Shock and Awe #scio11

Shock and Awe #scio11

I am in total shock and awe after my experience at the Science Online Conference. It has taken me a long time to write this post because I wanted to fully express my admiration and intrigue about this event. I don’ t know if that will ever be fully captured, but I need to share this experience with everyone. If there is a case study of perfect community building and social media execution this group is it.

Bora (on the right) – Image by Kzelnio

The community around this event is powerful and inspiring. Over the past five years, conference participants and countless online viewers have made a living breathing community out of a conference. This annual meeting is a breeding ground of ideas, discourse and collaboration. The participants were focused during the meeting and then unleashed their ideas on the web through  100+ post-event blogs. Incredible.

The creators Anton Zuicker and Bora Zivkovic are humble, gracious and generous people. The crowd orbits around these two natural-born leaders. Their simple idea of bringing an online community to offline reality is still so novel for so many organizations trying to chase social media success. I harp on making social media networks real and making IRL connections. Anton and Bora have mastered the talent of seamlessly weaving online and offline. That is the true power of social media – it’s in the people.

Anton – Image courtesy of Lou FCD

And of course, there were the magical details that made the event sing. Anton is a master of details and has an intense level of care about this project. This was best seen in the scientific cookies that he ordered from A Cookie a Day Bakery, a local baker who makes the cutest cookies. Also the work of author coordinator Karyn Traphagen was performed with so much care. All the way down to the luminaries withe Science Online log, she cares so deeply about this event and this community.

That is the key, it is in allowing people to care about your community. It’s a two-way street of conversation, engagement and understanding. It’s masterfully shepherding conversation to useful ends. That is the real achievement of Science Online.

One of the most beautiful outcomes of the event was the Belly Button Biodiversity citizen science project from the Museum of Natural Sciences. The BBB team came to the conference to collect swabbed samples of bacteria from participant’s belly buttons. Watch famed science writer Carl Zimmer swab his innie. The participants were audibly excited to swab their belly buttons in the name of science. Getting this type of response from an event is about knowing your audience so well that you know what builds excitement and genuine engagement.

Our contribution of event logistics and social media coordination kept this well-oiled machine on its tracks, despite a serious coatroom FAIL. We felt like such a small piece of this amazing whirling orchestra of awesome. That is how you should feel if you are part a community. Never the center, but in an important networked connection.

Congratulations to Anton, Bora and everyone who touched this amazing event. I can’t wait to be part of it in 2012!

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Kate Runy


A passionate technical wizard, Kate thrives on managing online content, social media for communications, and development projects.  Kate is the workhorse of the team, pulling out amazing feats of content creation and management week in and week out. 

Prior to joining BC/DC Ideas, Kate coordinated website and social media content, communications, and advertising for Go Global NC and Alzheimer’s NC.

Things that make her happy: I love animals about as much as I love working for nonprofits.

Mishel Gomez Cespedes


Mishel brings a passion for video storytelling and quippy social media content to the team.  At BC/DC Ideas, she is most likely editing video or scheduling the next moving social media post for our clients.

Her ear for storytelling is her greatest asset. Mishel has a unique ability to assemble content into a concise story that moves audiences to action.

A graduate of Wake Forest University she spent a semester in Spain and years serving her community through the campus organizations. Now, she is putting her passion for good to work.

Brian Crawford

creative director

Mix equal parts nerd and creativity and that’s Brian. A natural problem-solver, Brian’s ability to cut to the core of any problem helps guide our creative team to the correct solution without wasted time or money. It’s the core, this little nugget of truth, that helps our clients take the next step with their audiences.

Brian gets the greatest joy out of helping our clients realize and connect with their story. He is a true believer that everyone and every organization has a compelling story to tell, you just have to listen with an open heart.

Things that make him happy: Hanging out at the park with family, toddler-speak, hitting the focus pull, and good coffee.

Dawn Crawford


The engine behind BC/DC Ideas, Dawn has dedicated her career to good. Dawn brings her considerable experience and expertise to helping elevate the nonprofit sector. Our team’s lead strategist, Dawn is often seen leading our IdeaStorms, penning communications plans, or checking in with clients.

Before launching BC/DC Ideas in 2010, she earned her chops in 10+ years of communications leadership roles for public health, healthcare and youth-focused nonprofits. Working for nonprofits is Dawn’s dream job, and she loves that her 40+ hours a week make the world a better place.

Things that make her happy: A glass of champagne to celebrate big wins, Basecamp, living in the South, seeing the world, and a well-formatted spreadsheet.