MC Hammer, Social Media Superstar

Stop – Hammer Time!
As those of you who follow my Twitter feed know, Tuesday night I went to a very special event hosted by Social Media Club Sydney. The topic for the night was ostensibly “Building and Managing Online Audiences,” but really it was all about MC Hammer. Yes, he was the very special guest. As soon as I heard he was going to talk, I proposed it to my boss Anthony and he got us both tickets. The event sold out pretty quick. I’d guess that the majority of people were there strictly for the novelty value, as evidenced by all the “hammer pants” jokes flying around Twitter beforehand. Here’s the amazing thing though: The guy really does know what he’s talking about with social media and technology. And he’s not just a Twitter-fanboy; he’s much more on the “entrepreneur” side of things and he emphasised how many business opportunities there are surrounding social media. He described himself as a “super geek,” and his speech was peppered with references to meetings with Silicon Valley insiders (Ev, Orkut, the guys who invented Guitar Hero, etc). He talked about the importance of data mining and analytics. Most of us were enthralled. The thing that I didn’t like was that the organisers had the #SMCSYD Twitterfall running on big screen in the background, and some folks used it as an opportunity to make jokes and distract from the speech. (One guy – who I don’t even think was in the room – kept insisting that somebody stand up and ask Hammer about his bankruptcy. Talk about bad manners.) So that part was a little bit cringeworthy, but to his credit Hammer just ignored the giggles. They did open the floor to Q&A at the end, and he graciously dealt with idiots asking “So Mr Hammer, can you elaborate on what one can and can’t touch?” Overall I’d say that the quality of the speaker made up for the immaturity of some of the audience. Nice job, Hammer!

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  1. He can’t be that broke if he’s in Australia…he was just up here a few weeks back performing at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest. ! (We didn’t see him.) Wonder where he calls home these days…?

  2. I think that having the twitter feed running behind the speaker is dumb and is a fad that won’t last long. It appeals too much to the immature in the audience. Another thing I saw last year was someone putting his phone number on screen and inviting people to text him questions as he gave the keynote at a conference. Of course he soon got lost in answering them and kept forgetting where he was with the presentation and it was pretty much a mess.

  3. My confession is that i actually saw him in concert once in my youth 🙂 Don’t remember much about it but he did put on a good show. It’s good to see he is still going in some form.

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