Social Media at Sundance

On Friday as I attended a few talks of the University Venture Summit, during which I met quite a few people that use Twitter.  Amazingly, I think Twitter is really starting to become the communications medium for Entrepreneurs.  I t may be catching on a little more in the Geek and development community lately, but with as strong of a networking potential as it provides, I believe the Entrepreneurs have grasped it much faster than the rest of the world.

As I followed a few of these new visitors to Utah, I started to notice some of them were using a new term, prefacing “sundance” with #, seeming to direct their Tweets to those at Sundance.  In IRC world (I often term Twitter as IRC 2.0), #sundance would mean the sundance channel.  So I decided to track the term “sundance” on Twitter as the Sundance festival went on in Utah last weekend and throughout this week.  Wow what a new view of Sundance I received!

I soon learned of a Tweetup some of those at Sundance were having.  I decided it might be worth driving up to Park City to meet some of the non-Utah Twitters visiting town, so I drove up with Charlie Oliver (@charlieoliver on Twitter) to see what all the hype was.  It was there that I met with Sperling Reich (@sperling on Twitter), Justin Keller (@justinkeller on Twitter), and Colleen Coplick (@colleencoplick on Twitter).  Justin works for Cha Cha, a social search service very similar to Mahalo.  They were handling a service as a sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival which helped visitors, tourists, and Stars figure out what’s going on, where to find things in town, and more.  I heard someone Twitter this week that Quintin Terantino is in love with their service after this week!  Colleen is a Social Media Consultant and PR expert, and she was doing photography and PR for the festival.  Sperling is working on a new site (sorry Sperling – don’t remember all the details!) of some sort which tracks screenplays behind films, along with other film-type technology.

Over the weekend and during this week, through Twitter, I’ve learned that there was a Facebook Party, a MySpace party, a MySpace cafe (I heard over Twitter they give good swag!), and a few others like that.  I heard where Seal was.  I heard where several other stars were hanging out.  I heard how people up in Sundance were taking the death of Heath Ledger.

I’ve never seen so much from a birds eye view of the festival!  It’s amazing the role that Social Media is taking in these festivals and conferences.  I must try to track the places I’m in or near from here on out on Twitter.  I will definitely be going to the Festival and be more involved in it next year after this – the Sundance Film festival is now truly a “Social” event!  Now, I want to know why Twitter (the company) didn’t have a presence there!  Their users certainly were.

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Jesse Stay has been a pioneer in the space of social media marketing since before it was called "social media marketing". Originally a software developer, Jesse built a tool called which helped brands like Pepsi, Brittany Spears, and MC Hammer grow their social media presence, and before he knew it brands were coming to him for help to grow their presence in very unique ways. His tool was featured on almost every tech blog and even mainstream news sites like New York Times, Techcrunch, and Mashable. Jesse also spent a brief period working FOR Facebook, Inc., helping them to build out their documentation to help companies integrate Facebook Connect into their websites and mobile apps. Jesse took his skills and helped the LDS Church kick off most of its social media programs. While there he helped launch the award-winning "I'm a Mormon" marketing campaign with global reach worldwide in the millions of views and followers. Jesse established new global programs at the Church to further grow its reach amongst both members and non-members of the Church, working with every department of the Church, also including entities like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University. He also helped the Church navigate its voice and presence during the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign due to the significant attention the Church was getting at the time. He established the social media advertising techniques and strategies employed at Deseret Digital Media growing over 20 million fans across their news properties in just 6 months, and was featured on AdWeek for his success. As founder and Principal of Stay N Alive, Jesse has developed very unique techniques in social media advertising to help organizations grow presences, within months on minimal budgets, into hundreds of thousands of highly relevant and engaging fans and followers. He designed and teaches social media advertising at LDS Business College. He has helped grow sales, and has a belief that yes, you CAN measure social! Jesse has been featured as one of 10 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter (next to Biz Stone and Ev Williams, founders of Twitter) by Entrepreneur magazine. Jesse has written 9 books on the topic of social media marketing and development, including Google+ Marketing For Dummies and Facebook All In One For Dummies, and eats, lives, and drinks social media with a personal combined presence of over 600,000 followers on his personal social profiles.

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