The SoCon09 Line Up

originally posted on Concept Hub

Only 3 days left to register!

Friday night is our annual Big Thinking, Big Networking Dinner at Maggiano’s.  Over 100 people connecting with new ideas, new friends, and new opportunities. We will have tables set up for focused conversations around;

  • Podcasting, Video, Citizen Media
  • PR and Social Media
  • Digital Serial Entrepreneurs
  • Social Media for Business
  • Social Media for Social Good
  • Best Practices with Twitter

Saturday we will launch the day with opening remarks by Leonard Witt and myself. We will hear from Jeff Haynie, who has spent the past year in Silicon Valley building his latest venture.

During the planning stages for SoCon09, there were a lot of questions about what Atlanta had to offer? What was our niche? SoCon is the premier social media un-conference in the South, but what does that mean to the bigger picture of Social Media? We explored the ideas that the South was known for our great story-tellers and southern hospitality. We acknowledged that Atlanta has not been the city of innovation or bleeding edge trends and technology, but that we have held our own as early adopters. The conversations became so passionate and enlightening we decided to make it the theme of our conference…”In Search of the Southeast’s Social Media Niche,” hosted by Atlanta’s Andrew Wilson.

Andrew is a six-year resident of Atlanta, he has also lived and worked on four continents which has given him a broad perspective to critically evaluate the destination product. He was the Chief Operating Officer for Brand Atlanta, a not-for-profit City-led initiative to develop and promote a singular brand identity for Atlanta.

We also heard many, many, many questions and requests about how to leverage social media for business. As our keynote speaker, we are flying in Christopher Carfi, an entrepreneur and is currently the CEO of Cerado, Inc. Cerado was founded in 2002 to provide software and services that enable businesses, organizations, and associations to better connect and understand their customer and member communities. His blog, The Social Customer Manifesto, is a “Top 25” marketing blog and has won numerous other awards including “Top CRM Blog” in 2005 and 2007. He is also an active contributor to the ProjectVRM, based at the Berkman Center at Harvard University, which focuses on improving customer-vendor relationships and is creating tools to equip individuals with tools of both independence and engagement.

Our break-out sessions will be led by various professionals that have made social media work for them.

Using Social Networking for Social Change will be host by Tessa Horehled who has led social media initiative to raise money and awareness for the Atlanta Food Bank and is a co-founder of

What It Takes to Be a Winning Technology Entrepreneur
 will be hosted by Jeff Haynie – CEO of Appcelerator, an open-source software company that develops products and solutions to help enterprises rapidly develop rich Internet applications (RIAs) and SOA-based (service-oriented architecture-based) Web services. He was previously the co-founder and CTO of Vocalocity, a software provider in the communications arena. Prior to that he was CTO of eHatchery, a digital incubator and off-shoot of Bill Gross’ idealab

Social Media for B2B will be hosted by John Gatrell, Vice-President of Product Marketing and Strategy at Inovis, a leading provider of solutions that help businesses improve the flow of information across their trading communities. In this role, Jon is responsible for driving product strategy and industry solutions for automotive, retail, manufacturing and logistics verticals and participating in standards development organizations. Jon has launched several key social media initiatives, products and strategies to aid customers’ in problem resolution, drive improved collaboration for their trading communities and strengthen Inovis’ online visibility.Jon also has a successful track record in product management over the past nine years at Inovis. During that tenure, Jon has also been actively involved in corporate and business development as well as product management. Jon holds leadership roles in numerous organizations, including ASCX12, the Social Media Club, NEECOM, and OAGi.

Social Media 101 with Hands-on Training will be hosted by yours truly (me). We will spend part of the time exploring how social media is different from other communication channels and we will get our hands on the various tools of the trade.

Social Media in Public Relations will be hosted by James Andrews, Vice President, Director at Ketchum Interactive, specializing in the creation of online media strategies, web/application development, and content production. Ketchum Interactive clients include FedEx,, Weight Watchers, Geek Squad, Wendy’s and Nokia. Andrews is based in Atlanta and manages a team of developers, designers, and strategists based at Ketchum South.

Making and Using Multimedia for Business Communication will be hosted by James Harris and Amani Channel, veterans of SoCon events and stars in the multi-media production for businesses and media outlets.

Your Privacy and Legal Rights on the Web will be hosted by Paul Arne, co-chair of the Technology Transactions Group at Morris, Manning, and Martin.  He is also the founder and chair of the firm’s Web 2.0 practice group.  Paul holds a B.S. in Business from UNC and a 1981 law degree from Duke University.  Paul is a member of the Board of Directors of the Enterprise 2.0 society of TAG and is a frequent speaker and writer on Web 2.0 legal topics.

Return on Investment in Social Media will be hosted by Josh Hallet, an internationally recognized thought leader in the convergence of social media and corporate public relations & marketing.

