I’m very pleased to announce that SMG will be sponsoring Defrag 2009, being held November 11&12 in Denver, Colorado. In case you’re not familiar with this conference:

Defrag is the first conference focused solely on the tools and technologies that are leveraging the “social” aspect of software to accelerate the “aha” moment. Defrag is not a version number. Rather it’s a gathering place for the growing community of implementers, users, builders and thinkers that are working on the next wave of software innovation.

When Eric Norlin and I first started talking about the event and how we might get involved, I remember him very clearly saying that Defrag wasn’t about case studies – in fact they didn’t want ’em. He wanted startling ideas that would start conversations and get people thinking. The conference format supports that nicely with a series of ten or 20 minute “POVs”, intended to encourage discussions and raise lots of questions.

I’m pretty jazzed about my session, I’m going to talk about some really interesting new physics research into mathematical “swarm” models and their potential implications for social networks and other online communities. Here’s my blurb; I worked out some of this material at last nights’ IgniteTO, but am looking forward to going deeper:

When the Followers Lead – Flock Behavior in Communities

Leaders lead and followers follow, right? Not always. Physics researchers have identified that a few well-placed, co-ordinated “followers” in a flock of birds can shift the direction of hundreds. What are the implications of that for businesses and online communities undergoing change? Can the followers lead?

There are still tickets available for Defrag 2009 at earlybird prices (but only until August 31st) – you can register here and see who else you know who’s attending by clicking here:

1 Comment

  1. I’m sorry I missed your Ignite presentation last night – it sounds like it would have been pretty interesting.
    I think that although a lot of traditional PR techniques can be applied to online PR/communications, there are definitely new directions to go like your thought on swarm models.

    Defrag also sounds like a good conference. Not necessarily practical (I think sometimes people get too excited about the shiny new tool), but more interesting because I like thinking about the technology side of the online tools we use everyday.

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