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July 02, 2011

Shay Totten Retains Crown, Alice Levitt Named Top Social Foodie on Burlington Social Media Day

Party Burlington's social media mavens came together to celebrate the second annual Social Media Day on Thursday, and Seven Days political columnist Shay Totten was once again heralded as their "social media king." Digital strategist Rich Nadworny, Earl Handy of Handy's Lunch and write-in candidate David Farré of the Burlington Free Press made valiant efforts to unseat the reigning Tweeter, but King Totten wielded his powerful iron fist and cruelly put down the rebellion. Either that, or more people voted for him in the awards contest.

The Social Media Queen crown went to Nicole Ravlin of PMG Public Relations. It was her second straight win, too. Wait, does this mean the local social media community is more like a dictatorship?

Organizers handed out the king and queen awards at a nighttime party at Bluebird Tavern. There were other prizes, too. Shay Totten also took home the award for best print media personality, and Seven Days food writer Alice Levitt was named the top "social foodie." Full results are listed at the end of this post.

The day's schedule included a fun panel discussion about how politicans use social media, with two politico Tweeters — Burlington City Councilor Ed Adrian and State Rep./possible-mayoral-hopeful Jason Lorber — and blogger-turned-State Senator Philip Baruth. PanelAlthough Adrian's a frequent Twitter user — he's been known to spar with fellow Tweeting city councilor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak at the same time they're presumably debating in real life at council meetings — he said that the social network that he finds most useful to connect with his constituents is actually neighborhood email service Front Porch Forum.

Lorber spent lots of time engaging the audience and asking how political campaigns SHOULD use social media (laying the groundwork to corner the geek vote in next year's mayoral race, perhaps?). Baruth added that the community he built through his blog, Vermont Daily Briefing, and Facebook helped lay the foundation for his Senate run.

One disappointing thing about the panel, though, was that all three panelists were white, male, middle-aged Democrats. Other social media-savvy politicos like state rep Kesha Ram and city councilors Joan Shannon and Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, were apparently busy. And surely there must be a social media-savvy Republican or two in Vermont? Oh well.

There were day-long events in conjunction with Social Media Day, as well. Participants were sent on a scavenger hunt around town, checking in on Foursquare along the way. I wonder if Mrs. O checked in at ECHO before her $5,000-per-plate dinner?

The full results of the Burlington Social Media Day awards:

Social Media King: Shay Totten

Social Media Queen: Nicole Ravlin

Non-profit: Spectrum

Business: Outdoor Gear Exchange

Restaurant: Handy's Lunch

Politician: Ed Adrian

Comedian: Edward Shepard

Social Web Geek: Gahlord Dewald

Outdoors: Vermont State Parks

Lodging/Farm/Winery: Shelburne Farms

Social Foodie: Alice Levitt

Band: Phineas Gage

Life in Vermont: 802theApp

Wider Influence: Gahlord Dewald

Print Media Personality: Shay Totten

TV Personality: Tom Messner

Radio Personality: Jane Lindholm

Blogger: Dana Freeman,

Most write in votes, king: David Farré

Most write in votes, blogger: Joshua Becker,

The "Political" Tweeup held at Office Squared was a non-partisan event. It just so happened that no social media-using Republicans contacted were able to attend the panel. Too bad, as the discussion wasn't about politics, but how pols use social networks in general. You're probably spot on with wondering if there are any Vermont repubs that really use social media effectively - especially outside of campaigning.

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