Looking back: An Amazing Year - An Amazing Tour
I know, it’s been ~6 month since I blogged. Rather than giving you excuses and apologizing, I’m just going to move on. Let’s just say that I had my reasons for being off the social grid for that period of time. But it’s a new year and a new beginning, and one of my resolutions for 2014 is to get back to a more regular blogging cadence.
The first stop of the tour was London. It was an amazing 1-day conference named BLiNCK—the future of social. We had almost 200 attendees including 5 of our European customers as speakers. Here is a quick video excerpt of BLiNCK.
Continental Europe: Paris, Munich and Zurich
Next, I took a train to Paris and started the journey across continental Europe. Since I don’t speak any French, German, or Swiss, I could only engage the audience’s left brain through the common language of logic and science. If you would like to experience that intellectual engagement, here are your options:
- Listen to a recording of my talk on soundcloud
- Download the audio file for your mobile devices/players
When I was in Munich, I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Bernhard Steimel, who has interviewed many business gurus from around the world, covering topics like community, CRM, brand management and e-commerce. Fortunately, he speaks very good English. Here is the YouTube recording of the interview:
Here is another set of interviews during the Zurich segment of my tour. It was conducted by coUNDco and posted on YouTube as 4 shorter videos:
Asia: Singapore and Jakarta
Next stop was Asia. I took a very long flight from Zurich to Singapore. Here is where the journey became interesting—both good and bad. During my stay, Singapore was affected by the worst Sumatra haze crisis in history. The pollution standard index (PSI) reached 400, where 300 is already considered hazardous. It was so bad that a Wikipedia entry was created for this health crisis. When you travel a lot, the probability of hitting some extreme crisis, like this, increases dramatically.
Aside from the health hazard, the book tour in Singapore was great. We just had to stay indoors. While in Asia, I also had the pleasure to speak at the Indosat headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, covering the topic on community co-creation.
- StarHub’s social odyssey kicks into top gear
- Snowballing customers: the power of social customer enlistment
Beside our SoS2 event, I was independently invited by iDA—the Inforcomm Development Authority and the Ministry of Finance of Singapore to present at the eGov Global Exchange. This is a very cool conference with keynote from the Deputy Prime Minister—Tharman Shanmugaratnam. It’s definitely not my everyday audience with ~600 government delegates and 23% overseas officials from all around the world. Here is a quick recap of the event:
Did you spot me in this video? I’m pretty inconspicuous, but I’m in there I promise!
US: NYC + SF
After Asia, it was another long flight back to the US. For this part of the book tour, we had analyst presenters in addition to customer presenters. I have always enjoyed working with analyst, because they offer an industry perspective, which is often beyond my purview. I had the great pleasure to present with and learn from 2 well-respected industry analysts—Michael Fauscette from IDC in NYC, and Kim Celestre from Forrester in SF.
This segment of the tour was relatively much smoother, except for the longest delay I’ve ever experienced. I was stuck in EWR airport for ~7 hours, due to low clouds in SFO that prevented incoming flights from taking off—the status monitor stopped updating after we hit the 5 hour delay mark. Since the tour scheduled between NYC and SF was only a day apart, it was getting pretty hectic when we lost those 7 hours. Moreover, I had to speak at our SF engineering open house on the same day—in addition to the book tour. Luckily I made it back in time to deliver both sessions!
ANZ: Sydney, Wellington, Melbourne, Perth
Since I was back in SF, I took a little break before taking another long flight to Sydney. Although this was the last segment of the book tour, it certainly wasn’t any easier. It was the second most densely packed travel schedule I’ve had in my life. I had 8 flights—SFO to SYD to WLG to SYD to MEL to PER to SYD to AKL to SFO—during a 6 period between Australia and New Zealand. It feels like we were in air more than on ground. I was told that I covered more of ANZ than most Australians and New Zealanders!
While in Sydney, I had a really fun interview with Liz Tay from Business Insider. Since Liz has a physics background, she was very interested in the math and science behind the social-curtain. The 2nd interview was with Peter Roper from Marketing Magazine when we were traveling to Perth. You can learn some of the science, too, through the coverage below:
- The neuroscientist helping Telstra and CommBank influence online
- REVEALED: 7 Mind-Melting Social Media Secrets Big Australian Companies Have Taken From Science
Home at Last
At last, I arrived home after nearly two months of travel on the SoS2 tour. It was exhausting, but at the same time very exciting and fun. However, the work didn’t just end with the tour, but I will save the next steps and other highlights for future blog posts if you are interested. Since I don’t generally write about my own experiences, let me know if you like to hear them.
Next time, I will get back to the more scientific topics. After all, this is the science of social blog.
What would you like me to discuss? BTW, since I’m totally gamified by all the airline miles I’ve collected during the book tour, maybe I’ll revisit the topic of gamification. There is still much to discuss.
See you soon.
Michael Wu, Ph.D. is Lithium's Chief Scientist. His research includes: deriving insights from big data, understanding the behavioral economics of gamification, engaging + finding true social media influencers, developing predictive + actionable social analytics algorithms, social CRM, and using cyber anthropology + social network analysis to unravel the collective dynamics of communities + social networks.
Michael was voted a 2010 Influential Leader by CRM Magazine for his work on predictive social analytics + its application to Social CRM. He's a blogger on Lithosphere, and you can follow him @mich8elwu or Google+.
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