I’ve now had a few days since I left New York and the Web 2.0 expo, to think. My last post was a quick shot at the highlites, and this post will focus on the specifics of what I thought were memorable moments and people. Keep in mind that I was focused more on the media and marketing tracks of the expo.
One of the funnier and more informative sessions belonged to Jonah Peretti. Peretti co-founded The HuffingtonPost. During Peretti’s session he cited some of his viral media experiments including the Nike sweatshop email, which was hilarious, as well as BlackPeopleLoveUs and the New York City Rejection Line. According to Peretti, all of these projects started small but spread through word-of-mouth to millions, illustrating the practical application of 6-degrees of separation and tipping points, though the tipping point was not the end game. To sum it up, you should add, test, tweak and optimize.
Words to live by in more than just this setting I think. Don’t you?
One of the sessions that I thought would deliver more just based on the quality of his blog and other writings was from Brian Solis. For some reason, and there can always be some that can prevent someone from knocking the ball out of the ballpark all the time, this one did not deliver. Though it did provide some nuggets, it mostly was Brian reading slides. I’m going to give Brian a free pass this time though, because his blog “over-delivers”. With that being said, I still suggest that everyone take the time to read and then add Brian’s blog to their reader list.
If you are into web analytics, as I am, and you don’t know who Avanish Kaushik is, then I would suggest you check out his blog, Occam’s Razor. His session was informative, funny, entertaining and passionate, and it was about fricken web analytics. With that being said, he topped off his session by giving away his book, Web Analytics-An hour a day. He even autographed it too, if you wanted to wait! Thanks Avanish!
Michael Lazerow is the CEO of company called Buddy Media and he delivered probably one of the more intriguing and informative sessions on Why Brand Advertisers Will Be the Biggest Beneficiaries of Social Media and How You Can Participate. He started slow and I was thinking, “uh-oh” here comes more of the same. I had sat in on a few other sessions in which it was pointless to take notes since the speakers were re-hashing what we read and write every day. But Lazerow didn’t disappoint. He provided case studies and metrics to validate how brands can essentially use a company such as his (which he did not pimp) to promote and leverage a brand or product using social media.
While search dominated the last 5 years of advertising, Lazerow is dead on when he says that social will emerge as the leading way for major brands to reach and engage consumers. As such, the social media application is both the new ad unit and the new media property all in one. I was very impressed.
Stephan Spencer had a session titled, Best-kept Secrets to Search Engine Optimization Success: the Art and the Science, and to a certain degree it was. Throughout his talk he peppered the audience with the question, “How many of you knew this”? To which there were very few hands being raised, which in essence validated the whole theme of this session. He provided not only real world examples and strategies, but also a follow up email of content and links that certainly speak to the space of SEO. If you would like the email forwarded to you, let me know. I’m sure he would not mind.
David Armano’s session was titled Micro-Interactions: How Brands Can Influence Consumer Behavior in a 2.0 World. I was fairly familiar with this since I am a big reader of David’s blog and his thoughts on micro-interactions. David focuses on new thinking in the web 2.0 world and his session did just that. Unlike some of the other echo sessions that prevailed at Web 2.0, David focuses on the little things that matter. To quote David:
We live in a world where the little things really do matter. Each encounter no matter how brief is a micro-interaction that makes a deposit or withdrawal from our rational and emotional subconscious. The sum of these interactions and encounters adds up to how we feel about a particular product, brand, or service. Little things. Feelings. They influence our everyday behaviors more than we realize.
You can access a lot of these presentation Decks at the Web 2.0 expo site, but it won’t be the same without the audio. Overall, I’d like to see a little less echo going forward with these conferences, but I don’t think that can be avoidable. With the above people I have mentioned, they have stuck to what they know, and what they know works and they have run with it. For that, I’m thankfull. It was, in the end, a good gig that some should plan on attending.