SXSW: Lost In Translation?

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SXSW InteractiveWhile 2008 was a major conferencing year for me and this year I was slightly more selective (and instead am co-organizing one myself called Atoms&Bits), I’m planning to only attend those conferences next year that I really, really want to experience. Off the top of my head, that’s Reboot, SXSW, maybe Shift and a barcamp or two. Everything else I’ll have to see.

That said, here’s some news that just reached me about SXSW Interactive:

Robin Grant of We Are Social has put in a proposal for a SXSW panel called “Lost In Translation: The Nuances Of European Social Media“:

Europe is ahead of the US in terms of the consumer usage of social media, and yet little attention is often given to the nuances of what is on one hand is the world’s largest economy and on the other a collection of 48 countries with very different cultures. Find out why the blogging scene in Paris is 2 years ahead of the US, the Brits are all a Twitter, the Dutch prefer Hyves to Facebook and the Germans will take any chance to give brands a hostile reception in social media.

In case the panel is going to happen, Robin kindly offered to invite me along with a few other European social media practitioners to take part in the panel.

Besides being invited, I think this topic – engaging the European market – is becoming more and more important particularly for US startups. And while it’s true that the German market can be tricky, it’s not impossible to navigate, and there’s lots to gain. (Side note by way of giving an example: Just today I hosted a blogger roundtable for the Jusos election campaign (full disclosure: paid gig, see client list) and it was not at all hostile but in fact very constructive.)

I’ve worked briefly with We Are Social in the past (my client list) and had the pleasure of interacting with Robin a few times. We’ve never met in person, but I feel like I can give a two-thumbs-up for this panel. And if you vote for the panel, maybe you’ll help me get to SXSW.

Voting the panels is easy: after signing up, it’s a simple thumb-up/thumb-down vote.

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