Social Media Week Has Expanded Geographic and Industry Scope

Social Media Week officially starts on Monday in all the cities listed above (and will be adding cities including Sydney in the future). But founder and executive director Toby Daniels kicked things off today with a livestreamed press conference at the Hearst Tower in NYC.

When we asked how the event has changed over the past three conferences, his response was a reflection of how the thinking about social media has shifted.

Over the first couple of years, the focus was on technology and platforms, Daniels said; things like YouTube, MySpace, and Twitter. Now there’s been a “shift away from technology to industry sectors” and the opportunities that presents.

“The conversation has become much more about impact and benefit,” he said from the stage.

To that end, New York will feature content hubs for the hundreds of planned events, including art and culture, science, and business, media and communications. And, of course, because this is a social media event, there’s lots of activity on Twitter, Facebook, the event’s website, and other places for those who want to keep up that way.

Daniels was joined by NYC’s Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, Hearst president David Carey, PepsiCo social media global director Bonin Bough, and Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai who each talked about the impact of social media and the importance of it to their industries and companies. Deputy Mayor Goldsmith in particular used his stage time to talk up the city’s efforts to use social media as a way to make life here better for citizens and easier for businesses, an effort branded as “NYC Simplicity.”

“Government needs to change to be open to collaborations,” he said, noting the “vertical bureaucracy” that political bodies operate in.