[Warning: Extremely long post + videos!]

Spent my entire Saturday at Matrix @ Biopolis for E27 Unconference. I reached SUPER early due to miscalculation of traveling time. Registration starts at 11.30am but I was already there at 10.15am! Bumped into Ridz outside Matrix and decided to go up to disturb whoever’s setting up there.

Many interesting start-ups showcased their project and there was also a Guitar Hero 3 challenge by Microsoft. Had a few rounds of it and it’s pretty fun. But fingers got cramp after awhile. Grand winner actually walk back with a set of Xbox 360! I wonder who won it.

Anyway, back to the unconference. Finally at around 1pm, everyone gathered into the main theater for the keynote by Daniel Ingitaraj from Microsoft. Some notes and highlight can be found on Brian’s Plurk. After a rather interesting Q&A session, it was time for the pitches by the start-ups. As described by someone on twitter (can’t remember the userid! any clue?), it was a mixed bag of pitches. Few which I’ve already seen and heard about, and some hearing for the first time. Just a personal thought, they should hire a PR or Communication person to handle such pitches. (also evidenced here) Some highlights and thoughts on the start-up pitches by Brian here. Few pitches that I like and see potential (IMHO) are Widgeo.us, Gothere.sg and Homespace.sg.

The amazing crowd at the Unconference

Finally after 10 pitches, 2.5hrs of sitting and butt-aches, it was time for a break and then the breakout sessions. It was the main reason I was there. And am glad that it turned out pretty good and interesting.

Sessions attended were on Enterprise 2.0 and Social Media in Asia Pacific. Both topic pretty close to my heart since I’m involved in Yebber. James Ong from Origami Frontiers discussed what is Enterprise 2.0 and how it can be implemented in the corporate world. Some local companies who are involved in the development of Enterprise 2.0 for corporate were mentioned. Namely, Techsailor (hearing it for the first time), Zopim (first heard at PopOut) and Figment (an interactive digital media and virtual world agency for Asia).

He discussed that Enterprise 2.0 is very much the empowerment for the communities. However, it is important to have some form of governance in the communities. And it is important to blend Enterprise 2.0 into the existing system in place, such as ERP and CRM within the corporation.

When he presented on the community development lifecycle, I was nodding my head in agreement. Although the process seem very simple and easy, however to implement it is a very tough process. Right at the start of this lifecycle is to mobilize people to join in the community. This is the toughest and most critical start for any community. With my experience at Yebber, we try to encourage and motivate our thousands of daily visitors to sign-up in order to enjoy the full features and more exciting things that’s to come. However, users are generally lazy to sign-up for such communities unless they’ve the intention to participate in the reviews or commenting of reviews. For users who’re just visiting to read and get information on the businesses, they will not see the need to register. (I’ve got more thoughts on this lifecycle, shall discuss this in another post.)

Next breakout session was on Social Media in Asia Pacific region. Chairing this session was Gavin Foo from Fleishman-Hillard. It was a great session with many experts in this field sharing their thoughts and experiences with everyone present. Since I’ve got the entire session recorded (YES! 50mins of holding the camera in my hand! I could feel the heat and cramp loh! But its worth every pain of it), I shall not write too much. If you’d missed this session, you can watch the following videos… broken up into 5 parts as the file was too huge to post as a single video.

Part 1: Gavin shared his experience with his client who took up the Social Media way of getting their brand out to their target audiences.

Part 2: Can we trust all the reviews posted by bloggers? How do we know if its true and not an advertorial? + Social Media = Word of mouth marketing + Difference in social media approaches within Asia Pacific + Be in the audience shoes + CTR is not as valid in Social Media.

Part 3: Measuring returns for Social Media effort + Any tools to measure conversations? + Should corporations enter Social Media now? (YES!! Of course!! Social Media is here to STAY!)

Part 4: The swift of social media every 3 years + Future of web browsing going to be virtual 3D worlds? + Brian plugging Seth Godin + Creditability of Bloggers + Crisis Management

Part 5: Is it right for PR agencies to pay bloggers for advertorial/article? + Paying vs Perks vs Non-monetary returns for bloggers

Psss… Daryl Tay: This is the kind of discussion, which can take place and discussed further at the Social Media Breakfast. Perhaps we can incorporate some form of structure to enhance discussions in SMB3?

Overall it was a great event and great work by the team at E27. Congrats them for such a successful event! Looking forward to attending more in the future.

Here’s what others have got to say about the event…