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Social Media Week to Unite Geeks Across Toronto

There was a time a couple years ago when social media tools were only used by early adopters, and social media events were certainly few and far between. Obviously now tools like blogs, Twitter, and Facebook are as ubiquitous as Tim Hortons in any Canadian city - and you can find a social media event on pretty much any given night in Toronto.

But never before has there been an entire week devoted to all things gloriously social media in Toronto - until now.

Next week marks the first Social Media Week in Toronto, and will explore the profound impact social media has on culture, business communications and society at large. Or, at the very least, it will show you how those amazing TTC sleeper photos spread like wildfire. Similar events are taking place in six cities all over the world, including NYC, Berlin and San Francisco. Each city has its own team of organizers, and the main city organizer for Toronto's conference is Eli Singer, the founder and president of Entrinsic, a boutique digital communications agency.

The events taking place during the week are diverse and plentiful - from panels to parties and everything in between. Here's a list of daily highlights (some are already sold out, but you can sign up for waiting lists):

Monday February 1st
No cheerleaders allowed: an honest conversation about social media
Lucia Mancuso and The Blog Studio team will lead an intimate, no holds barred discussion about the on the ground state of affairs in the wired world - with apps and booze for the crowd.
6-9pm, The Blog Studio. Join the waiting list on the event page.

Tuesday February 2nd
Traditional media meets social media
A panel discussion hosted by Globe Communities Editor Mathew Ingram, looking at how traditional media is (or isn't) embracing social media. Panel will include Andrew Coyne, blogger/columnist at Maclean's, and Shirley Brady, former social-media editor, BusinessWeek, and will be moderated by socio-political blogger , David Eaves.
10:30-11:30am, The Globe and Mail. Join the waiting list on the event page.

Wednesday February 3rd
Social media trends in 2010 and beyond
Join Refresh Events to hear Scott Stratten wax poetic on what 2010 has in store for social media.
6:30pm onwards, Function 13. Join the waiting list on the event page.

Thursday February 4th
The Social Media RFP: How to Ask the Right Questions to Find the Right Partner
How do you choose a social media vendor? In early 2010, Social Media Group released a Social Media RFP template to help clients ask the right questions in order to find the right partner. Join the SMG team responsible for assembling the RFP for a rundown of what the document covers, how clients can use it and how it can help separate the wheat from the chaff.
4-7pm, Social Media Group offices. RSVP for a free ticket on the event page.

Friday February 5th
PowerPoint Karaoke
The rules of Powerpoint Karaoke are simple. A set of presenters and local social media luminaries will be asked to play the role of an earnest expert speaker on diverse topics. Each presenter will be given exactly 5 minutes to present and a set of slides they have never seen before.
8-11pm, The Drake Hotel. Buy a ticket for $10 on the event page when they go on sale.

Check out the full schedule for a complete list of events.

The response to the events has been positive so far, as you can tell from all the waiting lists. The organizers are calling on Toronto companies, individuals and agencies to host additional events during the week. Do you you think you have what it takes to host a Social Media Week event (please, no "social media experts" need apply)? Submit your own event on the smwTO blog.

With social media the new hot button issue in companies big and small, my guess is the events will be packed with newbies and those early adopters alike. Will you be attending any of the events? Are there any topics you don't see represented in the schedule? Oh, and one final thing - wearing this t-shirt will get you extra points from all event attendees.

Note: blogTO is a media sponsor of smwTO.

Photo by Brandon Hambright/The Firestarter Group of Flickr.

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