Social: IRL Des Moines – Announcing Special Guest Speakers, New Registration Options, and Post-Event Networking

On August 30, Social: IRL returns to Des Moines, Iowa, with “All Business, No Hype, Social Media” featuring Social Media Explorer’s Jason Falls.

Jason will lead attendees through an in-depth discussion on social media tools, tactics, content, planning, strategy and measurement.  Over the course of two 90 minute sessions, attendees will learn how to use social media strategically, identify specific actionable goals, apply business discipline and proven best practices, stop fearing risks and start mitigating them, measure performance, and get results. Jason will also discuss social media techniques and metrics for building brands, strengthening awareness, improving service, and driving better leads, and will equip attendees with practical knowledge, supported by plenty of case studies and valuable takeaways.


Special Guest Speakers

In addition to the main program with Jason Falls, we are pleased to announce two special guest speakers. Both are highly regarded innovators who remain based locally in the Des Moines area while creating a national impact with their work.

We’ll  be hearing from Ben Milne, Founder and CEO of Dwolla, the cash-inspired payments network setting out to revolutionize the future of online and mobile payments. Ben will bring fresh perspectives on Dwolla, with a behind-the-scenes conversation about growing, maintaining and supporting communities, both on and offline.

We’ll also be hearing from education and technology consultant Angela Maiers whose talk at  TEDx Des Moines in August 2011, lead to the creation of the #YouMatter Manifesto, which quickly grew to become a social media-fueled international movement.

Visit the event page on our website for additional information and registration.


New Registration Options

Registrations for the event are heavily subsidized at just $65, or $20 for students and educators.

We recently introduced a new  local sponsorship option. For $500 a business can secure a block of 5 event registrations and also receive valuable event branding plus the opportunity to distribute promotional material.  Details are on the Eventbrite registration page.

In true Des Moines style, we have also added the option to register and pay using Dwolla.


Pre and Post-Event Networking

We will be announcing post-event networking to run from 5 to 7pm. Jason Falls is confirmed to stay for the entire networking event and is looking forward to connecting with attendees in this more relaxed setting.

We always encourage attendees to connect prior to the event. You can find a current list of attendees on the Eventbrite registration page. Many attendees included their Twitter names.

Check out who else is attending, connect with them on Twitter, and join the conversation about the event using the #socialirl hashtag.

From the “140 Conference” to “The State of Now” – A Conversation with Jeff Pulver and Becky McCray

Jeff Pulver’s 140 Conference has taken place in New York City, Los Angeles, London and Tel Aviv. The events have explored the effects of the emerging real-time internet on a wide range of topics including business, the media, advertising, politics, fashion, real estate, music, education, public safety and public diplomacy.

In 2010, renowned Oklahoma-based blogger, small business expert, and small town advocate Becky McCray, persuaded Jeff Pulver to bring the 140 Conference to Hutchinson, Kansas, and the “140 Conference Small Town” was born.

On November 8, the conference returns to Hutchinson’s Historic Fox Theatre for a third year. Something different for 2012 – a change of name from the “140 Conference” to “The State of Now.”

Social: IRL is pleased to support The State of Now: Small Town. We’re looking forward to our third year attending and would encourage you to join us. Use discount code friendofST12 and you can register for just $40, a saving of some $60 on the standard $100 rate.

You’ll also be able to get a preview of the State of Now: Small Town and connect with Becky McCray at a special event Social: IRL is hosting in Lawrence, Kansas, the evening of October 25.

Meantime, we chatted with Jeff Pulver and Becky McCray to get their perspectives on what makes this event so special, insights on what attendees can expect to experience, and to understand the re-branding to “The State of Now.”

For people who haven’t attended before, could you give a brief outline of what they can expect at “The State of Now” and what makes it such a unique experience?

Becky – Expect real people sharing their own short stories. Expect to feel a connection, as they tell how our shared online space has changed their work, their friendships, or their life.  Expect to get more ideas than how-to’s. Expect storytelling, not PowerPoint. Expect to make friends with people nearby or far away, people just like you, but completely different. 

Jeff – When I curate these conference, I try to be the “Human DJ” trying to mix the voices and stories shared.


Hutchinson KS, saw the first “Small Town” State of Now conference. What brought about the specific small town focus, and why Hutchinson?

Becky McCray with Jeff Pulver in Hutchinson last year. Source:

Becky – Jeff had dreamed up the idea of bringing together 140 characters in the real world, to strengthen our online connections. He debuted it in New York and took it on the road. As he went to Barcelona and Tel Aviv, Steve Tucker and I teased Jeff about coming to a smaller town, getting out of the big city. Of course, Jeff took us up on the offer. So then I started looking for a town near me, but closer to an airport, and also cool enough to host an event that I knew would draw people from all over the world. I had been in Hutchinson for a tour of bloggers that Cody Heitschmidt and other locals created, so I knew a bit about it. And Hutch managed to beat out the two other towns I looked at, so Hutch it is. And it’s turned out to be great. Occasionally, I get some static that Hutchinson isn’t a small enough town, but I live in a town of 30 people, so I get it. The people of Hutchinson have given us a small town welcome.  


