, your cinches are vocal Tweets … so people can  hear what you’re saying, as opposed to just reading it (way more personal and way more social)!

The next few parts of the day included panel discussions and break off groups.  The first panel discussion included 4 different panelists (John Lee of John Lee Media, Brian Donahue of Ledger Live on, Loren Fisher of,  and Michael Shapiro at  Each panelist had something different to say about the multimedia crossover.  My personal favorite was Brian Donahue who was so pumped about his job and the “fun zone” in the office!  Everyone should definitely check out some of his video footage and the way he handles video blogging (very cool)!

During lunch we had a great video presentation by Gary Vaynerchuk (author of Crush It) who spoke about his stance on social media.  I thought he was a great speaker, and since he’s known for his informational videos I thought it was appropriate for the Conference.  He was very informative and entertaining.  I’m checking out his book, Crush It, now … so once I have a better idea of the content I’ll be sure to share it here!

The last part of the conference were 2 break out groups, one for social media intermediate & advanced users and the other for social media new users, government and non-profit.  I spoke at the 2nd, on behalf of Special Olympics New Jersey, and was joined by Thomas Russo (Town Manager of Newton, NJ), Heather Taylor (Citizen’s Campaign), Michael Shapiro (The Alternative Press) and Jules Strachman (Karma 411).  We each presented a brief case study of our organization and experience with social media and shared it with everyone else.  Great info was presented from each of the panelists!

Since I didn’t attend the other break out group, all I can report is that there was very positive feedback and Lucy Banta (NJ Family Magazine), Itamar Kestenbaum (Moishe’s Moving), Chris Keiff (1 Good Reason Social Marketing), Amy Vernon (, and Lynette Young (Purple Stripe Productions, LLC) were praised for their breakout group!

This post is a long one, most won’t be … but this was necessary!  It was a great day with a ton of information that helped a lot of people!  I’m looking forward to next year’s!  Were you there?  Do you have something to say about it?  Feel free to share it here!

More next time!


4 thoughts on “My reactions to the 1st Annual New Jersey Social Media Conference

  1. Great post, Kristin! I had a blast speaking with you on the panel, and am very proud that Karma411 was well received as a corporate sponsor. We can’t wait for the next event in August!

    I think one of the most interesting themes of the conference was the question of “Is traditional media dead or dying in the 2010 media landscape”. Several speakers addressed the issue and I think it provided true perspective on what role social media or “new media” plays in most organizations.

    • Kristin says:

      It was awesome meeting you too Jules! You made an awesome point! I loved how David Mathison made his point in saying that traditional media is on it’s way out, but almost all of the media panelists as well as Gary Vanderchuk (who wasn’t even there & is one of the most prominent social media “kings”, shall we say) stated otherwise! Goes to show you how varied opinions are in today’s world!

  2. Thank you very much Kristin! This is a great summary of the conference, may I ask permission to reprint with a link back to here? And thank you for a great presentation at the afternoon Government & Non-Profit Track of the NJ Social Media Conference; you lead by example and have done such an outstanding job in creating a prominent social media presence for the Special Olympics New Jersey. Thanks again!

    Jules, I’m so glad that you and the staff of were able to attend and present on the Govt/Non-Profit Panel as well! We received great feedback on the services that you offer. Looking forward to seeing you again soon!

    Eva Abreu, NJ Social Media Conference

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