Road Trip: Social Media Masters 2011 Tour

smm_logoSocial Media Club is embarking on a 5-city-conference tour this Summer and Fall focused on advanced level education around social media marketing.

This conference series will head to:

Atlanta (August 26th), Los Angeles (September 9th), New York (September 23rd), Toronto (October 7th) and Kansas City (October 21st)

We will feature topics on Becoming a Social Business, Social Media Measurement and Metrics, Producing a Killer Corporate Blog, Setting Up Your Corporate Infrastructure, Crisis Communications and so much more. I am really looking forward to the road trip and meeting local Social Media Club members in each city, while making a couple of new friends along the way.

This is a big step forward for Social Media Club to support our mission to provide education around social media, and I am proud of the team for working so hard and making this series come to life.

Social Media Club Reaches 150 Cities!

I was putting a presentation together recently on Social Media Club (‘SMC’) and needed a current count of all the cities that had an active chapter, as well as cities we were working with to launch a chapter.

I am pleased (and surprised) to report that as of July 1, 2009 – SMC crossed 150 city mark with chapters in over 15 countries. Wow.

Even more surprising (to me) is the fact that we have reached all these cities through word of mouth activities (only) via friends, attending conferences and personal travel. Crazy. Makes me wonder what we could do if we put some real marketing effort into it!’ 🙂

When Social Media Club launched three years ago (March 2006), neither Heuer or I had any idea how big it would become, or where it would go. We are thankful for the 400+ folks who have supported SMC’s activities through paid memberships and hope to see that continue to grow as we launch new educational programs and an infrastructure to help the global community come together.

Social Media Club Member Kits

SMC continues to be a labor of love project that I volunteer about 30 hours a week to, trying to put light structure in place so we can continue to grow and connect people interested in Social Media around the world. I’ll admit, it is tough some days, and SMC absolutely takes a hit when my client work requires more of me.

To solve for this, we are working to hire an Executive Director and light staff to help push the organizational pieces for SMC forward as it kills me when balls get dropped and emails go unanswered. Getting someone in here to take the reigns is high on the list and will allow Heuer and I to take a step back and focus on the media literacy and chapter related projects we wish to see get off the ground. Focus baby. Focus.

The TO DO/wish list is a mile long and there are a 1000 moving pieces at any given time. With that, I know there are exciting times ahead, and I cannot wait to see where the organization is 12 months from now.

All the blood, sweat and tears poured into Social Media Club have been worth it…

It has been a somewhat long two years, trying to get our labor of love project off the ground and running on its own without requiring full time efforts from Heuer or me. There were times we were able to put love into it, other times our personal and work lives made it impossible to keep up. More times than not, the latter happened.

This makes me forever grateful for the founding folks who believed in the vision of SMC and helped our baby grow from a 14 person kickoff meeting in Silicon Valley on August 16, 2006 to where it is today – a worldwide organization consisting of 200+ paid members, 17 active chapters, another 25+ chapters (today) on the verge of launching, and 1000’s of people who have gotten together to share their knowledge with one another.

/me sheds another tear of pride

While we could simply let people self organize around a wiki, that model doesn’t help our mission to get the local chapters conversing with one another – sharing their knowledge, promoting ethics, working on standards and making sure we ‘lift all boats’.

So today, we put a stake in the ground to show our commitment to the people who believed in us from day one and announced the formation of an interim board to chart strategic direction and advance the goals of SMC.

Now, I know the number of folks on the interim BOD (41, soon to be 42) might seem crazy to some, but there is a large list of things we wish SMC to accomplish, and everyone involved has a ‘day job’ and other responsibilities to tend to, so I think the number makes sense. The problems of the past have always been trying to do too much with too few people involved, and as Heuer mentioned earlier, we will not need consensus on every little item, we will be split into working groups with different responsibilities so I expect us to be successful and able to push projects forward.

I am really looking forward to the next 4-6 months and seeing what this group can do together. Getting the national organization set up correctly and working efficiently is a key focus, as well as making sure the local chapters have what they need to flourish. Other projects on our plate will be shared later, right now…I need some infrastructure in place…like ASAP.