Social Media Week Executive Director Toby Daniels: ‘Our Most Spectacular Yet’

Social Media Week kicks off Monday in nine cities — New York, San Francisco, Rome, Paris, Toronto, São Paulo, London, Hong Kong, and Istanbul — and Crowdcentric CEO and Social Media Week founder and executive director Toby Daniels said year four of the event will be “our most spectacular yet, and one of the largest distributed conferences in the world.”

Speaking at the opening press conference at Hearst Tower in New York, Daniels said, “I am amazed by the creativity and the depth and the variety of the content. What I’m seeing now is a shift away from the technologies and toward specific industry sectors.”

Hearst Magazines president David Carey said:

This is one of the hottest topics in media on one of the coldest weeks of the year. We’ve always felt a special kinship with social media. As a magazine publisher, in many ways, magazines were the original social media. We have many of our top editors lined up to be in panels and programs. We’ve made understanding social media and applying it to our top brands a priority.

New York City Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith joked about foursquare during his remarks, adding:

It took a lot of work to be elected mayor, and now I’ve found that I can be named mayor by just showing up at places every day. If I can’t make it as deputy mayor, I hope to be mayor of the closest restaurant, as soon as I get my badges from foursquare.

Government needs to change to be open to collaborations. There’s kind of a curse of professionalism in government. We’re looking for major breakthroughs in the social-media world. Simplicity: making it easier to do business with the city of New York. We’re trying to create idea markets for our own work force.

When you open up in this sense, people are going to criticize what you do. There’s a tendency in government not to allow that kind of online, transparent criticism.

Speaking of foursquare, co-founder Naveen Selvadurai chimed in:

We have a very short history. We’re not even two years old at this point. We’ve learned a lot in the past couple of years. We grow and we learn and we get better, mainly because of our users. I’m particularly excited about the multicity approach this event takes on.

And PepsiCo global director of social media Bonin Bough expressed his excitement about the event, saying:

Clearly, New York is our back yard, our front yard, our side yard. We’re dedicated to extending our promise and vision of performance with purpose. We’re dedicated to doing that with the power of digital.

Social Media Week will run through Friday, Feb. 11, with some 500 events overall, including more than 150 in New York alone.