Focusing specifically on Hutchinson, who are the speakers? What type of stories do they share?

Becky – At Hutchinson, we have the people you’d expect in a small town: business owners, teachers, people from nonprofits, farmers and ranchers, and more. And they came from 18 states and 3 countries last year. Then we also have people from big cities who have a connection to small towns, like Ron J. Williams of New York City who has family in small towns. So we’ve had Val Wagner of North Dakota talking about making time for social media in agribusiness, Grant Griffiths sharing how he launched an international high-tech business from his basement, and Jay Ehret of Waco, Texas, talking about selling your soul for business. Then we had Steve Tucker touching our hearts with the story of an online friend who passed away, Laura Girty talking about what happened after her son died and came back to life, and Joe Cheray talking about surviving incest in a small town. That is a pretty amazing mix of stories! 


Some of the stories shared at the State of Now events are intensely personal. What do you feel motivates people to step outside their comfort zone and share at these events in a way they might never typically do?

Becky – I really think it’s because Jeff asked. He offered to share the stage, and he invited the people of small towns to step up. And the stories just came pouring out. It was like no one had ever asked before. 


From the first couple of years in Hutchinson, any stand out memories you can share?

Jeff – My memories start before the first conference. “School Bus Racing” in Hutch was a surreal experience.  For me it is always about the people and the communities that get formed.


Jeff, As a native New Yorker, what were your key personal takeaways from the “small town” experience and that first Hutchinson event?

Jeff – As a result of visiting Hutchinson, I have made it a point to include the stories of some of the people I met in NYC at our annual global event. It helped that in August, 2010, I drove across the Midwest for 6 1/2 days. I visited quite a number of small towns during that journey. Key take away was that I needed to return to Hutchinson and make this an annual event. Our conferences provide a stage for people to share their stories. It doesn’t matter where they are from or who they are. Everyone’s voices matter. And we try to offer as many people to speak that we have room for.


Until recently, “State of Now” was known as the 140 Conference. Why the change?

Jeff – Mostly because I wanted to take away the false belief that we are a Twitter conference. Our conferences provide a portal into what is happening at this very moment and the continued effects of the evolution of the real-time web on our lives – both from a personal and business perspective. “Exploring the State of NOW” was the original tagline. Now it is the formal name of the conference.


State of Now returns to Hutchinson on November 8. Anything you can share on what attendees can expect to hear or who they can expect to hear from?

Becky – The call for speakers is still open, so I can’t reveal any secrets. But I can say that I see lots of returning favorites, and even more new names. People from Iowa, Wyoming, Michigan, New York, Louisiana, and Kansas are already in there. I know this will be another amazing year! 


For someone who hasn’t attended before, what would you say to encourage them to make the trip to Hutchinson?

Becky – Let’s share some of what people who have made the trip said: 

“Rather than leaving with a bunch of tips, tools, and systems, I left with a bunch of ideas, concepts, and connections.” –Scott Wendling

“Some things are just too small to miss.” -Jay Ehret

“Hutchinson was the perfect place for this small town event. It’s filled with warm, welcoming people and unexpected surprises. We traveled 650 feet underground into the tunnels that run under the city and got to experience life as an ant. After the conference there was a party at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. We got to see space suits and space ships that actually went into space. Who could have imagined that this small town in the middle of America could hold such wonders.” -Nelson DeWitt

“I encourage anyone within 1,574 miles of Hutchinson to attend.” –Greg Falken


State of Now: Small Town

Hutchinson, Kansas – November 8, 2012

Event website:

Register with  promotion code friendofST12 to save $60.

Join Social: IRL and Becky McCray in Lawrence, Kansas, October 25 for a special evening event sponsored by Lawrence Public Library, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, and Social Media Club of Lawrence. 

Join Social: IRL in Des Moines as we go “Beyond the Keynote” with Brian Solis

On Wednesday, June 6, more than 220 attendees from a five state region will converge at the Science Center in Des Moines, Iowa, for a very special “Beyond the Keynote” event with Brian Solis.  You can scroll down for a list of some of the 70+ businesses and organizations and 17 schools, colleges and universities being represented at the event.

Brian Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors on the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His book Engage! is regarded as an industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web. His most recent book The End of Business as Usual provided critical insights on how the consumer revolution is changing the future of business and media.