Josh is currently a New Media Strategist at Voce Communications providing social media consulting and development work with brands like Yahoo, Sony Computer Entertainment America, eBay and a number of B2B/B2C firms.

Build Your Own Personal Brand will be hosted by David Cohen, a brand strategist, problem solver, technologist, and “business therapist”. Known for being both a left and right brain thinker, David has spent much of his career exploring the intersection of technology, business, and creativity.  His expertise is in defining brand positioning and product vision; skills, which he has applied to software and service companies in a wide range of industries.

David brings an artist’s eye and creativity to his work. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Atlanta. He has also led creative teams on co-branded web projects with CompuServe, The Weather Channel, Erols, Bigfoot,, Polygram, and American Express.

Online Etiquette: How to Balance Your Personal and Professional Image Online will be hosted by Amber Rhea co-founder of the Georgia Podcast Network, a portal site for Georgia-based podcasts. She co-hosts the award-winning podcast Mostly ITP, which focuses on people and issues in Atlanta (and occasionally elsewhere). Amber is the founder of Sex 2.0 and was the main organizer of PodCamp Atlanta 2007. She also finds time for a day job as a web developer. She has been blogging for almost seven years and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

How a Quarter Million Dollars Found Me on the Internet – How to Build Social Capital and Real Capital in the Nonprofit Sector will be hosted by Leonard Witt, the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication at Kennesaw State University and was named an Eminent Scholar by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in May 2008. His scholarship centers around civic and citizen journalism represented by his First Monday peer-reviewed paper: “Constructing a Framework to Enable an Open Source Reinvention of Journalism.” He conceived Representative Journalism, a new model, enabling communities to hire their own journalists. He received a grant from the Harnisch Foundation to test it in Northfield, MN. Other funded projects include Blog2Learn, helping teachers blog, and the year-long Journalism and the Public: Restoring the Trust project funded by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. In all he has been involved in receiving about $300,000 in grants aimed at teaching new media, advancing social media and building journalism reform. He has organized major academic conferences for the AEJMC, including one at Kennesaw State University and others in Toronto and San Antonio and co-sponsored the Journalism that Matters summit in Washington, D.C. He was a journalist for more than 25 years, including being editor of Sunday Magazine at the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Monthly magazine. Before entering academia in 2002, he was the executive director of the Minnesota Public Radio Civic Journalism Initiative. He blogs at

Social Media for Marketing and Generating Leads will be hosted by Debbie Qaqish who has over 30 years of sales and marketing experience in leading multiple B2B companies to sustained revenue growth and profitability.Most recently, Debbie served as VP of Strategy and Marketing for Knowlagent, an award-winning software company that helps clients drive revenue from the call center.

Debbie is a leading authority on applying strategy, technology, and process to help B2B organizations drive revenue growth.Her principal areas of expertise include designing results-oriented inside sales and sales organizations that leverage technology and optimal processes to profitably grow revenue. Additionally, Debbie is a revenue-focused marketing strategist.She has consistently designed marketing programs and systems that align sales and marketing around what it takes to get, keep and grow profitable client relationships. As a Principal Partner, Debbie is responsible for developing and managing client relationships. She also spearheads strategic business partnerships and alliances.

How Small Businesses Can Prosper from Social Media will be hosted by Barbara Giamanco. Barb is known for her work helping clients increase sales, hire top talent and develop high performing teams. She consults with companies and trains business professionals to help them attract clients and close sales using social media strategies and tools. Throughout her career, Barb has received numerous awards in the areas of leadership and sales.

A keynote speaker, author and professional with over 25 years of business experience, Barb is the Official Guide for Corporate Training at and a Sales/Marketing Faculty Expert with the Profitability Channel. She earned her coach certificate from The Coaches Training Institute and is an Inscape Certified DiSC® Facilitator.

Planning for Tomorrow —  What’s Next With Social Media with Chad Israel Engauge Digital’s Social Media Manager. You can consider him a pioneer in the industry. He started a company with a partner, the first Flash-based RSS-based aggregator. Through this company, they started the first social media department in the country and the first online TV show. His efforts were purely social, grassroots efforts. He worked with the first round internet celebrities, including Perez Hilton and Lisa Nova. Over the last couple of years, Chad has applied his extensive experience to client needs – forging new ideas in the space, and identifying the best opportunities for marketing.

and finally, it seems everyone is jumping on Twitter, but still trying to figure out why.

Best practices with Twitter will be hosted by Grayson Daughters, Grayson Daughters of Atlanta, Georgia is the founder of WaySouth Media, Inc. — a media consulting company with the tagline: producing and promoting new media. Daughters has been at work in play in traditional and the latest forms of media since launching a professional existence at some point back in the 80’s. Twitter is the key device in her master plan to merge work, play, and motherhood into one fully-integrated, seamless existence. Daughters is concerned that this bio is more than 140 characters.

We have brought together some of the brightest minds in the industry. This is not an event to be missed. Register today!