Two Words. Social Media.

For those of you who don’t know the history of Twiistup, it actually was started as a Los Angeles tech night mixer in February 2007 by Mike Macadaan (@macadaan; VP, Product at MySpace) to showcase the L.A. tech community. With the recent purchase of Twiistup by a private investor (there’s enough clues as to who this new investor is; google it,) the Twiistup 6 was turned into a two-day conference and an open-bar night party.

The basic premise of Twiistup is to showcase promising start-ups and attract investors, software developers and even job seekers. Francisco Dao (@TheMan) runs the day-to-day operations of Twiistup.

The conference started with a panel showcasing twelve start-ups. The rest of the conference focused on various topics, mostly revolving around social media. ExpenseBay took the award at the end of the conference for being the most innovative and profitable in the foreseeable future.

Going back to the topic at hand, social media, or more like, conversation, seems to be the topic of today’s internet communications. Through “conversations” with a site’s users, a site owner will be able to generate high traffic and depending on the intent of the site, hopefully profitable revenue.

Brian Solis (@BrianSolis) clarified this by stating that “you must compete for attention… mind share, otherwise if you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind.” Even though press releases have been the golden tool of the past era for communicating with potential users of your products or services, in today’s internet age, you must communicate directly with the user. So don’t just campaign, get your message out.

Usage of Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social tools should help you rise above the noise. But make sure you don’t just listen; but you actually pay attention of what’s being said. Tools such as PeopleBrowsr, TweetDeck, and others can help you manage conversations relating your products or services. And remember, at the end of the day, it’s not what you say; it’s what they say.

And if you’re in the market for VC funding, there were at least two important pointers that you should know.

  1. Have a working prototype and make sure you state the problem first when pitching.
  2. Don’t email. DO NOT fill up the form on a VC’s website. It’s very rare that an entrepreneur actually gets funded this way. The contact form on a VC’s website is more of a filtering tool to comb out the inexperienced.

So how can one become funded? Start building relationships. Get introduced; request introductions. Attorneys seem to be the best approach of getting introductions; after all, every contract needs an attorney. So find an attorney that works with the VC firms you’re interested and try to get your connections.

The assessment of Twiistup 6 wouldn’t be fair without mentioning some notable attendees.

    1. Andrew Warner (@AndrewWarner; Founder of Mixergy)

  • Andrew can be summarized as the “journalist” for the entrepreneurs. His blog, Mixergy.com, is full of great interviews of successful and even few exceptional failed entrepreneurs who had the guts to share their failures and teach the rest of us to accept them as obstacles and not disappointments. If you’re aiming to succeed on the internet, you must take pilgrimage to Mixergy.com.
  • 2. Chamillionaire (@Chamillionaire)

  • Probably there hasn’t been anyone who works hard to connect to his fan base as the rapper known as Chamillionaire. He not only shared the strong aptitude of understanding and socially connecting to his fans, but he was also highly praised by Mark Suster for being better knowledgeable in social media then most “suits” he knew.
  • 3. Mark Suster (@msuster; General Partner, GRP Partners)

  • If you reside in Los Angeles and looking for funding, Mark probably is the guy for you. He has shown strong commitment to the LA basin and Southern California in large. You can find Mark and his humorous personality at many tech events.
  • 4. Jason Calacanis (@JasonCalacanis; Founder of Mahalo.com)

  • A successful “cereal” internet entrepreneur who resides in Los Angeles. You can follow his shows live on his blog, This Week in Startups. He is candid and has “straight-shooter” with take-no-prisoners personality.

On a closing note, I like to steal a line from Brian Solis; “we earn the attention, trust, and reputation we deserve.”