Studying the impact of innovation on business and society to Build a Community for Social Media Professionals

I’m very excited to be part of this movement. The first event is tonight at 6 p.m. If you can make it, please RSVP.

Event details:
Social Media Club Meeting #1
Begins: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 at 6:00 PM
Location: 857 Maude Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94043

It’s official! (SMC) launched today for the purpose of elevating Social Media to a higher level of professionalism. The organization will bring together different groups of social media practitioners such as bloggers, podcasters, publishers, journalists, students, artists, developers, marketers, and PR professionals. was formed for the purpose of sharing best practices, establishing ethics and standards, and promoting media literacy around the emerging area of Social Media. SMC was founded by Chris Heuer, serial Internet entrepreneur and executive director of the not-for-profit

According to Heuer, “This is the beginning of a global conversation about building an organization and a community where the many diverse groups of people who care about social media can come together to discover, connect, share, and learn.”

Today, SMC is hosting its inaugural event in Silicon Valley to organize its first local chapter and to begin work on the hRelease, a Microformat standard for modernizing the traditional press release for a Web-centric world. The New Media Release Google Group was established in June to discuss the future of the Press Release among PR professionals and other interested stakeholders. The meeting will move the efforts from its initial discussions, as outlined on the hRelease Wiki donated by SocialText, to deliver the initial draft of the Microformat.

Since the launch of its blog one month ago, SMC has received tremendous industry support which has enabled Heuer to expand the team with prominent industry veterans including, Tom Foremski of Silicon Valley Watcher, Howard Greenstein, one of the co-founders of the WWWAC List, Internet visionary Mitch Ratcliffe, Brian Solis, founder of FutureWorks, Inc. and PR2.0, Sally Falkow, president of Expansion Plus and Falkow, Inc. and in-demand speaker and author, angel advisor Timothy Taylor of Taylor, Inc., Jennifer McClure of SNCR, and many other leaders of this emerging industry.

SMC will also host several Founders Circle Events with the first series planned for New York City, London, Miami, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Toronto, Seattle, and Los Angeles. The half day BrainJams-styled unconferences will focus on “The Rise of Social Media” and the specific needs of each local community for establishing a local chapter of Social Media Club.

Heuer adds, “The path towards the transformation of Social Media Club from an idea and a blog into a real world community is paved with unconferences and blog posts tagged with socialmediaclub!”

The idea for Social Media Club originated in the Fall of 2005 with the Web 2point1 BrainJam. This led Heuer and his fiancée Kristie Wells to create the non-profit BrainJams organization to promote unconferences and ad-hoc collaboration to a broader audience of less technical professionals. Over the last year, BrainJams has brought together like-minded people from different backgrounds for hosted conversations about the things that matter most to participants. As a result of thousands of conversations since, the team discovered that Social Media was their true passion and deserved to be the focus of their efforts.

Heuer continued, “We are more than just USERS, we are the reason the tools exist – we are the people who communicate our thoughts and ideas near and far. By enabling the people who ‘get it’ to share it with others through programs like Adopt A Blogger, Social Tagging Project and dScribes, we believe that everyone touched by this industry will benefit from our efforts.”

BrainJams was established ftp expand the unconference movement and experiment with different formats for group conversations and social learning. In addition to promoting what is now known as “12 Five Minute Meetings” (speed dating styled networking), BrianJams also promotes “Rent an Expert” and other forms of unconferences such as the National Coalition for Deliberation and Dialogue.

Tags: hrelease, Social Media, socialmediaclub, Tom Foremski, Silicon Valley Watcher, Howard Greenstein, Sally Falkow, Chris Heuer, Kristie Wells, Brian Solis, Constantin Basturea, socialmedia, brainjams, futureworks, PR2.0, Jennifer McClure

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