Michelle Sullivan Communications

FacebookCamp Montreal post mortem

Whew. What a crazy couple of weeks. Non-stop action. I’m more than happy to spend the last half of Friday evening quietly reflecting on the sweet success of Wednesday night’s Facebook Camp Montreal.

The doorman’s clicker-thingy said 213 people were in attendance – since there were about 50 bodies in the space before he started his shift, I’d say we had over 250 Facebook maniacs streaming in and out of the SAT that night. Great turnout.

I was the guard-dog .. erm .. timekeeper for the marketing stream presentations, so couldn’t make it over to the developer side of the venue, but I hear their presentations were really interesting.

Highlights for me definitely included Eric Bolduc’s presentation of ratsdeville‘s use of the Facebook space… not only because Eric is a close friend whose project I support through PR strategic advice that included his introduction to social media platforms like Facebook, but because he did a great job with the 5 minutes he was given. Not only that, but Eric managed to coin the evening’s catch phrase : Facebook is the blog of my blog. Like Thane Calder said later on in the Future panel, there’s something really insightful about that comment that has some interesting implications. As Eric’s presentation demonstrated, his use of Facebook is definitely having a terrific impact on his blog’s traffic stats.

I also really enjoyed the Future panel, with Thane Calder, Sébastien Provencher, Martin Lessard, Bruno Boutot and Sylvain Carle. One thing that stuck with me was Sébastien’s reflection on the impact a social media platform like Facebook will have on the Web of the future : like him, I remember a pre-Mosaic web and have known for a long time that the Web can be an interactive platform that goes well beyond dating and gaming sites. But now, Monsieur-et-Madame-tout-le-monde are cluing in to that reality and the Web will never be the same.

There are two ages of the Internet – before Mosaic, and after. The combination of Tim Berners-Lee’s Web protocols, which provided connectivity, and Marc Andreesen’s browser, which provided a great interface, proved explosive. In twenty-four months, the Web has gone from being unknown to absolutely ubiquitous.

A Brief History of Cyberspace, Mark Pesce, ZDNet, October 15, 1995

Social media is still pretty new to Montreal marketers and I think that was reflected in some of the panel discussions Wednesday night. Some are treading carefully (if at all) on new ground, while others are willing to start getting their hands dirty by experimenting.

PR people, be aware : marketers might still be skeptical about social media, but if their presence (and your general absence) Wednesday night is any indication, they’re well on their way to getting cozy with it and will be quite capable of guiding their (your?) clients into the space sooner, rather than later. So how about it? Are you ready?

I’m getting there, thanks in large part to events like FacebookCamp. It was great to be involved in the organization of this first edition. Thanks to the other members of the organizing committee for inviting me on board : Sylvain Carle, Sébastien Provencher, Thane Calder, Geoffroi Garon, Tanya McGinnity and Antoine Girard.

À la prochaine!