Social Media Forums, Linguistics and Communities

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Social Media Forum Hamburg notes

Those who know me well will be aware that I can ricochet from overly-conservative and cautious to stupidly feet-first. Thus it was with a conference I attended yesterday. When asked if I wanted to speak at a conference in [Hamburg](,10.0013888889&spn=1.0,1.0&q=53.5652777778,10.0013888889 (Hamburg)&t=h "Hamburg"), I agreed without bothering to check in great detail what the conference was. 
And thus, I found myself doing the opening keynote at the [Social Media Forum special B2B media day in Hamburg](, a conference otherwise conducted entirely in German. And how much German do I speak? Err. None. 
And you know what? I had a *great *time. But a busy one. I couldn’t liveblog it because the sessions were being live translated for me by the speedy [Stefanie Kleebauer]( of organisers [Kongress Media]( So I listened, I looked at the slides and I picked up the core information through Skype chat. And I expanded on those ideas in conversation with people over coffee and lunch. And nearly everyone I talked to spoke excellent English, putting me to shame.
But I learnt a surprising amount, and I hope to go into that in more depth in a later post (and yes, I am aware I still owe some Social Business Summit posts. They will get done…). But my main lesson, I suppose, was that there is still plenty to be learnt about community-building and development, even in people from a different language and national culture from your own. And, at a point where I’m figuring out that our own strategic view of some forms of community is way too shallow, that was a very useful revelation indeed…
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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.