Almost three years ago, about the time I joined the management team at Sensei Inc., I founded a weekly online debate called #bizforum, which debated trending business topics on Twitter.
Inspired by other popular Twitter chats, I used this forum to challenge both myself and our audience to dig deeper, to discuss business paradigms beyond the pithy one-liners shared on Twitter and the me-too-thinking blogs that have become the hallmark of social media journalism.
Over the years we’ve had amazing debates that ranged from polite discussions to full-blown arguments both on Twitter and YouTube/Google+. We’ve covered everything from human resource best practices and social media policy to defining the ROI of marketing and public relations tactics.
With the help of guest moderators who stepped in when business travel pulled me away, I had the pleasure of playing devil’s advocate to an amazingly smart and invested community.
Earlier this month, I announced that the #bizforum weekly debate was coming to an end. Thankfully, my business here at Sensei, my public speaking, and my budding career as a published author and university professor are flourishing, which means I can no longer dedicate the time required to managing a weekly debate schedule.
However, this is not the end of the #bizforum debate, the community engagement and response has been too positive and encouraging to just let it go, so I’m evolving the debate into a new, more dynamic format.
#Bizforum Live Debates at New Media Expo in Las Vegas
For quite a while, I have been experimenting with different channels and options for the #bizforum debate. More than a year ago some very smart friends joined me in recordinga series of YouTube video debates.
In October 2012, I produced and participated in a live debate at the annual MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston. Over this past year, #bizforum hosted a series of Google+ Hangout debates that ran concurrently with our Twitter chat. Each new iteration of the debate format has been well received, and I’m extremely thankful for the continued support of the community.
All of that experience has helped form the next phase of the #bizforum debate experience. We’re taking the debate on the road! I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be moderating three LIVE #bizforum debates at the New Media Expo in Las Vegas in January.
1. Blurred Lines: Marketing Vs. Public Relations
The lines that previously defined traditional business silos such as sales, marketing, PR, and customer support have become blurred thanks to the digital marketplace. Digital and social media have elevated the role of the customer in the operation of a business, which has become a disruptive force within today’s organizations.
The reality of direct, one-to-one, brand-consumer communications has changed the job description and role of many departments in the enterprise. Marketing is more responsible for sales and customer service than ever before and customer service is now a significant player in the corporation’s branding and sales efforts. Public relations is experiencing a renaissance of sorts with a more prominent voice in marketing, and especially social media marketing.
This session pits Chris Heuer, President and CEO of Adhocnium, against Bryan Kramer, President/CEO of Pure Matter, in a debate over the roles of marketing and public relations in modern enterprises. Which department should take the lead – and budget control – over social media marketing?
2. Will ISPs Kill Podcasting & Web Video?
You’ve been creating and posting audio and video to the Internet for years. But what if internet service providers decide to step in and take a cut, or simply get tired of competing against you and decide to drive you out of business? Maybe they charge your audience to access your content. Maybe they charge you just to access your audience. Or maybe they decide to do a little of both.
Join television and film actor, voice talent, network radio host, Internet entrepreneur, podcaster and author David H. Lawrence XVII (best known for his role as The Puppetmaster on NBC’s sci-fi series Heroes) as he takes on Washington-based consumer advocate Michael Weinberg in a live debate full of twists and turns that is sure to get you thinking if the open internet is really worth protecting.
3. The Future of the Independent Blog/Blogger
With more and more blogs populating the Internet, earning a regular readership, gaining popularity, and establishing influence has become more difficult than ever. Driving personal or business benefit from the effort exerted to develop and manage a blog seems overwhelming to many. To differentiate and stand out, many blogs and bloggers are turning to multi-author formats, increased frequency, and experimenting with content formats. Others, in order to remain independent and focused, are turning to tribe-blogging cooperatives and extending their reach by pooling promotional activities across their collective audiences. Which is the better path for independent bloggers? Is there even a future for the independent blogger?
For this debate, we’ve pitted Robert Scoble, Rackspace’s Start-up Liaison Officer against Dino Dogan, co-founder of the blogging community Triberr. If you’ve ever heard either one of these dynamic personalities present, you know this will be an animated debate!
I’m excited that New Media Expo agreed to include the #Bizforum Debate Live series this year. Who is joining us in Vegas this January? What specific debate topics or questions should I be posing in each of these debates?
Feed Your Community, Not Your Ego