SBTUG: Social Networking and Chocolate


If you’re like me, then you probably cringe when you see people referring to themselves as a ‘social media strategist’.

And if they point to Gary Vaynerchuk as their main example of why you too should embrace social media then I really despair. Too often it seems, we’re told of the wonderful success stories, with scant mention of the hard work, sweat and perserverance these overnight social media celebrities have been putting in… for years  (as most overnight successes do).

Of course, anyone and everyone can use social networking, but with so many options, how do you know which path to choose? How do we avoid ending up like this poor person:

When it comes to getting the right social media guidance, you obviously want to be wary. Sure, you need to have an open mind and accept that the way you’ve traditionally done stuff might not be the way you’ll succeed in the future. But that doesn’t mean you should jump on the latest social networking fad, or embrace a popularity contest strategy that has little financial rewards. And if you’ve been employing a particular social media approach that doesn’t seem to be bearing fruit yet, it doesn’t necessarily mean you dump it.

Chocolate keyboardInstead, you need to understand – without the hype – what’s really going on in the social media and social networking space.

So, what do you do? How do you find the right guide?

And, perhaps most importantly, how do you get to eat a lot of chocolate in the process…

The Solution

Well, my friends, I have the solution. This month at the Sydney Business & Technology User Group (SBTUG) we are fortunate to have one of the world’s leading social media consultants presenting. Laurel Papworth (aka @silkcharm) is coming along to give us an update on the state of play in social media and social networking. If you are a regular SBTUG member, you’ll remember she presented to us a little over 18 months ago. Things change rapidly. This time she’ll be reviewing what’s changed, what’s new, what you need to understand, adapt to & embrace, and what you should ignore.

About Laurel Papworth

You can read her full bio here, but I thought it worth mentioning the following extract so you get the idea:

Laurel has been a virtual communities/online Community/Social Network consultant since 1989 when she was involved in Twin Peaks IRC and Usenet groups online. For the last decade, Laurel has been running virtual worlds and MMORPGs as a game moderator, forum admin, customer service manager and marketing consultant. Laurel has a patent in social network currencies and is considered a leading social media monetization strategist worldwide.

Laurel Papworth - Social Media GuruSince 2005, Laurel has been teaching social media classes, including at the University of Sydney, has advised projects such as Interactive (social media) Emmy award winning Scorched.TV and recently went to Saudi Arabia to work on the iMatter Project for Middle East Broadcasting, teaching Arabic women how to blog and use social media to gain a “voice”. She also runs workshops on Government 2.0 on their social media strategies in Asia.

Laurel is currently in top Power150 bloggers for Marketing and Media worldwide, as collated by the global Advertising Age magazine. She is a popular keynote speaker around the world, recently returning from a Portugal keynote, and her books and courseware are available for download under Creative Commons Licence from

If you are business owner, software manager or developer, utilising social networking in your role, then this will be an extremely valuable session. Come and learn from a recognised expert (and engaging speaker), who imparts considered and data-backed advice to all levels of business, including government, enterprise and small business.

I’ve heard Laurel present many times, and can tell you she’s excellent. We’re lucky to have her for the night. And if you are still wary of social networking, then let me put it another way… she’s one of the few people who when I hear the term ‘social media strategist’ I don’t cringe! She’s the real deal.

Please RSVP here on our Facebook Event or email me to secure your place.

Christmas Bonus

But why all this talk about chocolate? Well, two things:

  • First, this will be our last meeting for the year (*sob*). So, it’ll be our SBTUG Christmas party (*woo hoo*). Which means we’re bringing along beers, cocktails (did somebody mention mojitos) & nibblies in addition to our regular pizza feast. And chocolate.
  • Second, Laurel loves chocolate. It’s the least we could do!

So, do yourselves a favour. Book the night of Wed 25 November in your diary now. Come along to SBTUG and hear one of the leading social media consultants outline the state of play, PLUS enjoy a beer, pizza and plenty of chocolate. Sound like a good night? I look forward to seeing you there.

Full Details

When: Wednesday 25 November 2009 at 6pm
What: Social Media and Social Networking for Business
Who: Laurel Papworth presenting
Where: Microsoft, North Ryde (click for map)
Register: RSVP here to secure your place
Cost: $5 donation* to cover pizza (the beer, mojitos and chocolate are provided for free!)
Why: Because you need to understand how to use Social Media in your business

(*If you’d like to sponsor the night, and help us remove the $5 donation request, then please shoot me an email. We’ll promote you and your company/service on the blog, in our email newsletter and on the night.)

One Final Thing

If you could help promote the event I’d really appreciate it. A simple retweet or thumbs up would be great. But I expect many of you will have to print this out and physically hand it to your boss the people who need it most… :-)


By Craig Bailey