On the afternoon of  June 6, Brian will be in Des Moines for a special event, presented as part of the Social: IRL “Beyond the Keynote” series.  Brian will discuss issues critical to the future of business, such as surviving “Digital Darwinism,” the rise of the connected consumer, the evolution of social business, disruptive technology and how to compete for the future, the psychology of engagement, and the rise of digital influence. Brian will also participate in a unique bigger dialogue style fireside chat, a format that goes deeper and on a more personal level than the typical keynote. There will be opportunity for audience Q&A, and an opportunity to join Brian and fellow attendees for special post event networking.

Prior to Brian’s main presentation we’ll also hear from special guest speakers Geoff Wood, COO of Silicon Prairie News, and Life Dare TV‘s Liz Nead. Geoff will be discussing tech and innovation in the Des Moines Area, and Liz will share a fascinating story highlighting how social media helped “level the playing field.”   As Brian Solis says, “In an era of Digital Darwinism, no business is too big to fail or too small to succeed.

Thanks to presenting sponsors CDS Global and Catchfire Media, register using promotional code IRL50 and registration will be just $50.  Additional event sponsors include Central Iowa PRSAIowa Innovation Gateway, Startup City Des Moines, and Downtown Des Moines.

Attendees registered on or before May 31 will also receive a free copy of Brian’s book, The End of Business as Usual.

A limited number of free student and educator registrations are available on a first come basis.

Visit the event page for full details and registration.


“I am a personal fan of Brian Solis’ books and have highly recommended them to other CEOs. His message is keen and positive in its forward thinking, which I believe will resonate deeply with Des Moines professionals. It is my hope that this event will spark dynamic conversations in our local community regarding the shifts all organizations must make in order to thrive in this rapidly changing landscape.”  Malcolm Netburn, Chairman & CEO, CDS Global

“Brian Solis is one of the true thought leaders in the social space. Our intention is for the Des Moines professional community to utilize Brian as a resource and an energizer. We hope to bring together members of the private, public, and educational sectors to discuss the future of communication in the social space. This event will be a first of its kind for Des Moines and we are truly excited to be a part of it.”                    Jon Troen, Managing Partner, Catchfire Media


 Who’s Attending:

Attendees are traveling to the event from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa.  We’ve listed below businesses and organizations so far registered. You can also view the complete attendee list on the Eventbrite registration page.

Businesses and Organizations Registered to Attend

  • CDS Global
  • Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • CenturyLink
  • Barkley
  • Insight Advertising
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • Delta Dental of Iowa
  • The Integer Group
  • First American Bank
  • HyVee
  • Wells Fargo
  • City of Des Moines
  • Catchfire Media
  • Lava Row
  • Veridian Credit Union
  • The Kansas City Public Library
  • Startup City Des Moines
  • Rockwell Collins
  • ING
  • Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
  • Silicon Prairie News
  • 3KB Graphics
  • Whitfield & Eddy, Plc
  • City of Lawrence, KS
  • Grand Falls Casino Resort
  • Riverside Casino and Golf Resort
  • Stansberry
  • Two Rivers Marketing
  • DMB Supple
  • Performance Marketing
  • Monk Development
  • Knapp Properties
  • CreateWOWmarketing, LLC
  • Shala Designs
  • Etc Graphics Inc
  • Iowa Credit Union League
  • Blank Park Zoo
  • JT Chesser LLC
  • Iowa Farm Bureau
  • SecurityCoverage
  • Social: IRL
  • Lawrence Kansas Chamber of Commerce
  • Emploi.Us
  • Des Moines Register
  • Mindfire Communications
  • Center on Sustainable Communities
  • Minnesota Council of Health Plans
  • ASG Software
  • Royale Concrete
  • Signature Style PR
  • McLellan Marketing Group
  • Braland Consulting, LLC
  • Schuster Consulting
  • Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation
  • Spiral16
  • A Team Apparel
  • School Administrators of Iowa
  • The Bombshell Factor
  • The Computer Guy
  • Planning and Writing LLC
  • Holmes Murphy Associates
  • Bawte
  • Central Iowa PRSA
  • Iowa Innovation Gateway
  • Metro West Learning Center, LLC
  • Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony
  • Homemakers Furniture
  • Nead Inspiration
  • EMC Insurance Companies
  • Dropkin Editorial Services
  • LS2 Group
  • Coaching Actuaries
  • Meredith Corporation
  • Sukup Manufacturing Co
  • Share Marketing
  • National Publisher Services, LLC
  • SALT Solutions
  • iApps24
  • Great America Leasing Corporation

Educators and Students Registered to Attend 

  • Drake University
  • Minnesota State University
  • Creighton University
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Northern Iowa
  • The University of Kansas
  • University of Central Missouri
  • University of Mississippi
  • Dordt College
  • Iowa Wesleyan College
  • Simpson College
  • Southwestern Community College
  • Des Moines Area Community College
  • Vatterott College
  • Van Meter School
  • Ankeny Community School District
  • Waterloo Community Schools

As a social brand, we compete for the moment. As a social business, we compete for the future

To quote from a recent Brian Solis post, The Path from a Social Brand to a Social Business:

“While creating a social brand is a necessary endeavor, building a social business is an investment.”

