Tag Archives: sxsw

UGC success! Converting social networks into social capital to get to SXSW

We spoke to Tuttle founder Lloyd Davis a few days before he was about to cross America to get to SXSW using only the currency of social capital.

For Lloyd it was an experiment to see how friends and contacts made through online social networks could be converted into material commodities.

So how does UGC fit into this I hear you cry? Well Lloyd wanted to test the relationships he’d made via UGC platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare to see if they stood up in real life. A big criticism lots of the social media skeptics pile onto these platforms is that you waste time connecting to and talking to people you don’t know or have never met – it’s nothing like real life networking and getting to know people.

Lloyd disagreed and wanted to prove the value of an online network.

He flew out to San Francisco and travelled across the States to Texas for worldwide tech conference SXSW. He had no money and so had to rely on donations of food, transport, accommodation and money from his social networks.

He did it and is still in America planning to move on to New Orleans and New York before heading back to London exchanging social capital for real life stuff. Lloyd told me that the main thing he’s learnt so far is that sometimes you think you’re spending social capital when actually you’re making it. Also that it’s tempting to think of it like money and that it gets up when you use it, but sometimes it can increase when you use it.

He’ll be writing up his findings in more details on his return and we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for an update.

I asked him who’s been the most generous, what bits of tech he couldn’t have done it without and what he enjoyed most about SXSW. Oh and what his experiment had taught him about social capital 🙂



By Lucy Hewitt

User generated cash to get across America for SXSW

This is a social media experiment with a difference.

Tuttle founder Lloyd Davis is hoping to prove the power of social capital by travelling from West to East America by the help of his online network ONLY.

So that’s accommodation, food and travel only to be donated by his digital connections. At the time this post was published, Lloyd had raised $1520 donated by 28 of his online community.

The idea behind the trip is to prove the importance and strength of online relationships and how they can translate into real-life commodities and cash. In short social media ROI.

He’ll be flying out on 1st March to San Francisco and hopes to end up somewhere on the East coast (possibly Boston) via music, film and tech conference SXSW.

All he’s taking with him will be a social media tool-kit; smartphone, netbook, flip camera and an SLR and he’ll be blogging his way through the journey here.

If you’d like to help him in any way – offer him a sofa, send him some cash or drive him around, you can do here.

A few days before the big trip, we asked why Lloyd is undertaking such a mean feat, the plans (or lack of!) he’s already put in place and what will happen if he runs into trouble.

We’ll be catching up with Lloyd when he’s over in the States to see if he makes it to SXSW so keep your eyes peeled for an update.

By Lucy Hewitt