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    Sealing the citya��s spot as the Silicon Valley of India, the fourth edition of the Social Media Week, from February 23 until February 27, follows the theme of Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of the Connected Class. Exploring the dynamics of social media in the multicultural market and the transformative effect of laptops, tablets and smartphones, in the workplace, a�?More than 51 per cent of the global population is connected today, and we aim to understand how technology will impact the way we live, work and create,a�? begins Rohit Varma, founder of R SQUARE Consulting and the force behind the SMW in the city.
    The five-day event runs across multiple venues such as The Leela Palace, News CafA�, and Big Pitcher, bringing together brands, agencies, influencers, practitioners, academicians, entrepreneurs, public officials, celebrities and international experts, to brainstorm. Over the week, you can expand your social media interests with inputs from key people in the industry. Vikram Ahuja, founder of Byond, an experiential travel platform, is set to talk about his companya��s growth, while Harish Bijoor, brand expert and media veteran, will take the stage too. Also sharing the platform will be Gautam Ghosh, director, talent branding at Flipkart, Akshay Haldipur and Karl Katraga of Culture Machine a�� a digital media company. Musicians such as Bruce Lee Mani, comedians like Aditi Mittal, travel bloggers like Mansi Pal and RJ Pallavi too will discuss their USP on social media and how theya��ve used it optimally.
    a�?Social Media as a medium is narrowing the gap in human connectivity. Technology like IOT & wearables have changed from a buzz word to reality connecting people globally in real time,a�? Varma marvels, referencing several start-up founders, including Gaurav Munjal, creator of flat hunting app, Flatchat, as well as Meena Srinivasan, co-founder and chief excellence officer, Scion Social. Catch American speaker Sean Gardnera��s talk on social media as he has been voted as Forbes Top 50 Marketing Influencer and their number one Social Media Power Influencer too.
    Other events to note in this edition of SMW include the Social Media Strategy Challenge, a�?Appa��athon, Tweetathon and a blogging challenge. It is also scheduled simultaneously across seven cities a�� Bangalore, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Jakarta, Lagos, Milan and New York.
    Details: socialmediaweek.org

    Rapid fire with Varma

    Over sharing: Social media has turned out to become a necessity. However, the usage should be conducted with a certain code of ethics and self-responsibility. This goes for both brands and personal accounts as well.
    Kim Kardashiana��s a�?break the Interneta�� effort: A well-planned yet very obvious marketing gimmick for personal branding

    Favourite social networks: Facebook is a brilliant platform for various A�communities. On a professional front, LinkedIn is best. I look at Twitter as a platform for knowledge sharing. For photographers Instagram works the best.

    Preferred app: The 500px keeping in tune with my passion for wildlifeA�photography.
    Hopes for SMW: To connect ideas and insights from various industries to create an ultimate platform for social, digital and innovation.

    a�� Aakanksha Devi

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