Rainn Wilson, Zooey Deschanel and Ryan Seacrest are just a few of the celebrities selected to the “Social 25,” a new list honoring the 25 most influential and socially active brands in Los Angeles.
The list, compiled by Drew Baldwin, co-founder of online video site Tubefilter, and Shira Lazar, host of the Emmy-nominated “What’s Trending,” is the linchpin of Baldwin’s revamping of Social Media Week Los Angeles, which takes place Sept. 24 to 28.
Baldwin, executive director of the week-long conference, will orient the event around the entertainment industry with a film festival, concerts and Hollywood parties.
“We chose entertainment because it’s so particular to LA. In other cities Social Media Week is always advertising or marketing themed, but there are so many people here that people want to hear from,” Baldwin told TheWrap. “It’s hard for an event to get traction without a brand or definition.”
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For four years, Crowdcentric Media has put on Social Media Week twice a year, celebrating the best in social media from Barcelona to Bogota to Hong Kong. The week-long conference includes panels, speeches, workshops, screenings, parties and anything else that can convey the impact social is having on the world.
Baldwin says he believes the Los Angeles version has lacked cohesion, both in terms of theme and geography. Shifting from a role on the board of advisers to that of leading the festival, he has picked five themes central to Los Angeles – music and online video, television and movies, sports, entertainment and lifestyle – and has chosen to locate the event in Hollywood.
It will be based out of the Egyptian Theater, as well as a nearby collaborative workspace for start-ups – literally combining old Hollywood and new media.
The conference will spotlight the social 25 on Monday, inviting the likes of Seacrest, mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti and the heads of most of the major online video companies (such as Machinima’s Allen DeBevoise and FullScreen’s George Strompolos) to join them at a party at the "What's Trending" studio.
Troy Carter, Lady Gaga’s business manager and another figure on the list, will give a keynote speech during the week.
“Conversations will be enhanced by celebrities and how celebrities use social media,” Baldwin said. “It’s reflective of the evolution of social media and the people who use them. There’s no better place then Los Angeles to show how to connect with audiences.”