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The Internet Makes You Social

The Internet Makes You Social

Social Media Week Wants to Save the World

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Here at Betabeat, we live every week like it’s social media week. But this week is also Social Media Week, the fourth such annual event and the “Super Bowl of Social Media,” which takes place simultaneously in cities around the world. And on Twitter, #smwnyc.

The surprising thing about the agenda: Social Media Week has taken a turn for the socially-conscious. In New York, at least, the lineup is heavily filled with do-gooder topics. This year’s theme is “Empowering Change through Collaboration,” featuring collaborative consumption panels and collaborative consumption consumption, and there seem to be a ton of events focused on health, a few based around education, and many more with an eye toward making the world a better place for people rather than brands. Just today, there’s a keynote on redesigning the hospital room and an event called “Educate Girls, Change the World.” Read More

The Internet Makes You Social

I’m Here to Make Friends: A Spin Through New York’s Meetups

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Around 8 p.m. on a recent Monday, about 35 people of disparate ages were sitting on the marble steps of the public atrium inside Two World Financial Center, listening to a 25-year-old in baggy jeans named Jordan Phoenix talk about Living. “This is the class where we figure out who we are and what we want to do with our lives,” he told his audience, a range of artists and professionals, employed and unemployed, 20-somethings and middle-aged divorcees who, like me, were drawn in by Mr. Phoenix’s aggressive pitch on the website Meetup.com.

As the post had put it: “This group is for you if you know you are capable of greatness, but are unclear and frustrated about how to get there.” The group, “Start Living in 2012,” had picked up more than 100 members in three days, which made it a very fast-growing meetup group indeed.

“I love that everyone here showed up,” Mr. Phoenix said. “Sixty-eight people RSVP’ed. Thirty people didn’t show up. Guess what? They’re not invited to the next meetup, because they’re bullshit artists.”

I had no intention of going to the next meetup. As much as I want to start living in 2012, I was merely a tourist. Read More