9 Social Media Week L.A. Events for the Non-Techie

L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti at 2010 Social Media Week panel. | Photo: calvinfleming/Flickr/Creative Commons License

With over 100 events in a one-week span, Social Media Week L.A. is a busy one for those of us in the tech and media industries. For the general public, however, a perusal of the schedule might make it feel like an conference for social media insiders. For a big part of it, that's true, but there's still a lot for those on the outside.

Here at KCET, we're taking our public media point of view in curating this list of events for you. From do-gooding to politics to a envisioning a better Los Angeles, here's a list of events worth considering for the week, which takes place September 24 thru 30.

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A City of Angels: How Social Media is Bringing L.A. Closer to Utopia
Monday, September 24 at 10:30 a.m.
A large transient population means the potential for fewer connections to civic life in Los Angeles, but with social media, natives and transplants alike are being engaged with communities, city services, and organizations in ways not possible in the past.
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Social Media and Urban Development in Hollywood
Monday, September 24 at 4 p.m.
Social media obviously plays a role in capital "H" Hollywood -- movies, celebrities, and the such -- but it, too, has a role in the physical neighborhood, home to thousands of residents and businesses, many which have nothing to do with the industry. This panel will look into how social media has impacted the community dialogue when it comes to projects within the area.
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Homeless Advocate Mark Horvath's Keynote Speech
Monday, September 24 at 2 p.m.
It seems that as long as there's been social media, Mark Horvath has been using it to tell the stories of people living on the streets, who he refers to as invisible people and has named his project after. Once homeless himself in Hollywood, Horvath now travels the world to expose homelessness with the goal of ending it for once and for all.
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Nobody Walks in L.A.
Monday, September 24 at 2:30 p.m.
No doubt Los Angeles is an auto-centric city by design -- like Matt Yglesias recently said in Slate: "Los Angeles was constructed in the era of mass automobile ownership, and its landscape will always reflect that." -- but the tide has been turning, and communities want their streets back. A number of social media savvy advocates for a more sustainable, livable city will be on hand for this panel.
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One Million Downloads: Activating the Power of Open Source Culture
Wednesday, September 26 at 10 a.m.
In a world where ownership and control of ideas are kept hidden away and secret, the internet has developed a sense of transparency, or what can be called an open source culture. Derrick N. Ashong (DNA) will talk about his One Million Downloads campaign -- it literally gives away that many tracks and remixes from his "AFropolitan" album -- which aims to create a dialogue about open source and challenge the model of music consumerism.
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Tech-Stured Hair: How New Media is Changing the Way Ladies Care for their Hair
Thursday, September 26 at 7 p.m.
Hair -- how we do it, treat it, style it, care for it -- can be a big topic, and it is enough of an issue that social media has become a way to educate across the spectrum. "This fast-moving discussion," explains the panel description, "explores how the v/bloggers and brands created and educated communities on hair care using only social media in an atmosphere where there otherwise is no place for discussions on black, biracial, or otherwise curly hair."
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Zach Galifianakis Presents: "Craigslist Joe"
Wednesday, September 26 at 7 p.m.
What if you had nothing but a laptop, cell phone, toothbrush, and the clothes on your back? That's what 29-year-old Joseph Garner did for 31 days, trying to see if he could depend on the help of others via Craigslist while documenting it for this documentary produced by actor Zach Galifianakis. The screening at the Egyptian will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers.
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Keynote: Jeff Cole of USC Annenberg's Center for the Digital Future
Friday, September 28 at 10 a.m.
USC's Center for the Digital Future "is a research and policy institute committed to work that has a real and beneficial effect on people's lives, while seeking to maximize the positive potential of the mass media and our rapidly evolving communication technologies." Director Jeff Cole's keynote should provide some interesting insights.
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We the People of Social media: Social Media for Political Campaigns
Friday, September 28 at 8:30 a.m.
This all-day social media training event will take non-profit and government officials through a variety of political tools and tactics for the campaign trail, from targeting specific communities for messaging, garnering donations, and GOTV (that's political talk for "get out the vote").
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Want to be in the know about more SoCal events? Like KCET Calendar on Facebook now.

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCETLink's Editor-in-Chief of Blogs, where he oversees website editorial and advises on projects. When he does write, he mostly covers local government, environment, and the outdoors.
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@ZachBehrens thanks for the great piece. We have some other non-techie surprises coming out this week—we'll keep you posted!

Drew Baldwin
Executive Director, Social Media Week Los Angeles

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Thanks, Drew! Can't wait to hear about it.