sxsw popexpert salon: james andrews on changing the game, how to get your organization onboard with social

The first SXSW popexpert salon led by James Andrews (@keyinfluencer) could not have kicked us off to a better start of transformative discussions.  It was not at all a surprise given the unique ability James has to cut to the heart of connection and influence, evidenced by one attendee’s comment that, “I first heard about James when I saw him on CNN.”

The conversation flowed from health care to music to how large brands like Banana Republic and American Express are starting to engage people who have crafted celebrity through gathering massive Pintrest and Tumblr followers.

Here are a few great quotes:

  • “Using social media, there are key influencers that are able to sell out madison square garden in a facebook post.”
  • “This next generation of kids is using social media and the web to become experts.”
  • “People are starting to take control of their own health using social media and technology to facilitate self diagnosis through connections.”
  • “I believe that anything is possible and that if you help people ignite change they’ll usually tilt toward creating it.”
  • “We work with global philanthropy and look at young adults as levers to create something spectacular.”
  • “Everybody has the opportunity to create community in their own image.”
  • “One of the reasons I came to the popexepert salon is we know these moments are really spectacular.  There is something to be said for creating connections online.  You can’t end community online but you can start building it.  We can transform community in the digital space.”
  • “When everyone has something to give, everybody has a reason to gather.”

A huge thank you to James for bringing together a great group and to all our participants who are experts in their own right! @keyinfluencer @djtakefive @yanivrivlin @ashleyschlaifer @socialdiva @lebaron99 @joeydigital

One thought on “sxsw popexpert salon: james andrews on changing the game, how to get your organization onboard with social

  1. A colleague and friend of mine pointed me to your site. I’ve read through your blogs. Sounds like an exciting journey you’re on.

    What most people think of the “social graph” — on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc — is a poor indicator of actual influence, but a much worse indicator of knowledge and expertise. What often happens, thus, is that popularity rises to the top, while proven experts, and even, alas, jewels of genius, sink and disappear into the silt-covered depths.

    In 1997 an NYU computer scientist and myself came up with what we believed was — and what I still believe is (at least I’ve seen nothing better in 15 years) — a solution to this problem. We were eventually awarded a US patent on it and subsequent inventions (e.g. see and

    This was before social networks; but we ended up building one of the world’s first expertise networks (we thought, crazily Zuckerberg would say, that what-you-know should be more valuable than who-you-know. I know, madness!). Eventually this social network evolved into what can be described as an “expertise economy” — with a dynamic pricing model (as conceived and allowed by the original patented invention). The community grew to half a million, and although it didn’t continue to flourish — and I’m no longer involved in it — it appears to have demonstrated, for the first time, the feasibility of a pure knowledge trading economy.

    We were before our time, no doubt. And I’ve seen about a hundred similar ventures come and go since. I’m unable to tell what differentiates Popexperts from other such ventures (it’s not clear from the site), but I can say that your timing is much better than ours was, and that as someone who’s done this before, I’m still convinced that if it’s done right, it can succeed in a very big way.

    All the best,

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