“What’s the difference? A social brand is just that, a business that is remodeling or retrofitting its existing marketing practices to new media. A social business is something altogether different as it embraces introspection and extrospection to reevaluate internal and external processes, systems, and opportunities to transform into a living, breathing entity that adapts to market conditions and opportunities.”

To path to becoming a social business is a journey we must embrace to effectively compete for the future.

Read Brian’s original post in full here.

“The Path from a Social Brand to a Social Business,” will also be the theme for the 2012 Pivot Conference hosted by Brian Solis. We’ll be attending and would encourage you to join us. More details and a 20% registration discount here.

You can also join Brian Solis in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 6, as part of Social: IRL’s own Beyond the Keynote series.  A limited number of $50 registrations are available, and students and educators can attend for free. Learn more and register here.

Join Brian Solis and 500 of the top media minds in the business at the Pivot Conference

October 15-16, Social: IRL Principal Ben Smith will be joining Brian Solis in New York for the 2012 Pivot Conference, an event Brian both produces and hosts.  Ben is attending and supporting the event as a Pivot Ambassador, and because of that we are able to share a VIP discount code to save 20% off event registrations. The discount can be used in addition to the special early registration rate currently being offered, to represent a significant savings’ opportunity.  We strongly encourage you to join us at this event which offers learning and networking of the very highest caliber. Register using discount code VIP20 for the 20% discount to be applied.

From Engage! to The End of Business as Usual, the Social Compass to the  Conversation Prism, a website ranked among the world’s leading business and marketing online resources, and most recently his first official Altimeter Group report, The Rise of Digital Influence, Brian Solis  is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media.

In Social: IRL’s own conference series, Explore and Engage with Brian Solis and Jason Falls remains among our most highly talked about events, generating thousands of Tweets and dozens of blog posts.

In October, 500 of the top media minds in the business—marketing leaders who recognize the game-changing power of the plugged-in social consumer—will join Brian Solis in New York to attend the 2012 Pivot Conference.

As Pivot’s editorial director, producer and host, Brian takes great pride in creating a content framework and speaker agenda of the very highest caliber.

With the focus “From Social Brands to Social Business,” attendees will discover the blueprint for a Social Construct that will transform their business, earn a significant competitive advantage, and improve customer relationships in the process. Attendees will:

  • Meet the architects who are developing Social businesses and the agencies and industry experts who are helping them define new models for consumer engagement.
  • Hear about common hurdles, how they broke through, how they secured buy-in, and how they started to bring together lines of business and functions that did not previously talk to one another.
  • Engage with the most creative minds helping Social businesses connect with connected customers to influence behavior and outcomes.
  • Get inside the mind of the connected customer to learn how to influence decisions and become a trusted resource.
  • Convert activities and conversations into actionable insights that guide the creation of relevant product and services and inspire creative campaigns.
  • Measure the opportunities inherent in emerging and disruptive technologies to improve internal collaboration and customer engagement.
  • Define the customer journey pre-, during, and post-commerce to reinforce value, cultivate loyalty and foster advocacy.
  • Learn how Social businesses are not only improving stakeholder engagement, but how marketing, sales, service, product development et al, are adapting, improving efficiencies, and achieving business objectives through new methodologies.
  • Learn from the most effective strategies to successfully start the transformation.

Pivot also offers an exclusive opportunity to network and connect with the top social marketing minds in the business. By limiting attendance to 500 top marketing leaders, Pivot 2012 provides an elite opportunity to compare notes, share ideas and connect at the highest level.

Learn more at the Pivot website, where you’ll also have access to valuable research, case studies and infographics. For the latest updates you can also follow Pivot on Twitter.

We’re excited to be attending this very special event and to be able to share the VIP20 discount code. See you in New York!

Social Media for Non-Profits and Social Good – A special forum to be hosted by Social: IRL in Wichita, Kansas

On Thursday, May 3, Social: IRL will be hosting a special full-day interactive workshop, “Social Media for Non-Profits and Social Good.”

Taking place in Wichita, Kansas, the goal of the event is to bring together local and regional non-profit organizations, for a day that combines inspiration with learning focused on the potential of social media to be used as a powerful marketing, communications and relationships platform.  The main focus will be on non-profits, but the day’s takeaways will be valuable for any business or organization.

