I’m leaving tomorrow morning for SAS Global Forum, our annual user conference, held this year in Seattle. Last year was my first Global Forum. More than three thousand people came to learn more about SAS and to hang out with other like-minded souls. It’s quite an experience. I’ve heard it referred to as a “SAS lovefest,” and it sure is nice to work for a company that elicits that kind of loyalty.
This is going to be a big week for SAS in social media, for a lot of reasons. For one thing, we’ve significantly increased the ways we’re using social media to connect with people in and around the event.
We created a Twitter hashtag last year, and saw about 500 tweets during the conference. I’m pretty sure we’re going to blow that out of the water this year. The hashtag is #sgf10 and it’s been active for almost a year. We also created a Twitter account called @SASGlobalForum, led by Meg Crawford, who has been actively sharing and engaging with our online community for months. Last year at our event, Twitter was a novelty. I don’t feel like I’m going too far out on a limb predicting that this year it will show it’s worth.
Last year we did some live blogging from both the user conference and the business-focused Executive Conference we hold concurrently. I think I may have posted twice. This morning we had a meeting, led by my colleague Waynette Tubbs, of content providers from the different SAS groups who will be represented. We looked at the schedule and discussed who would be covering what events, where we would share our content for one another to use and repurpose, and looked at all the different places we now have to publish. I’m personally going to be contributing to three different blogs. It was exciting, like being back in the newsroom.
And every person in that meeting is planning to shoot some video with a handheld video camera. We’re on our way from being a siloed group of specialized corporate communicators to being multimedia content creators, concentrating more on telling great stories than fitting into a defined category. I can hardly express how energizing that idea is for me.
Michael Smith has been running the SAS Global Forum blog since June. There’s a great post there laying out the ways social media is being used at the event. It’s truly amazing how far we’ve come in a year.
Speaking of blogs, my colleague Alison Bolen has changed her role significantly since last year, and has become Editor, Blogs & Social Content. It’s a perfect role for her, and one that will help us advance our blogging program considerably. Alison will be posting to the sascom Voices blog during this year’s event, among other places, I'm sure.
But the biggest news on the social media front at SAS Global Forum will be the Monday morning launch of SAS’ new social media analytics solution. As someone who is working to integrate social media into every corner of a large enterprise, I could not possibly be more excited that SAS is combining our analytics expertise with our understanding of how big companies work and how they use data. I’ve never used this blog to push SAS products and I’m not going to start now, but tune in Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. Pacific, 11:00 a.m. Eastern to watch the launch event and see for yourself. You can also follow on Twitter using the #SASSMA hashtag.
There’s a lot more to talk about, but I’ve got to go get ready to leave, and make sure everything is charged. See? Social media changes everything. Even the way we pack.