Hammer time @ the Social Media Club

Posted on: November 11th, 2009

When I think MC Hammer I think three things:

1/ Hammer pants;
2/ Hammer time; and
3/ You Can’t Touch This

I don’t think social media entrepreneur.  At least I didn’t until last night when we social media ruffians packed into a UTS lecture hall to hear the Hammer break it down at the Social Media Club in Sydney.

I’ll out myself now as a fan of the guy.Loved him in 1990 – bought the album, wore the pants, did the crab dance – loved him and then forgot about him once he left the charts.

In the mean time Hammer continued his journey, became a tech geek, ended up besties (well, ended up at meetings) with the early founders of Google, YouTube and Twitter.  He started a music website called Dance Jam, a blog (six years ago) and became the kind of social media star that has 1,640,910 Twitter followers and needs a desk top in his bathroom.

The man is a born and bred entrepreneur.

Last night he began by recounting a story about how, after exhausting his neighbourhood of lemonade sales, he walked 8 miles (almost 13km) to a sports stadium which held 50,000 people.He didn’t know what he’d sell the people once he got there but he knew he’d think of something.

Hammer sees the eco system around social media as similar fertile ground and encouraged the audience to embrace present opportunities. He is particularly interested in solving problems as to how to monetise social media and is no doubt a keen investor in social technologies, one of which he confessed is the Bump App.

Overall he was interesting, inspiring, articulate, entertaining, good humoured and straight up. Here’s what he had to say on…

Brands and social media:

  • Never let anyone else tell your story.  Also, position yourself at the centre of the flow of information as this gives you more control and the ability to address issues and incorrect information.
  • Perception has trumped reality; it’s more valuable now so continuing to manage your brand and create ongoing perceptions is paramount.
  • Transparency is an asset and when brands don’t want to participate it leaves him to wonder what they have to hide.

Detractors and hecklers:

  • From day one set the boundaries of your brand and if people are negative or add nothing to the conversation, block them!
  • Dealing with conflict on Twitter sharpens your skill set and makes you more able to handle conflict.

The line between private and public:

  • Artists are created to a particular image however social media forces artists to be themselves.The line between private and public is gone and it’s more important to be yourself rather than the image.

The next big thing:

  • Augmented reality e.g.you’re walking down the street and receive audio grabs of historical facts via your mobile phone.
  • Mobile phone credit card devices eg. you can swipe credit cards via your mobile and the transaction goes through to your bank account.

Question of the night (via the Twitter stream):

  • Dear @mchammer, can you give me any advice as to what I can and can’t touch?
  • Answer:You can’t touch the concept of Hammer time.

Aside from being awesome, he’s a believer in the law of attraction, a fan of ‘joining a dinner without being invited’, and the kind of person who could smell money underwater, so it’s clear to me that it will be Hammer time for a long time to come.

Posted by Renee Creer

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