Attendees will learn from each other – connecting, sharing, hearing case studies, discussing what’s worked and how challenges have been overcome. Attendees will also learn through expert lead sessions covering important practical issues such as social media integration, community management, monitoring, relationship management, handling negative PR and crisis response, planning and strategy, best practices, effective content creation, and content marketing.

Our goal at Social: IRL is for as many local and regional non-profit organizations as possible to be able to participate in the event without having to pay registration fees. To help achieve this goal we are reaching out to sponsors to help cover expenses. We are re-structuring event sponsorships so that each sponsor will not only receive the typical branding and online and offline recognition, but with every sponsorship the sponsor will receive their own event registration and will also receive additional registrations to be awarded on their behalf to non-profit organizations wanting to attend.

For the sponsors, not only will they have supported and made possible non-profit participation in the event, but for themselves, participating in this inspirational day of learning will provide many valuable takeaways that can also be applied in their own businesses.

Full details of the event will be announced in the next week. Meantime, event registrations are open. Attendees are encouraged to sign up early as a limited number of spaces will be available.  Non-profit organizations may register up to two attendees at no charge. Other attendees may register at a subsidized full-day registration rate.

Potential sponsors may also contact us to learn more about supporting and participating in the event. Thank you to those sponsors already committed to making the event a success: Cox Communications, Delta Dental of Kansas, UMB Financial Corp, Colab Digital, Shay Chic Events and Design, Northstar Comfort Services.

Social Media for Non-Profits and Social Good

A special forum hosted by Social: IRL

9:00am to 4:00pm, Thursday, May 3, in Wichita, Kansas

Registration Now Open           RSVP on Facebook

Event registration page also includes current attendee list

Local and regional businesses, national brands and agencies, joining together in Kansas City for “Rethinking Business in the Age of the Social Consumer

On February 9, a diverse group of local and regional businesses and national brands and agencies, will come together in Kansas City for “Rethinking Business in the Age of the Social Consumer.”

This special day long workshop is hosted by Social: IRL and features acclaimed thought leader and business strategist “Conversation Agent” Valeria Maltoni. Attendees will be challenged to rethink, deconstruct, and reconstruct established initiatives and empowered to take their social media strategy and execution to a deeper level.

To promote greater learning, engagement and networking opportunities, the event is limited to just 70 attendees. At the time of posting this update, only 10 spaces remain.  You can learn more about the event here, or register direct on our Eventbrite page.

Registration for the event is just $145 for the entire day. This highly subsidized rate is possible thanks to the support of Social: IRL sponsors SpredfastSocialVoltExpionSpiral16Appinionsemfluence, and ManageFlitter.

Businesses, agencies and organizations participating in the event include:

  • AMC Theatres
  • Garmin International
  • Sprint
  • UMB Financial
  • H&R Block
  • Edelman Digital
  • MMGY Global
  • Bass Pro
  • Triple-I Corporation
  • Ameristar Casinos
  • Nebraska Furniture Mart
  • Kantar Health
  • Cerner
  • Boulevard Brewing Company
  • Intouch Solutions
  • Expion
  • Howerton White
  • National MS Society
  • Kansas City Aviation Department
  • Kansas Speedway
  • emfluence
  • Appinions
  • K-State Athletics
  • Salva O’Renick
  • Penton Media
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
  • Spredfast
  • Armstrong Teasdale
  • Sharp Connections
  • Kansas City Area Development Council
  • SocialVolt
  • Buzz New Media LLC
  • Social Media Club of Kansas City
  • V3 Integrated Marketing
  • Better Choices Consulting
  • Spiral16
  • Kansas City Public Library
  • O’Hara Marketing
  • Kuhn & Wittenborn
  • Ascend Learning
  • Go Local
  • Best Service Stores
  • Clayton CRM
  • Sound Products
  • HTK Architects
  • Spencer Fane Britt & Browne

You can also view a complete list of individual attendees on the Eventbrite registration page.

Join Social: IRL in Kansas City on February 9 – A look at what you’ll learn and who you’ll connect with at this exclusive event

On February 9, Social: IRL will be joined in Kansas City by acclaimed thought leader and business strategist Valeria Maltoni for “Rethinking Business in the Age of the Social Consumer.”

This special event brings a unique opportunity to Kansas City for businesses and agencies to rethink and reconstruct their social media initiatives, while also connecting with social media managers and marketing and communications pros from leading regional and national organizations – some of who are mentioned below. To promote maximum engagement at the event, limited registrations are available.

