Social Technology “Expert” in Japan

On more than one occasion I have been billed as a Social Media or Technology “Expert”.  To be completely honest, most of my internal organs cringe whenever I hear this title.
The reason is that to me, there is nothing special about it all.  There are no real definitions or qualifications, pretty much anyone with a twitter account qualifies.  To me introducing yourself as a Social Media expert is like saying you are a real estate agent, just with less qualifications. 
I say this mainly because the field right now is simply too undefined and while there are some amazing individuals in the field, most of the people who claim this title are just unemployed wannabes with too much free time on their hands.  (yeah, I know which group I belong to)

I am however a proud and I believe very qualified gearhead.  I have worked for many years and spent countless dollars and yen to achieve this title, and while it is equally useless, I am more than happy to accept this badge.

So what is a gearhead good for?  Well, I am often asked to help cover or publicize an event.  Sometimes I do it even without being asked.  What I bring along is an understanding of current social media tools, and even more importantly a bag full of electronic gadgets and gizmos.  Here is an example of a bag I brought along with me to the last CGM Night hosted by Danny Choo.


Pictured here is
1 Macbook Air
1 Sony Vaio P series ultralight laptop + Large stamina battery pack
1 LCD projector
1 Portable 32inch projector screen
1 Sony Alpha 300 DSLR + 2 lenses
1 Logitech Orbit webcam
1 Gorillapod DSL tripod
1 Logitech Laptop Pro webcam
1 EMobile Pocket Wi-fi portable hotspot.
1 Plantronics Pro bluetooth headset
1 Buffalo Multi Memory Card reader
1 Power strip
2 Sanyo Eneloop Mobile Power Batteries
2 Poken Digital business cards
Lots of paper business cards and Moo cards
Power adapters, cables, and wires for all stuff above

And I fit it all into a small roller bag that I can drag along to the event.  Now how many people can put together a kit like that?

A setup like this enables me to livestream broadcast and create a two-way portal for online interaction in realtime for pretty much any activity or event. 
Now I don’t carry all this stuff around with me wherever I go.  I tend to customize my kit each time I go out to compliment the event and the environment I expect to work in.  Believe it or not, weight and portability are usually the most critical considerations I have when planning out my equipment load.

Understanding the capabilities of all this equipment and finding ways to combine technologies are what I feel are my true areas of expertise.   And as much of a dork as it makes me, I’m pretty proud of my abilities.


About Steve

Gadget Addict, Tokyo Resident and Techno-Luddite. Training, Solutions, and New Media Specialist. Not a fan of Mosquitoes.

Posted on February 20, 2010, in Mobility, Photogpraphy, Technology. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Not to be pedantic, but I think a line should be drawn between “expert” and “enthusiast”. Then of course there are the “evangelists”, which are a special type of enthusiast. People getting paid for social media knowledge are “professionals”, but not necessarily experts. I agree with your concern about the liberal usage of the term expert, who are by far the smallest population with social media knowledge. However, I your estate agent metaphor is false. You mentioned how the field is undefined, but an academic literature on social media is growing out of more traditional fields such as information architecture and network theory. Barabasi’s “Linked” is a recent, and easily accessible, work on networks that I highly recommend. The point is, I think it can be demonstrated that the practical vs. theoretical dichotomy is alive and well even in young fields like social media.

  2. i really believe that being a social media expert is good for people working in manegement field

  3. Cool. It’s great that you use Pokens! You can find more at

  4. That’s an awesome set up you have…I think the live stream thing is bad ass on the go. I know anyone can do it but the content and organization have to be on point.
    How huge of an impact have your Poken been for networking? How often do you get a chance to use it?
    How would you market Poken?

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