Pictured above: Jim Anderson/SocialFlow, Frank Speiser/SocialFlow, Danny Chung/Freelance Social Media Consultant, Jun Harada/CondeNast & Matt Heindl/Razorfish


Last week SocialFlow hosted its second Social Media Week event here in our New York headquarters. The topic: A Debate on Organic Publishing.

Moderated by SocialFlow CEO Jim Anderson, the debate pitted two teams against each other: SocialFlow’s Frank Speiser joined freelance digital and social manager Danny Chung on “Team Paid,” while Conde Nast’s Director of Audience Development Jun Harada and Razorfish’s Senior Director of Social Marketing Matt Heindl represented “Team Owned.”

The debaters were passionate for the sake of the well rounded debate, even when the views they expressed didn’t represent their personal opinions or those of their companies.

To gauge the room’s bias, Jim kicked off the event with the question, “Is owned media publishing a dead-end for marketers?” The audience was asked to hold up red cards if they disagreed with statements made, or green cards if they agreed. The room was near unanimous in its disagreement.

By the end of the event, however, the tone had shifted dramatically. In response to the question, “Is paid placement intrusive no matter what?” the room was split down the middle.

Here are some highlights from the debate (and here is the full debate):  

Danny: “If you have great content but you don’t have the audience, it doesn’t have the potential to be heard and seen or engaged with as much as possible…paid gives you the opportunity to reach a much larger audience.”

Jun: “We’ve seen repeated ad nauseam, the beauty of the internet. Organic content with no paid gets discovered, passed around, [and] have an engagement and emotional connection with their audience at a rate that almost cannot be replicated in any other factor, no matter the reach…You can get impressions and a lot of people talking about it, but the ultimate engagement ratio…is unmatched then discovered serendipitously.”

Matt: “Facebook is for friends and family, twitter is for interest…you want to talk about certain things at certain times…if it’s sponsored ad for something I’m not a hand-raiser for, it’s intrusive, wrong place, wrong time. It makes me want to dislike the brand.”

Here are some tweets and what people were saying about us during the debate: http://trib.al/LuMsYFw