"Conversation Agent" Valeria Maltoni

Valeria Maltoni brings more than 20 years of real-world business experience, specializing in taking companies to “what’s next” in their business cycle by planning and building value creating systems that add momentum and performance to deliver strength, resilience, and endurance to the business. She has been responsible for overseeing engagements for companies including Anheuser-Busch, InBev, Allstate, and GE Appliances. During her career, she’s held senior business roles executing growth strategies at global Fortune 500, mid-sized businesses, and small start up companies in 5 industries. Her Conversation Agent blog is consistently ranked among the top 30 marketing blogs in the world on the AdAge Power150. You can connect with Valeria on Twitter @ConversationAge.

Joining Valeria and Social: IRL at the event will be an impressive group of attendees responsible for social media initiatives, marketing and communications at businesses and agencies including  AMC Theatres, Garmin International, Sprint, UMB Financial, H&R Block, Edelman Digital, MMGY Global, Bass Pro, Triple-I Corporation, Ameristar Casinos, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Kantar Health, Boulevard Brewing Company, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and Intouch Solutions.  Some local business and agencies, some regional and national. You can view the complete attendee list on the Eventbrite registration page.

This special workshop is intended for businesses, organizations and agencies already active on the social web. They’ll be challenged with fresh perspectives and empowered to take their social media strategy and execution to a deeper level.

The foundation of the day’s learning will be provided through the main interactive workshop session lead by Valeria Maltoni.  Valeria describes this session as “the conversation we never had about social media and desperately need to have to make sense of what works and what doesn’t. The prequel to the tactical implementations that have followed in the last couple of years.”  As Valeria takes an in-depth look at how to compete in the age of the social consumer, she will challenge attendees to rethink, deconstruct, and reconstruct established initiatives and look at potentially valuable missed opportunities. You can read about the session in this recent post on Valeria’s Conversation Agent blog and on the event page of our own website.

Additional sessions will include valuable advice from a leading social media attorney who will address important legal issues surrounding ownership of online content and communities.  We recently highlighted details of this session in the Social: IRL blog. Also sessions looking at the intersection of social strategy and social technology, including some of the latest innovations in Social CRM and influencer marketing.

The day will be highly interactive and engaging, both in terms of learning and networking . There will be many valuable  opportunities to connect and build relationships with local, regional and national social media thought leaders.

To promote maximum engagement, a limited number of registrations are available. At the time of publishing this post, just 32 registrations remain open.

The rate for attending the event is just $145 for the entire day, or just $85 for non-profits, educators or students.  These highly subsidized rates are possible thanks to the support of Social: IRL sponsors SpredfastSocialVoltExpion, Spiral16, Appinions, emfluence, and ManageFlitter.  Locally,we also very much appreciate support for the event from Garmin, Crowne Plaza Kansas City, and the Social Media Club of Kansas City.

Attendees will also have the chance to win some great giveaways from Garmin, ManageFlitter, and Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Co.

Visit our event page to learn more or click the link below to register now, while places remain available.


Who owns you? Content and community in an interactive world

On February 9, Social: IRL will host a special interactive workshop in Kansas City, “Rethinking Business in the Age of the Social Consumer.”  We’ll be joined by a strong group of both local and national businesses and agencies, including AMC Theatres, Nebraska Furniture Mart, emfluence, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Intouch Solutions, Boulevard Brewing Company, UMB Financial, Sprint, Howerton White, Ameristar Casinos, Bass Pro, Edelman, and H&R Block.

The foundation of the event is a half-day session lead by “Conversation Agent” Valeria Maltoni, who brings a wealth of experience overseeing engagement and executing growth strategies at global Fortune 500 corporations, mid-sized businesses, and small start up companies in five industries.

Jeff Schultz

The event also feature sessions looking at the intersection of social technology and social strategy, including some of the latest developments in social CRM, monitoring, and influencer marketing.  Also a valuable session taking a pro-active look at how to protect your online content and community, with Jeff Schultz, a leading social media lawyer with Armstrong Teasdale joining us to discuss potential legal issues both brands and agencies are facing on an increasing basis.

With these type of legal issues becoming more prevalent, the need for a pro-active approach is critical so we’re especially grateful to Jeff Schultz for joining us in Kansas City, and are taking the opportunity to highlight the valuable content he will be sharing with attendees.

Join us in Kansas City on February 9 to hear from Jeff, Valeria Maltoni and our other speakers, and for a valuable day of learning and networking. For a limited time attendees can register using discount code IRLNEWS and receive a specially discounted registration rate of just $95.

Who Owns You? Content in an Interactive World

Businesses and individuals alike are utilizing social media to develop their “brand” and connect with others. Today, almost everyone has a book, blog, podcast or video format which spews content (and also generates content from third parties). And every day, it seems, new online tools, platforms and advances introduce new opportunities to build your virtual footprint. But while they say that possession is 9/10 of the law, that may not be correct in the social media world. The answer to who “owns” content and community is not clear cut and the law in this area is not well developed. Users often overlook the legal ramifications that could arise. Armstrong Teasdale social media attorneys will discuss the legal aspects of content and contacts, including non-compete and fiduciary duties. Tying the presentation to the most active social media platforms, they will show you how to make sure you know who owns your work and community, and how to avoid potential legal problems.

