Leading Australian thinker on social media in business and government, Stephen Collins on Des Walsh & Friends

Stephen Collins on Des Walsh & Friends, BlogTalkRadio

I’m sure consistency is valuable for building an audience for a podcast program, such as my Des Walsh & Friends program, but last week it was rather pleasant not to have to rise at 5 am as I usually do for my 6 am (Australian eastern time) show. The bit of indulgence was because my guest was fellow Australian, Canberra-based Stephen Collins, one of the most prolific thinkers and doers I know in the social media space.

It made sense, as well as being mutually convenient, to run the show in the early afternoon of our time zone.

To listen, click on the player below or download the episode from the link at the end of this post.

Stephen Collins

Living and working as he does in the Australian National Capital, Stephen has a special insight into and practical experience of how social media works in government, as well as in business.

Some comments:

  • There are a lot of government agencies, federal, state and local, together with Australian businesses, now using social tools to be able to communicate more efficiently with their customers, constituents and other stakeholders.
  • There is a recognition it’s about much more than marketing, or simply a better way of selling stuff.
  • Marketing should be the least interesting thing you can do, in government or business

Among his many activities, Stephen is the founder of Social Media Club Canberra.  SMC Canberra operates as a breakfast, or coffee or lunch event, usually on a fortnightly basis. The style is casual.

He is also the licensed organiser of TEDx Canberra. We talked about TED, self-described on its website as “the nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading” and famous for its four day, now five day annual events held simultaneously in Long Beach and Palm Springs (TEDActive) California, and the local TEDx versions, one of which Stephen with a group of fellow volunteers, is organising for Canberra, October 23, 2010 – TEDx Canberra.

Stephen on TED:

  • It’s like spending a week in a classroom with the 500 smartest people you’ve ever met
  • You bury yourself in big thinkers for a week and it’s crazy and it’s inspiring
  • People for whom “No” or “not possible” isn’t an answer
  • An amazing mix of people

On TEDx Canberra:

TEDx Canberra will feature a selection of Australia’s leading speakers, innovators and storytellers showcasing their Ideas Worth Spreading.

The organisers are still open for speaker suggestions and for sponsorships to defray costs – sponsorship in-kind preferred, including sponsorship of specific elements of the program (AV costs, refreshments etc).The expectation is for an attendance number around 300 and the aim is to make admission free.

We also spoke briefly about Barcamp, the unconference. Stephen and colleagues have now run three barcamps in Canberra.

Stephen explains what he does at his company acidlabs as: “I make websites not confusing to use”. We could all use more of that!

To find out more about this social media dynamo, including how he and his company acidlabs, could help your business or organization, check out his website, acidlabs and find him on Twitter at @trib.


[If the player above does not appear, use this link to hear the recording].

Image credit: Stephen Collins, from trib via Flickr, Creative Commons

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).