SOURCE: Ning

Ning

January 15, 2010 09:45 ET

Pete Wentz and Ning CEO Gina Bianchini to Share Stage at MidemNet

Wentz and Bianchini Will Discuss Fan Engagement and the Next Generation of Social Technologies

PALO ALTO, CA and CANNES, FRANCE--(Marketwire - January 15, 2010) - Ning, (www.ning.com), the social platform for the world's interests and passions online, and Reed MIDEM, the world's leading event organizer and host of MidemNet, today announced Grammy nominated musician, activist and entrepreneur Pete Wentz and Ning Co-founder and CEO Gina Bianchini have been confirmed to share the MidemNet stage on January 23, 2010, for a keynote conversation, "Social Media Strategies for Fan Engagement," moderated by Billboard Magazine's International Bureau Chief Mark Sutherland.

FriendsOrEnemies.com, a collective social network for bands such as Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, Cobra Starship and a number of other artists, has taken the idea of fan engagement to the next level. Based on the Ning Platform and the next generation of social technologies, Friends or Enemies has successfully brought fans into the process of creating and distributing content, making fans the key drivers of a band's adoption and success.

Based on their unique experience -- Wentz as an artist and Bianchini as the co-founder and CEO of Ning -- the keynote conversation at MidemNet will delve into best practices and provide an in-depth look at what's next for artists and their fans in social media.

"Talking to our fans always seemed natural and is something we still do every day. Since there are way too many sites and platforms to choose from these days, the hard part is figuring out what to use and how to best use them. In the olden days, long before MacBooks had cams (2002), we used to just post a blog on our site and it was done. Now we have so many great ways to connect everything together to reach the people who are interested," said Pete Wentz. "But the way we do it changes weekly now, if not daily, because of all the innovators having fun out there screwing with the system like Ning lets us. Most importantly, it's very important to remember that the internet is a great place to build a culture and not just push for a sale, just like rock 'n' roll. It'd be like trying to sell sea shells at the beach."

Many acclaimed artists have created a Ning Network as a hub for their work and as a means to engage directly, in a unique, branded environment with their fans. In addition to the bands on Friends or Enemies, other artists on Ning include Good Charlotte, Hollywood Undead, All American Rejects and 50 Cent.

The full description of the "Social Media Strategies for Fan Engagement" keynote conversation can be found on MidemNet's website: http://www.midem.com/en/midemnet/.

MidemNet, taking place January 23-27, 2010, at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, is the international forum dedicated to reflection on the music business in the digital age. This year's MidemNet will focus on "From content to context - Monetizing the new music experience."

About Ning

Ning is the social platform for the world's interests and passions online. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Ning offers an easy-to-use service that allows people to join and create Ning Networks. With more than 2 million Ning Networks created and 41 million registered users, millions of people every day are coming together across Ning to explore and express their interests, discover new passions, and meet new people around shared pursuits. Ning was founded in October 2004 by Gina Bianchini and Marc Andreessen. The company is privately held. For more information, visit www.ning.com.

About Pete Wentz

Pete Wentz is the bassist and lyricist of the Grammy-nominated band Fall Out Boy, which over the past few years have released two multi-platinum albums that spawned the chart topping hits "Sugar, We're Going Down," "Dance, Dance," "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs," "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race," "I Don't Care" and "America's Suitehearts." Fall Out Boy's latest release is an 18 track career defining collection of songs called "Believers Never Die - Greatest Hits."

An accomplished writer, Wentz released the book "The Boy With A Thorn In His Side," which has sold more than 10,000 copies to date and served as the inspiration for his clothing line Clandestine Industries. An entrepreneur by nature, Wentz also founded the record label Decaydence and discovered and signed influential artists Panic at the Disco, Gym Class Heroes and Cobra Starship, among others to the imprint. Wentz is at the helm of his own one-man DJ company, Hemingway Wentz, Inc., has an independent production company and is the co-owner of Angels & Kings, a brand of popular bar and nightlife destinations in New York City, Chicago and Barcelona, Spain. He is an avid supporter of, and activist for, Invisible Children, an organization dedicated to eradicating the 24-year-old civil war in northern Uganda by inspiring American youth to action. He has appeared on various television shows to promote his music and good works, and has dabbled in acting, having recently appeared on an episode of "Californication," and "CSI:NY." An artist in every way, Wentz has also exhibiting works from his prolific mixed media, graffiti-inspired collaborative art created with Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes.

About Reed MIDEM

Founded in 1963, Reed MIDEM is a leading organiser of professional, international tradeshows. Reed MIDEM events have established themselves as key dates in professional diaries. The company hosts MIPTV, MIPDOC, MIPCOM, and MIPJUNIOR for the television and digital content industries, MIDEM for music professionals, MIPIM, MIPIM Asia, MIPIM HORIZONS and MAPIC for the property and retail real estate sectors.

Reed Exhibitions is the world's leading events organiser, with over 470 events in 37 countries. In 2008 Reed brought together over seven million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and organised by 38 fully staffed offices.

Reed organises a wide range of events, including exhibitions, conferences, congresses and meetings. Its portfolio of over 470 events serves 44 industry sectors, including: Aerospace & aviation, automobiles, broadcasting, building & construction, electronics, energy, oil & gas, engineering, manufacturing, environment, food service & hospitality, gifts, healthcare, interior design, IT & telecoms, jewellery, life science & pharmaceuticals, machinery, medical education, printing & graphics, property & real estate, security & safety, sports & recreation, travel.

For further information about Reed MIDEM visit www.reedmidem.com.

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