Back to school at Hyper Island

Yesterday was my first day of class – Hyper Island Master Class.

My teachers were the talented Daniele Fiandaca @Yellif and Petter Warnsberg @PetterW.

My classmates were some of the many brilliant minds across the STW Group here in Australia.

We were all there for the intensive three-day Master Class. The Master Class is designed to equip us with skills and knowledge to tackle the many challenges we face in interactive media so we can better deliver efficient and effective strategies for our clients  – beyond a “one night stand” (for want of a better description).

We had a few tasks to complete prior to class including penning expectations and fears

I’ve always found the expectations question a bit naff. I mean,  it’s a class – I expect to learn. It’s an early start – I expect good coffee. It’s going to be a long day – I expect I’m going to need at least three of those good coffees.  But, I moved beyond coffee to come up with:

“I expect to meet talented people across the business and learn from them; to be challenged to think differently and BIGGER and to come away invigorated  – with plenty of ideas and the confidence to pursue them.”

As for fears, I have many, including grasshoppers, but here’s a selection for you.

As a social media evangelist:

  • I worry that people still don’t see value in social
  • I fear my big ideas may not be technically possible
  • I worry that sometimes I feel plain overwhelmed by the pace of it all!

Without spilling all the beans, here’s a taste of what we covered; the social media landscape; fears and misconceptions; inspiring case studies; successes and failures. We work shopped scenarios and came up with the perfect brief and we reflected on what we’d heard and discussed.

In reflection I noted thoughts and things I observed, found encouraging, interesting, challenging and exciting!

Here are 10 points to mull over:

  1. There is no such thing as a social media expert, we are all on an infinite learning curve and we’re all trying to keep up with the pace
  2. Some digital refugees don’t want to become digital natives, they just want enough of an understanding to be a digital tourist
  3. To be successful in social we need to keep up with culture and behaviour and tap into these trends and add value to it – technology simply becomes the enabler
  4. Don’t let creative thinking be stifled by fear of technology – anything can be built
  5. For brands, social isn’t going to fix your problems if ultimately your product / service is not up to scratch (fix back of house first!)
  6. Some clients still expect to see instant ROI through social yet the biggest success stories have been built over time
  7. Online gaming is going gang busters and it is only going to get bigger
  8. Listening and responding in social media can have a remarkable, positive impact on brand advocacy (refer back to point 5)
  9. If you truly want to understand social “you need to get your hands dirty” and get amongst it
  10. Brands that have mastered the latest technology and culture will be most likely to master the next

Oh, and it turns out I am not the only person who thinks cave paintings were an early form of social media, always good to know.

I was really excited and encouraged by day one at Hyper Island and am looking forward to continuing the collaboration and discussion with my talented colleagues and with the Hyper Island team.

You can follow all the banter on Twitter: #HIMC and I’ll keep you posted on how I’m tracking against my fears and expectations.  Until then, I’ll leave you with a quote from the presentation:

“We have to try and predict that the trajectory of digital and be happy to try and to sometimes fail”

I think there’s something in that for all of us, don’t you?

What do you think of some of the points I noted from day one at HIMC?