Social Media Club Charleston set to relaunch on January 19

A new year is breathing new life into Social Media Club’s Charleston chapter, as it is set to relaunch with a meetup at Liberty Tap Room in Mt. Pleasant on January 19. The new leadership team in town includes Jeff Webster (who originally founded SMC Charleston in 2008), Cheryl Smithem, Ashley Thiesen Caldwell, Jennie Fiechtl, Adam Burke, Heather Mueller, Hunter Boone, Jessica Turner, Nicholas Daigle, and Amy Lesseig. Given the team assembled (most of which I’ve met, but a few I’ve not), I suspect there will be plenty of energy and enthusiasm for the chapter in the next year and I wish them the best of luck going forward.

What do you want to see from Social Media Club Charleston?

The Social Media Club Charleston steering group is meeting in a few days to review 2009 and look forward to 2010. It’s been a great kickoff year for SMC (at least from my perspective), with a core of great engagement and a fresh helping of new faces at each meeting. If you’ve attended one of our panels or networking events this year, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! You’re making Charleston’s technology and social media community stronger by participating.

Here’s another chance to participate — I’m interested in what kind of panels and events you might want to see next year. This is what’s on my drawing board so far:

  • A frank discussion about disclosure online. Social media’s nature is driven by disclosure — but are we giving away too much? I’d love to see a local privacy expert or two come out of the woodwork to help us with this discussion. Privacy is a big part of our culture, and a discussion about how much privacy we’re ceding using tools like Twitter, Facebook, Brightkite (and, in some cities, Foursquare) and the like could be incredibly enlightening.
  • A panel about crisis communication in the age of social media. After last week’s AdFed U panel, Lyn Mettler, Mike Haskins (Executive VP for Marketing at College of Charleston) and I got to talking and crisis communication — and how it’s changed — came up. One of the high points of my college career was a seminar on crisis communication put on by CofC’s Department of Communication Advisory Council, in which we had to generate a response to the Firestone/Ford Explorer incidents in 2000, where faulty tires caused a number of traffic accidents, some fatal. (I blogged about it shortly afterward if you care to read more and don’t mind my awful 2006 style.) Three years ago, we talked about stalling the press with refusing to comment and waiting for a statement. With social media, everybody’s the press, and it’s very hard to stall a tidal wave. This would be an incredibly beneficial panel.
  • And, of course, the networking events people love. We like to put the “social” into “social media,” and we’ll continue to do so.

The floor’s yours now — what do you want to know about? Sound off in comments.

BarCamp and SMC updates

Things are moving nicely with BarCamp: We’re got a location (the Lowcountry Innovation Center), a date (October 24th), and a signup page. Exciting stuff! Things are moving nicely along. We can still use plenty of help, so check out Eugene’s blog to see how you can get involved.

Social Media Club Charleston’s latest event, Social Media 101, will happen August 19 at 6:00 at the Wachovia Auditorium on the College of Charleston campus. Once again, much gratitude to the Graduate School for their help! RSVP over on Facebook.

Another smashing success

Social Media Club Charleston’s happy hour networking event last night was a smashing success. About 50-60 people (very rough headcount) showed up to put faces to names, make contacts, and learn from each other over tacos and beer. Those who saw me could probably see the near-permanent grin on my face over the turnout (Eugene has photographic proof of said grin and more shots of the event); it’s pretty exciting to be part of a group that has such energy and, so far, great momentum for potentially making a real difference for business, journalism, and education in Charleston. Local media was very supportive of our event, and barring a last-minute change, you’ll see a story on Live 5 News at 6 tonight about SMC Charleston, including an interview with yours truly. Many thanks to everybody who came out to support us — it was great to see so many new faces! As always, it’s great working with the SMC Charleston leadership group, headed up by Jeff Webster, Nick Tompkins, Lyn Mettler, Heather Solos, and Chad Norman. Look for more information on our next event soon.

The next SMC Charleston meeting is set

Hot on the heels of the first Social Media Club Charleston event, which was a smashing success (footage still to follow; progress slowed by a problem with my primary computer) comes our next meeting, a networking event at the downtown Taco Boy location (another appropriate location given that tacos are emerging as the next memefood on Twitter) next Tuesday, July 14 at 6:30. (RSVP on Facebook for the event.) Come ready to introduce yourself, network with other professionals, and get to know more of your fellow social media compatriots and share your hopes and goals for what you want out of your social media presence. The Facebook RSVPs are very promising for a good turnout. Hope to see you there!

It’s here! Social Media Club Charleston launches tonight

After a few months of hard work and preparation, Charleston will officially launch its chapter of Social Media Club tonight with a panel of journalists asking them how social media’s transformed how they engage with their audience. Here’s the event page for tonight’s panel on Facebook.

It’s very befitting that the kickoff event for Charleston’s Social Media Club is a panel with local media professionals. After all, the roots of our blogging community stem from local media’s efforts to reach out to local bloggers all the way back in April of 2006. The founders of that effort, Dan and Janet (Edens) Conover, will be on the panel, along with Ken Hawkins from TheDigitel.com, Andy Owens of the Charleston Regional Business Journal, and Raymond Owens, a producer at WCBD Channel 2 who was well ahead of the curve by being the first broadcast media presence in Charleston to do newsgathering via Twitter (well before WCBD’s station-wide push into social media earlier this year).

Social Media Club Charleston has been in the works for a few months now. Jeff Webster and Nick Tompkins kicked off the effort just before the 2008 holiday season. Heather Solos of Lowcountry Bloggers and Home-Ec 101, local social media/PR pro Lyn Mettler, Blackbaud’s Chad Norman, and yours truly rounded out the initial leadership group and has been laying the groundwork for this launch over the last few months. Thanks to help from The Graduate School of the College of Charleston, we’re able to put on this event for you. It’s stating the obvious to say we’re ridiculously excited to bring SMC to Charleston.

Between the rockstar panel and the wonderful opportunity to meet lots of new people, tonight should be a lot of fun. Tweet your thoughts using the #smcchs hashtag, and we hope to see you there. The event will be at Maybank Hall on the College of Charleston campus at 6:30. (Here’s a map to Maybank Hall.)