Social Media Club

I really enjoy #SMCSYD (Social Media Club Sydney) and when I realised that, as I’m in New York, I will miss the next event on building and managing online audiences, I searched for #SMCNYC (Social Media Club New York) to see if I could head there instead.  Last night #SMCNYC had two topics – the FTC Guidelines for bloggers & Google Wave.


Yes, you guessed it, they were both about Social Media. The audience was a combination of bloggers, public relations, researchers, communications and consultants.


  • SMCSYD is about 10 times the audience size of SMCNYC. It is rare to say that something in New York isn’t greater in size than in Sydney. Maybe there are just too many options in New York.
  • The last two SMCSYDs have been at the Oxford Art Factory with a bar, while SMCNYC was at the offices of PRNewswire, which creates different vibes. With the next SMCSYD at the University of Technology Sydney, University Hall and no alcohol once the event starts maybe those vibes will be similar.
  • SMCSYD has become a trending topic on Twitter during the event. Matt Hurst and I were the most prolific twitters during the event. Although I’m a quantitative mind, I haven’t done the math, maybe it is just the difference in audience size, but I think Sydney-siders tweet more at these kinds of events.
  • The great thing about SMCNYC is that the smaller group allowed for some great discussion, so that the speakers were more facilitators in a conversation rather than presenters that SMCSYD has.  So depending on your preference – speakers get more air-time in Sydney, there is more debate in New York.
  • SMCSYD has a Twitter feed behind the speakers during question time, so that questions are a mix of those coming from the feed and those from the floor.  This means there is a conversation on the floor and a conversation on Twitter – everyone can laugh about a tweet in the feed and the speakers can get a little confused about whether it is something they said. It also means that someone not there can ask a question, or someone at the back can ask questions with the same opportunity to have it answered as someone at the front.
  • On the personal side, I walk into SMCSYD knowing people, whereas I walked into SMCNYC without knowing or following anyone there on Twitter. The crowds at both are very friendly and it is easy to meet new people. Sometimes starting cold can be an advantage because you don’t gravitate to those you know.

I generally create a word cloud after SMCSYD using CloudMaker in Tribal Tool-Kit, here is a word cloud created for SMCNYC (as of mid-day the following day).

SMCNYC word cloud by CloudMaker

The benefit of CloudMaker is the editing features. This is what I did:

  • The words were imported in the TweetWords section. The Twitter API limits the import to the last 100 tweets. There were 307 terms imported with 772 terms in total. After the editing below there were 289 terms with 695 terms in total.
  • Applied a pre-saved stop word list of terms so they don’t appear in the word cloud, but they stay in the data set. The template includes: a; the; and; to; in; on; I; with; My; For; of; Be; Am; As; At; When; It; Your; First; Put; -; All; Are; Is; So; That; An; If; Its; No; &; Any; Do; Go; from; have; here; there; this; what; will; with; about; that; was; want.
  • Added to the stop word list new terms relevant to this word cloud as their higher frequencies would make the rest of the cloud very flat: #smcnyc; @smcnyc; smcnyc; @socialmediaclub; #socialmediaclub.
  • Deleted the websites imported so that they were no longer in the list and wouldn’t show in the word cloud. This is easy to do by sorting the list alphabetically. This removed 9 terms.
  • Also deleted: 11/16
  • I merged similar terms and ones with typos:
    • “1994-5″ and “94-5″
    • “blogger”, “bloggers” and “ftc/bloggers”
    • “blog” and “blogs”
    • “giveaway” and “giveaways”
    • “wave” and “waves”
    • “tonight” and “tonght”
  • Gravity and Summit were separate terms with a frequency of 12 so I edited “gravity” to be “gravity summit” and then deleted “summit” so that they became one term together.
  • Google had a frequency of 33 and Wave 44. These were edited so it was Google Wave 33 and Wave 11.
  • Selected a pre-saved template so the word cloud only had terms with a frequency of 3+, there were 4 terms per row, and Tribe Research colours.

The great aspect to chapters of an international organisation is that they have a common goal or theme, but have their own localised flavour. It was great to be able to attend an SMC in both NYC and Sydney.

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