Students, faculty and the public participated in a series of five hands-on lecture/workshops that explored using social networks for branding both businesses and themselves during March and April, 2009, in ATLAS.
The series, entitled "Navigating the New Social Media Landscape Plus Marketing the Brand Called You," was led by Gwen Bell, who was named one of the Top 50 Most Powerful and Influential Women in Social Media in 2008.
Bell is an experienced, knowledgeable and "networked" lecturer who started her own series of conferences on social media, Chicks Who Click, in January in Boulder. She writes a regular blog at http://www.gwenbell.com; she has 8,100 followers of her Twitter account at http://twitter.com/gwenbell.
Workshop participants were introduced to a broad range of social media technologies and techniques, including an overview of the social Web; Twitter, Facebook, social network job searching, using social networks to promote and brand businesses, using social networks to brand and promote individuals, and how monitoring social networks can contribute to protecting and promoting brands. "Students have commented on how dynamic, hands-on and learner-friendly the series was for beginners," Bell said. "More advanced students enjoyed the social media case studies, best brand practices and Entrepreneur Speed Dating," which was a breakout session were attendees sat in groups with social network entrepreneurs.
From 30-50 people attended each of the sessions; an additional 20-30 people participated by watching a live video stream over the Internet. Participants were encouraged to bring their laptops to actively put to use what they were learning. ATLAS also provided laptops for people who needed them.
The free lecture/workshops were a part of the ATLAS Institute Speaker Series, which is supported by a generous gift from Dr. Idit Caperton and daughter Anat Harel. Guest speakers in the Speakers Series range from technical experts to digital artists, each invited to enrich the curriculum and stimulate discussion.
While Bell led most of the sessions, she also brought in social media experts from the surrounding area. "It would be wonderful to do a follow-up series at the ATLAS building in intermediate and advanced strategies as they pertain to the social Web," Bell said.