Blogs, wikis and automobiles

It’s lunchtime on the last day of the Web 2.0 Expo New York and I’m feeling a little deflated.

My fellow Brits aka the Digital Mission have vanished, leaving just some dog-eared Union Jack fliers and a few crumbs of shortbread.

All interview requests have either been fulfilled, ignored or postponed til everyone’s back in the real world (ie, on Skype) next week. The Microsoft lunch is the same grim fare as previous days, though today lacking the surprise factor.

Luckily, I have the lovely Johanna Cherry to keep me company, otherwise I would probably forego the afternoon sessions altogether and head back home on the ‘L’ to Greenpoint.

We’re reminising about our week and speculating what might have happened after we bailed out of Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine 2.0 party the previous night, when Shannon Paul comes up out of nowhere, sits down and says hello.

Shannon works in PR in Detroit, which, as it happens, turns out to be very interesting. Detroit, of course, is the home of the US motor industry, one of the developed world’s oldest and most traditional surviving industries. This sector was the cradle of Fordism and a propagator for Taylorism. How is it adapting to the challenges it’s facing now?

Shannon is the only person at her PR firm to specialise in social media and works hard with clients to get them up to speed. But new technologies and approaches can only be introduced in subtle ways. It’s a tough, steep learning curve.

She recommended I look at the blog written by Rick Wagoner, CEO of General Motors, and also speak to Scott Monty, head of Social Media at Ford. I tweeted Scott Monty today. Hopefully he’ll get back to me.

Thanks for the leads Shannon!

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