Social Media Tulsa started as a part of Mashable’s Social Media Day on June 30, 2010.
When I moved back to Tulsa and getting settled in, I noticed a post about Social Media Day from one of @Imajackrussell ‘s Twitter followers. A quick Google search, let me to Mashable’s Meetup Everywhere page. With only a couple of weeks until the events, there were hundreds of meetups scheduled around the world on this day. Under Tulsa, it said “be the first in this community.” OK! Then a message similar to this meetup needs an organizer. OK again.
Using Twitter, Facebook, Prweb, and no sleep. I started finding people and places to make this event happen in my home town.
I am a pretty visual person, so one of my first tasks was to have my designers create a logo. Mashable’s logo was a fun image with a llama. I wasn’t sure what the llama represented, but I knew I wanted to use a symbol that said Tulsa to me.
Although admittedly, I have a strange fear of statues, the first thing that came to mind was the Golden Driller. When I think of home, that is the symbol. When I asked my logo person to create a logo, I asked him to replace the llama with the Golden Driller. There are tons of images on the web of the big guy, and when he sent the logo back, I was thrilled and went live with it as the symbol for our meetup group.
Fast forward eight months, and over 160 members of the meetup group, I decided it was time to switch the mix a little. Our meetups have been mostly social with a little education, a conference would be more education and a little social.
After inviting the local newspaper to join us, I learned that the image of the Driller we used in the logo we created was an image created by one of their artists and used on their site in 2009. Yikes! (A High I mistake) Totally my fault for not noticing.
So here’s what I did. I apologized to the newspaper person, told them that I would change the logo and remove it from the site and all other places. Updated…. We will make another attempt to change the logo. I sent a request out on Twitter to get a photo of the Driller that we can use in the logo. We’ve already received one, and hopefully will get another shortly so we can create the image from a photo and have no resemblance of their image.
What was so refreshing about this exercise was, as i removed the logo, Social Media Tulsa still lived. The smiling faces, people having a good time learning and connecting. Social Media Tulsa was not changed. The heart/brand/community of Social Media Tulsa is not about a logo, It’s about the people. I have said that many times. It was nice to actually see. (and be reminded)
I don’t like making mistakes, especially the kind where I should know better, but I am happy it happened, and happy it happened when it did. Will I make mistakes again? Based on the past 45 years, I’d bank on it. Will it be this one? Let’s hope not.
I’m still a visual person and the Golden Driller will always represent home to me, so here is the new Social Media Tulsa logo, with the Golden Driller….and an ode to the #SMTulsa community. Can you find it?
About the Golden Driller:
It was originally built in 1953 by the Mid-Continent Supply Company of Fort Worth for the International Petroleum Exposition. Six years later, it was temporarily erected again for the 1959 show. Due to the positive attention it attracted, the company donated the statue to the Tulsa County Fairgrounds Trust Authority which had it permanently installed in front of the Tulsa Expo Center for the 1966 International Petroleum Exposition. The statue’s right hand rests on an oil derrick which had been moved from a depleted oil field in Seminole, Oklahoma.
An inscription at the base of the statue reads: “The Golden Driller, a symbol of the International Petroleum Exposition. Dedicated to the men of the petroleum industry who by their vision and daring have created from God’s abundance a better life for mankind.”
In 1979, the Golden Driller was adopted by the Oklahoma Legislature as the state monument. Via Wikopedia