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Social media across the globe

August 3, 2010

I’ve always said that the best part of my job is speaking at conferences and events, talking about topics I love – like how to build a social media program, engage a community, or create transparency. And while I’m generally happy about just about any audience I speak to, there are a few opportunities that are exceptionally exciting.

Next month I’ll be traveling to Australia to speak at the Australian Marketing Institute’s Government Marketing and Communications Conference. It will be an amazing opportunity to discuss social media topics with individuals in Australia’s government and nonprofit sector.

Australia offers a very unique, and interesting social media case study. A geographically “challenged” country in a number of ways, with population spread across a wide area, and areas of varying population, it sees a high per-capita rate of social media use. Many of the social media trends you see in the United States you’ll see in varying degrees in Australia. One that you’re just starting to see is the United States’ recent push to “open” government, making information more accessible and transparent. While many in the Australian government are working to use social media and harness online networks to tell their stories, it is still a work in progress – just like it is in the U.S.

The Australian Marketing Institute’s conference is bringing together both international speakers and many from across Australia to tackle topics concerning harnessing, and using, social media effectively. I’m looking forward to providing my experience in building an organization’s social media strategy and brand identity, but I’m also looking forward to hearing from individuals across the Australian government about what challenges they’re facing, and how social media can help them meet their communications objectives. Because at any event, whether you’re the speaker or an attendee, learning from those you’re with is half of the fun.

Which is why I hope you’ll consider joining me! 😉 If you’re interested in getting a cross-country social media perspective, Australia certainly provides a unique opportunity. The Australian Department of Defence currently harnesses social media in some capacity – just check out their home page for links for Twitter, Flickr and You Tube (and I dare say their Twitter feed, while less popular, is just as good as @USArmy’s). And looking into flights, one can travel to Australia for just about three times the cost of what it takes to get back to my home state of Iowa – and considering it’s about 10 times the distance, I’ll call that a bargain!

Check out the conference, check out the Australian Department of Defence, and let me know what you think. What’s the best social media conference you’ve attended? I’d love to know.

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