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April 16, 2013
By Katie Wells

This past weekend, I was a volunteer at Dig South, the first and only interactive festival exploring Charleston’s digital economy. Dig South had a lot of buzz surrounding it, so I was anxious to see what it was all about. The festival brought together thought leaders from some impressive big-name companies, both national and local, such as Facebook, Twitter, Blackbaud and BenefitFocus. It was a mixture of conference-style sessions with speakers and panelists, an expo with technology companies and creative partners, and some super fun sideshows with music and comedy in the evening.

As a volunteer, I helped check people into the conference and register for the event. Best of all, I got to interact with all the attendees, and be a source of information about our beautiful city, one of my favorite things to do! After my volunteer shifts, I was able to sit in on some sessions, explore the Expo, and even attend an opening night party at The Alley, where I saw an amazing performance by local rocker Rachel Kate Gillion.

So, what did I learn at Dig South? First, I learned that I better up my game! This town is full of talent and I felt inspired to challenge myself to take my creativity to the next level. I’m a social media practitioner for several clients (meaning I update their social media channels for them). Being in a roomful of other social media practitioners made me realize two things: 1. This new industry is here to stay and is a viable industry in the Charleston marketplace. 2. Social media is always changing and we in the biz are excellent resources for each other.

I attended a session titled “How to Leverage Your Social Media Mania.” The speakers on the panel were an Executive from Twitter, the Founder of Twitpic (who lives in Charleston) and a Content Strategist for Facebook. A pretty impressive panel. They were a wealth of knowledge and provided insight into the thought process behind content choices in their respective companies.

Charleston is being touted at the country’s “Silicon Harbor.” This region is attracting more and more companies in the digital economy industry such as Google and PeopleMatter. Innovation is happening right here in Charleston that is affecting the global economy. By continuing to grow Charleston’s knowledge economy, we provide more jobs for the community and continue to elevate the region as a whole. I am thrilled Charleston was able to attract high-level speakers and top-notch attendees to such an event. Festivals such as this continue to set us apart and contribute to Charleston’s designation as a hub for entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovation.

Katie is revamping her FB page this very moment. Contact her at katie@kewsolutionsinc.com.

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