 Jeff Schultz, Partner and Chair of the Social Media Practice Group, Armstrong Teasdale

Jeff Schultz is a business and commercial litigator and chair of Armstrong Teasdale’s Social Media Practice Group. Much of his practice focuses on counseling individuals and organizations through complex disputes involving the misappropriation of trade secrets, computer tampering, non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements, commercial contracts and social networking law. Mindful that one of the primary assets of any business is the proprietary information that makes it unique, Jeff helps clients develop and implement programs to safeguard against employee theft and defection and to minimize risks that arise when hiring employees from competitors. With the explosion of social media, social networking and online sharing, such as the use of blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and texting, Jeff advises companies regarding efforts to protect their brand online. Although social networking can be beneficial to maintain personal and business relationships when used properly, it can quickly become a legal minefield for those who are unprepared.

Garmin, ManageFlitter, and Boulevard Brewing Co giveaways

On February 9, Social: IRL will return to Kansas City with a special full day workshop, “Rethinking Business in the Age of the Social Consumer.

The event features “Conversation AgentValeria Maltoni, who brings a wealth of experience overseeing engagement and executing growth strategies at global Fortune 500 corporations, mid-sized businesses, and small start up companies in five industries. We’ll go well beyond the typical social marketing discussion to what Valeria describes as “the conversation we never had about social media and desperately need to have to make sense of what works and what doesn’t. The prequel to the tactical implementations that have followed in the last couple of years.”

The event will also represent a valuable networking opportunity with a diverse group of national, regional and local businesses attending and participating in this highly engaged day of learning. You can view the current attendee list on our registration page.

Thanks to several of our event sponsors and partners, we’ll have some great giveaways for attendees. If you attend, you’ll have the opportunity to win a nüvi 2455LMT GPS unit from Garmin, pro subscriptions to powerful Twitter follower management tool ManageFlitter, and four cases of beer from Boulevard Brewing Co. to pick up for your very own party at home.

You can learn more about the event and who’ll be attending here.


Whether you’re driving through an unfamiliar city or on your daily commute, nüvi 2455LMT makes your trip easier than ever before. It includes free lifetime traffic and map updates, advanced lane guidance and more.

  • View routes on the 4.3″ (10.92 cm) touchscreen.
  • Enjoy FREE lifetime map and traffic updates.
  • Avoid traffic tie-ups with 3D traffic, subscription-free live traffic updates from the our extensive traffic avoidance system.
  • Know which lane to be in thanks to advanced lane guidance with exclusive photoReal junction view.
  • Use in portrait or landscape mode.
  • See what’s coming with Enhanced Exit Services.
  • Get fast route calculations and address look ups with Garmin Guidance 2.0.


ManageFlitter is an easy to use web application that provides a set of tools for the Twitter user to assist them in optimising their Twitter experience.  With ManageFlitter you can easily bulk unfollow ”no follow backs”, see who has unfollowed you, search through the bios of the people you are following, remove spam and inactive accounts, and a lot more.  ManageFlitter is used by tens of thousands of people and organisations a day including Fortune 500 brands, social media agencies and Government social media teams.


Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to be one of the largest specialty brewers in the Midwest, and the 10th largest craft brewery in the country. It is dedicated to the craft of producing fresh, flavorful beers using traditional ingredients and the best of both old and new brewing techniques. Boulevard’s portfolio of year-round and seasonal beers is available in thirteen states, primarily in the Midwest, with select offerings distributed in an additional eight states. At Social: IRL, we’ll be giving away four cases of beer from Boulevard Brewing Co. to pick up for your very own party at home.


Join us in Wichita for “No BS Social Media Marketing” with Jason Falls

On January 31, Social: IRL will return to Wichita, Kansas, for “No BS Social Media Marketing” with Jason Falls.  Limited registrations are available at just $35.

Jason Falls is a nationally recognized leader in social media, public relations and communications. He is an author, educator, consultant, professional speaker and the name behind Social Media Explorer. He was recently ranked by Forbes as one of the “Top Ten Influencers in Social Media.” You can find him on Twitter @JasonFalls.

For this special event in Wichita, Jason will start the evening with an hour long presentation “No BS Social Media Marketing”  – a powerful presentation with plenty of case studies and practical take aways. Jason will then spend another hour in open Q&A with the audience – a unique and valuable opportunity to put your question to a leading nationally acclaimed expert. We’ll then spend the final hour networking with Jason and fellow attendees and Jason will also sign copies of his highly acclaimed new book, No BS Social Media – The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing. Every attendee will receive a free copy of Jason’s book.

