Toby Daniels Tells Us About a Social Media Week Highlight from Beirut

All the Facebook talk aside, this week was Social Media Week, which took place in 12 cities around the world: Bogotá, Chicago, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Rio, Moscow, Milan, São Paolo, Vancouver, Beirut, Glasgow, and Berlin.

We spoke with founder and executive director Toby Daniels about some of the highlights for this go-round (the event takes place twice per year) and he pointed to an interesting session in Beirut, the first time that the event has taken place in the Middle East.

During a Tuesday session, a speaker from Lebanon’s ministry of communications addressed the lack of high-speed Internet in the city, saying that increased connectivity is on the way. After that, members of the audience received SIM cards to increase their mobile connectivity.

And, in the days leading up to Social Media Week in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel made Chicago the first major city to have a badge, a “Windy City badge,” that can be earned after checking in to five of 20 designated locations.

“With new cities, there are new perspectives on how social media is impacting society,” Daniels told us. “We’re seeing a certain maturing of the social media landscape with major platforms like Facebook and Twitter representing the architecture of the social Web that these new technologies are continuing to evolve.”

Plans for the next Social Media Week, taking place February 13 through 17, are already under way (“There’s no point where we’re not actively engaged in the organizing and design of Social Media Week,” Daniels said). You can start signing up your events on October 14. Cities will include Tokyo, Singapore, Washington D.C., and Miami.