There are upsides to being 90 miles north of Manhattan (like lower rent, beautiful mountains) and downsides– like if you want to socialize with a room full of over 30 fellow social media geeks, you have to make a schlep.   But when we heard about the Mashable meetup, we dusted off the EZpass, filled up the gas tank, and headed on down.

It turned out that the evening’s event was sponsored by McGraw-Hill, and featured a couple of their authors, Greg Verdino and Steve Rosenbaum.

Greg Verdino

Greg spoke briefly about his book, “microMARKETING” . He caught my attention when he mentioned the humanization of brands – as that is the theme of Jeff Pulver’s upcoming BrandConf!

Greg told a story about the real time web.

Something that bothers me – stories about companies that use twitter to engage customers.

A couple of weeks ago I took a flight; in Tampa; coming home to NY, 3-hour flight; my plane was canceled; then I was moved to plane that routed through Atlanta; then that plane was delayed – and I did what any social media dork does; and went on Twitter and complained about the airline.

Got immediate response from the airline; ‘DM your details’.  They then said that my plane was ahead of schedule and I’d make it on time. No way I’m going to make that connection… ‘yes you will; don’t worry’;

Made connection; but got home 7 hours late; then I got to the ground.

I then got a tweet from the airlines support team that said ‘so glad you made it !!!’.

Exclamation points make you look like a high school girl.  Authors, don’t use them in your books!

Someone contacted the next day; “how was your experience with {airline name}?”

The thing brands forget; it’s  not just about slapping a tool on top of  a business that is broken; the problem; I still got home late and there is no way for the airline to provide real-time  info. End of day; lots of simple tricks, but ultimately, what you need to think about is reengineering your business from the ground up.

What Best Buy does is intrinsically different.  Thousands of employees are empowered to tweet about customer care, the CEO to receptionists.  How does the whole business take advantage of the media?

Steve Rosenbaum

Curation. Most nobody has an idea of what it is…..

How many of you, when you got up; before coffee; checked your email. How many of you; after you saw the last tv show; before you turned off lights; checked your email? {Lots of hands up with each question}

That’s a problem.

The volume of data is staggeringly larger than 6 months ago. Truth is; you need some of it; most of it; you don’t even need to flip through. Curation is the human ability to separate signal from noise

{will the guys up at the bar lower it, please?}

What is in a book; it’s a curated result; lot of people work to make it smarter. 

Who considers yourself curators? Raise your hand.

Anybody in this room; retweet?  Process of retweeting is curation. If you do that, badly; and you retweet crap; people aren’t following you anymore. Think about the process you go through when you retweet.

Presuming people who follow you share your interests.

[oh, the guys up at the bar are getting REALLY loud]

What we all know in our heart of hearts; if something doesn’t change in how information is coming to us; our heads are going to explode.  In the world to come; we need to find trusted sources.

Steve then did a fun bit, where the audience/attendees applauded for the most interesting curators. The winners were someone who works with musicians in licensing their music , and someone who helps bridesmaids in the selection of their shoes. Steve has a box.  Pulls out… a curation queen crown and a curation king crown.

The Authors

Greg Verdino’s first business book, microMARKETING: Get Big Results by Thinking and Acting Small, was published by McGraw-Hill in summer 2010. Steve Rosenbaum is the author of the upcoming book from McGrawHill “Curation Nation” due out in the spring of 2011.

The only downside to the event was that I didn’t get to meet more people. When I got home, I discovered that I had missed my @justindigital (who wrote a great post on this same event ) and @nwjerseyliz. Next time, folks!