Technologists of many types came to the Social Media Club event, held at the PRNewswire offices on Hudson St., to weigh in on recent Federal Trade Commission Endorsement Guide updates and watch a Google Wave in action.
Over 30 attendees heard Lorrie Thomas, a professor of social media and marketing therapist, discuss the new FTC guidelines requiring bloggers to disclose information about their affiliation with the content they cover.
"I think it is a healthy mandate," said Thomas, "is it going to be policed fully – no. It's the wild, wild web."
The point of contention in the room was the perceived disparity between regulations for offline and online content creators. Thomas admitted that this sentiment is widely felt, but added that online content creators "are entering big kid status and bloggers are being looked at as the real deal."
As a few bloggers furrowed their brows in response Thomas' optimism, one was busy showing off a new type of online presence.
John Blossom, president of Shore Communications in Connecticut, is an early adopter of Google Wave. He has created a blog within a Wave, wherein he discusses Waves. Blossom lead the discussion and demo of the new product from Google with input from Social Media Club New York President Howard Greenstein.
The demo included an overview of product features and an explanation of how Wave operates as a protocol, an application, a publishing system, and a real time collaboration system.
"Wave is a container," Blossom explained. "Wave can be pretty much anything you want to drop into the container."
Together, Blossom and Greenstein created a new Wave to demonstrate how users could comment, reply, drop in polls or pictures and then play back the Wave to watch the series of events from the beginning. "If you are starting to feel a little overwhelmed and think there is a lot going on here, the answer is that you should and there is," said Greenstein.
The consensus among attendees was that the technology was in such a nascent phase that language had not yet been developed to adequately describe all of the features. "I hate to say that everything we know is wrong," said Blossom, "but I think there is a lot to learn about what is right."