What an amazing time at Social Fresh Portland. A lot of fun things can happen when you put a lot of big brains in the same room and force them to spend the day together. I wanted to give a couple of high-level takeaways before I get into the photos and share some of my observations.

Social Media is a noun, not a verb.

Social media is something you use. It is not something you do. I’ve talked before about my tool box metaphor and how each type of person has a different use for social media.

Businesses want to be social

From Realtors to restaurateurs, from financial planners to former journalists (that’s me), businesses are looking to be “social.” They want to connect and interact and share content. Which is great. But all the talks about content creation and sharing made me start to wonder about reaching a saturation point.

Thinkers vs. doers

One of the reasons I wanted to go to SoFresh was because the speakers were the doers. They were the faces behind the brands. They were implementing the tactics they were educating the rest of us on and they were successful with it.

We’re all learners

I have a tendency to be a skeptical jerk when it comes to conference sessions. I find myself yearning for tactical breakdowns of best practices or metrics rather than the messages that some call “social media 101.” But sometimes getting back to basics can be a good thing. Such as when Peter Shankman, aka @skydiver, said “Good writing will save society.” That rocked.

What would lead you to call a conference a success? What makes you like the sessions? Share them in the comments!

On to the photos: Continue reading