I attended the New Media Nouveaux conference -- hosted by Success in the City -- right in our own backyard this past Friday (the 13th - ooooh, scary). Brian was on one of the panels and, for most of the day, I camped out with my laptop and listened to a variety of speakers talk about social media and its implications in the marketplace. Some of the other speakers and panelists included Toby Bloomberg of Diva Marketing Blog, Aaron Brazell of Technosailor, Geoff Livingston of Livingston Communications, Kim Hart of The Washington Post, Qui Diaz of Ogilvy, and our friend Pamela Sorensen from Pamela's Punch. [Photo: Pamela and me] The crowd was very much "newbies" to the whole Web 2.0 / social media world. They were hit with a fire hose of information, but I think they enjoyed trying to soak it all in. Livingston kicked everything off by emphasizing the transparent, honest, and participatory nature of social media. For him, social media is about community. It is about sharing ideas. His Buzz Bin blog includes great coverage of the day by one of the moderators -- Andrea Morris. A special and pleasant surprise for me was Diaz, who authors a thought provoking blog over at evange.LIST. Diaz was on a panel (moderated by Andrea) that focused on "how to do social media." The panelists seemed to cover everything under the sun, from social networking to wikis and viral video. Check out some of Qui's post-conference thoughts. Our fearless leader, Mr. Brian Williams, had the difficult task of being on a panel discussing what the future holds for the web and new media. He was joined by Aaron Brazell and Sean Gorman of FortiusOne (check out their blog for a heatmap showing the DC Madam Scandal). The future for much of the audience was actually understanding what had been discussed to that point -- blogging, tools like Technorati, and how to get involved in conversations happening across the web. So, you can understand the challenge of his discussion. [Photo: Brian (right) and his fellow panelists] Brian made several great points, but one that stuck out regarded technology. "You shouldn't have to worry about technology ... you need to participate in the community at large to build your audience the right way. Your challenge is allocating resources and attention and focus ... to have that mindset." Brazell did an interesting sink-or-swim segment. His sinkers included Yahoo, MySpace, and Mahalo. Twitter, Facebook, and ConceptShare were swimmers. The day wrapped up with Bloomberg sharing about her own social media success story and her lessons learned. I loved the way she set the stage, "What if you guys don't like me? What if my stories are boring or if I can't do it?" She was driving at an excellent takeaway point -- there are many excuses not to get involved in social media. You have to be a bit vulnerable to enter this world. You have to put something of yourself into your content. If you don't -- and the passion to talk about your business, ideas, or whatever it is you are sharing online is absent -- then you are probably not ready to embrace social media.