Fortunately, the last time I was asked "what's a blog?" whilst presenting at a social media conference was 2008. Thank gawd for that. But too many social media conferences continue to labour the basics whilst the majority of practitioners have moved themselves way up the learning curve.

So I thought I'd invest this Friday Roundup in identifying three initiatives in London that should tickle your advanced social fancy.

The first is the CIPR's Digital Impact conference. For an institute that didn't lead in the social media world back when I was being asked "what's a refback?", the CIPR has jumped three gears and is heading straight into the thick of things in 2010. The content looks fab. The speakers are great and the venue, for those who haven't yet been to the CIPR's new home, is lovely.

I'm going particularly for the First Direct and Vodafone sessions. (And don't worry about the CIPR's website, yes it is awful, and yes they do know it, and yes a new one will debut in just a couple of weeks!)

The second is Social Media Marketing 2010 from the same guys that brought us the successful Monitoring Social Media 2009 and Social Media Monitoring Bootcamp 2010 conferences. And with Chris Brogan and Brian Solis making rare appearances in the UK, it's shaping up to be another "I like" feather in the Luke Brynley-Jones' social hat.

Lastly, and another CIPR first, the CIPR Social Summer is the first event series organised by the CIPR's newly formed Social Media panel, and a series that's being developed openly on a wiki. Seriously, if you want to change it, you can.

Adopting a more casual format, fireside chat if you like, the workshop owners have been free to tempt you with whatever they want to share. Check it out. Mark Adams, founder of Text 100 and Next Fifteen, is calling his session "The Social Stigma of Losing Your Hard-Won Mayorship"... which I'm taking to be a session around location aware social networking rather than a personal branding expose; but you never know.

And if that's not all, the content here on MarCom Professional continues to teach us all a thing or two. Happy browsing.

Philip and the MarCom Professional team.

How social media might help put UK politics on the right track

by Philip Sheldrake of Influence Crowd LLP

Election 2010 was supposed to be the UK's first social media powered election, but with the advent of our first ever Leaders Debates, it became resolutely a TV-powered election.

But that doesn't mean same-interest groups aren't coalescing and making their point online; quite the opposite. It's just that the majority of the British public aren't that engaged with social media just yet. And don't start with that "but Obama did it in 2008" malarkey... sure, he ran a great campaign, but when you break it down you find that the majority "online" More...

7 Scientific Ways to Promote Sharing on Facebook

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Leonardo Da Vinci once wrote, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Kelly Johnson modernized that philosophy with an alternate twist, KISS, Keep it Simple and Stupid a.k.a. Keep it Short and Simple.

In a social economy where attention is a precious commodity, the ability to strip a social object down to its essence to capture attention has less to do with compacting character counts and more to do with the art and science of packaging and presenting content so that it is immediately compelling, simple to grasp and appreciate and in turn, share across social graphs. More...

CIPR Social Media panel Social Summer training sessions

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Here’s a sign of the progress that the CIPR is making on the social media front.

One of the first outcomes from the Social Media panel is a series of training sessions led by industry practitioners. They’re set to take place at the CIPR’s HQ at Russell Square every Thursday night over the summer from 5pm to 7pm.

The programme is coming together on a wiki. Chip in if you’ve got a view or you’ve a topic that you’d like to see covered. I’m up on 5 August when I’ll talk about using social media to build your personal reputation and get hired. More...

Social media savvy Microsoft's new competitive edge - partner enablement

by Walter Adamson of NewLeaseG2M

In a previous post (Part 1) I talked about the cultural change inherent in being a social media savvy company, and related it to Microsoft and the recent Netprospex Social 50 survey ranking US companies on their social media savviness.

In Part 1 I explained why I thought Microsoft deserved more credit for attaining the #1 position in the social savvy rankings, as it indicated a capacity for organisational change which has been frequently questioned in recent years.

In this part I want to explore what it means in terms of competitive advantage that Microsoft is #1.  More...

The Businesses of B2B Social Media

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Social Media is often misconstrued as a medium for business-to-consumer or B2C engagement and discounted as a viable communications network for those companies focused on business-to-business transactions. However, B2B, as in any other field impacted by online activity, is faced with a prime opportunity to not only cultivate communities in social networks and other social channels, but also amplify awareness, increase lead generation, reduce sales cycles, and perhaps most importantly, learn and adapt to market dynamics in real-time. More...

The Plane Truth: Brand journalism and the new Boeing site

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

The Boeing Company recently launched a completely new approach to the Web. The dramatic shift in direction brings what was a dull technology and product focused site to one focused on brand journalism, with interesting stories about people.

Brand journalism is the creation of videos, blog posts, photos, charts, graphs, essays, ebooks, and other information that deliver value to your marketplace. Brand Journalism is not a product pitch. It is not an advertorial. It is not an egotistical spewing of gobbledygook-laden, stock-photo enhanced corporate drivel. More...

What The Facebook? This is worrying.

by Michael Litman of Dare Digital

That’s the message I got when I didn’t want to join groups and fan pages for all of my stated interests to go with their new “Liking” policy. I simply wanted them to remain listed as words on the page, just as they had always been. But that was no longer an option. And that was when I decided it was time to seriously consider ditching my Facebook account. (I haven’t yet, but it’s getting closer every day.)

Up until now, I have been a supporter of brands using Facebook to connect with people. More...

3 principles for building social brands

by Steve Sponder of Five by Five

For organisations to be successful in this new hyper-word-of-mouth world they will need to fully embrace the notion of a building a social brand.
A social brand is one that is able to stay true to three core principles; it actively listens, it has appropriate social behaviour and it builds win/win relationships with its stakeholders.

Active listening is required if the brand is to truly be part of the market conversations, being part of the conversation provides valuable insight and critical feedback. More...

Best practice guidance and policy for social media measurement from the CIPR

by Philip Sheldrake of Influence Crowd LLP

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations announced this week one of the first actions to come out of its newly formed Social Media Panel... the Social Media Measurement Group.

Some time back in the early days of media relations some bright spark came up with the idea of using a ruler to measure 'column inches', a considerably less than perfect approach to assessing PR campaign success only compounded in its inability to drive performance and measure success appropriately by advertising value equivalence (AVE). More...

Value of radio versus podcasts in audience engagement

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Here’s some data that challenges the progress of social media.

Consumer appetite for radio – like TV – is at an all time high. According to RAJAR data (PDF) for the first quarter of 2010 46.5m adults tune into radio each week in the UK.

You thought that social media was killing mainstream media? No chance.

But radio remains a crude instrument to communicate with an audience. People may be listening but are they engaged?

David Cushman made this point on Twitter in response to a tweet I posted about the RAJAR data. More...

We’re the Tweets in America

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

The fascination with Twitter has less to do with the number of users and everything to do with the ability to observe and study a notable online community of passionate short-form content creators and consumers. This is of course, not just any online community. Twitter is quickly becoming the lens into all that moves us as individuals and also as a global society.

Twitter’s simplicity is part of its brilliance. The ability to interpret, analyze and in turn, predict behavior, currently sets it apart from most other social networks. More...