L2R: Chris Brogan, Scott Gould, Joanne Jacobs, Jon Akwue, Olivier Blanchard, John bell, Drew Ellis, Yann Gourvennec - photo by Benjamin Ellis

There is so much I want to write about the #LikeMinds conference and summit that I could go on for weeks. (And I may yet.) For now, all I can do is give you a glimpse of what is to come, and promise you a deluge of strategic, operational, and tactical insights into how to deploy, integrate and manage social communications.

Feel free to keep calling it Social Media if you must, but I am moving on to “Social Communications” until I find a better term.

Why the change in vernacular? Two reasons: 1. Terminology matters. Using the right words is important. 2. It never was about the media. Not for one second. The reason why so many people are confused about this, from integration and strategy to implementation, management and measurement is because of the focus on the media. Stop. Just stop. Think. Refocus. What are we talking about here? (Trust me, it isn’t the media.)

And if this is the part where you expect me to say “it isn’t about the media, it’s about people,” you’re only half right. Cliches aside, it’s about people, sure. It’s about a lot of things, really. It. But at its most basic level, all we have been talking about is communications. That’s it. Twitter, Facebook, the internet, mobile, all the technology, the media, the platforms, they’re things. They’re boxes. Pipes and wires and glass. There’s a bigger picture here that is tool-agnostic, universal, and easy to understand, define and reframe if we just take a couple of steps back and change our perspective by a fraction of a degree (which is what we did at the Summit.)

This stuff really isn’t brain surgery. How Social Communications can be engineered into your organization, it’s a lot of moving parts, sure, and it’s hard work if you want to do it right, but it doesn’t take quantum physicists to deconstruct the processes, methodologies and best practices. If Likeminds proved anything, it’s that beyond the presentations and show-and-tell sessions common to most “Social Media” conferences, when people who work in the Social Communications enablement space 150 hours a week get together to work out the kinks, the kinks get worked out.

Incidentally, perhaps the reason why so many companies and so many would-be consultants and “gurus” are still confused about how this all works is because we’ve been using the wrong terminology all along. How can you understand something you can’t even properly name?

Social Communications it is, then.  For now. It isn’t a big leap really, but try it on for size. Drive it around for a few days, see if it grows on you. If it does, great. If it doesn’t, we’ll keep trying.

I don’t have time to write a real post before catching my flight back to the US. I leave Bovey Castle in Dartmoor before dawn to catch a train from Exeter to London. Then it’s the Heathrow Express, then Delta to ATL and ATL to GSP. So I can’t share videos, pictures and thoughts with you yet. And my presentation from the conference will be available on Slideshare in a few days, so hang tight. I need to add some commentary to it before I upload it.

Until then, you can get caught up on videos, photos and insights from the Like Minds conference here and here. Among the keynote speakers: Ogilvy Worldwide’s John Bell, Chris Brogan, Orange’s Yann Gourvennec, Joanne Jacobs and Jonathan Akwue, who are all brilliant beyond words. No matter what presentation you watch, trust me, you’ll learn something valuable.

One last thought I want to leave you with before I go try and grab a few hours of sleep before my early ride out of here: We’re going to crack this nut wide open for you. Social Communications, the whole bit, we’re going to lay it out for you, piece by piece, brick by brick. The white paper that will come out of this summit will outline a lot of it for you. Much more than we expected. The level of clarity we reached through the exercise surprised me, frankly. That’s what happens when the right people sit together and focus on the right things long enough to get something done. Why we don’t do it more, I don’t know.

So hang tight, get caught up on all of the #LikeMinds content, and I will be back with more updates throughout the week.

Oh, and please help me spread the word about Red Chair Portland on March 11 and 12. I am updating my deck to include some of the key findings and insights our group worked out during the summit, so… it might even be worth flying into PDX for this one.