You can learn more and register on our event page.

Some of the businesses and organizations you’ll be able to connect with at the event include:

Cox Communications

Armstrong | Shank

Cessna Aircraft Company

Kansas Humane Society

Sterling College

Hawker Beechcraft

Koch Industries

Colab Digital

Stucky Nolte

Kansas Credit Union Association

American Red Cross Blood Services

Wichita on the Cheap

Koch Creative Group

Pierpoint Technology Group

The Golf Warehouse

Shay Chic Events & Design

West Heights United Methodist Church

Star Lumber & Supply

The Conlee Group

Media Partners, Inc

Kansas Area United Methodist Church

Andy McGinnis Public Relations

Oypx, LLC


Practice Living Joy

The Bombshell Factor™

Social Focus by CG





Purple Wave, Inc.


New World Energetics

Catalyst Creative Services

Cohlmia Marketing

Thank you event sponsors Cox CommunicationsAndy McGinnis Public RelationsColab DigitalJunior LeagueSpredfastSocialVolt, Expion, Spiral16emfluence, and ManageFlitter.

See you in Wichita on January 31. Spaces are limited so early registration is encouraged.

Emerging issues in contemporary journalism – A discussion co-hosted by the Online News Association and University of Kansas School of Journalism

The University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications will co-host a digital diversity summit with the Online News Association (ONA) on December 3, as part of the J534 Diversity in Media class.

The student-led summit will run from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST and will focus on emerging issues in contemporary journalism including: net neutrality, media consolidation, broadband access in rural America, the role of citizen journalism in the Arab Spring, and comic journalism.

The summit is open to interested members of the public to attend either in person or online.

The entire discussion will be livestreamed on the J-School homepage and liveblogged on Twitter under the hashtag #digdiv. Virtual attendees will be encouraged to tweet questions to the speakers and to actively participate in the discussion.

Telling Stories of Diversity in the Digital Age

Saturday, December 3, 11:00am to 4:30pm CST

Attend in person: University of Kansas, Stauffer-Flint Hall

Open to the public, no charge to attend.


Twitter: Follow and participate using hashtag  #digdiv.

Facebook: Join the event Page (includes links to resources from the 2010 Summit)

Schedule of presentations (all times in CST):

11:00 – 11:05: Welcome from Simran Sethi, Associate Professor, KU William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications (@simransethi, @KUJournalism)

11:05 – 12:20: Net Neutrality and Media Consolidation

  • Openness and Access: The Two Pillars of Internet Policy, Timothy Karr – Campaign Director, Free Press (@TimKarr, @freepress)
  • Media Policy for Social Change and Movement Building, Amalia Deloney – Media Policy Field Director, Center for Media Justice (@guatemalia, @mediajustice)
  • Putting Toll Roads on the Information Superhighway, Michelle Janaye Nealy – Freelance Reporter and videographer (@michellejanaye)

12:25 – 1:40: Bridging the Digital Divide

  • Digital Divide(s): A Look at the Data, Kathryn Zickuhr – Research Specialist, Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project (@kzickuhr, @pewinternet)
  • Myths about the Digital Divide, Jessamyn West – Community Technologist, (@jessamyn)
  • Crossing Digital and Social Divides in Los Angeles, Kathleen Patton-Kimmel – CEO and President, Crossing the Digital Divide (@cddnp)

1:45 – 3:00: Grassroots Media on the Global Stage

  • The Revolution Will Be Tweeted: The Effective Use of Social Media in The Arab Spring, Dima Khatib – Latin America Bureau Chief, Al Jazeera (@Dima_Khatib)
  • Graphic Voices: Comics Journalism and the Power of Non-fiction Visual Storytelling, Dan Archer – Comics/ Graphic Journalist (@archcomix)
  • Mobilizing Friends and Followers: Effective Grassroots Activism and the Role of Social Media, Lisa Dougan – Director of Field Outreach, Resolve (@lisadougan)

3:05 – 4:20: Accessibility and Opportunity

  • The Best Day of My Life So Far, Benita Cooper– Founder and Executive Director, The Best Day of My Life (So Far) (@bestdaysofar)
  • Seeing Anew: iPads and Cortical Visual Impairment, Dr. Muriel D. Saunders – Assistant Research Professor, University of Kansas Life Span Institute
  • App 911: The Use of Technology in Disaster Communications, Daniel Schaefer – Doctoral Candidate in Communications, Journalism and Mass Communication Technology Coordinator, University of Colorado-Boulder (@@schaefd

4:20-4:30: Closing remarks from Jeanne Brooks, Community Engagement Manager, Online News Association (@jmfbrooks, @ona)