Here’s a quick break down by day
Wednesday September 17th
A New York’s Web Industry from 1995 to 2008 From Nascent to Ascendant –
This was a terrifically fun blast from the past. It was obvious that Fred has been at the forefront of everything that’s happened in Silicon Alley since 1995 (although he did make it clear that he feels we should no longer call NY’s interactive scene Silicon Alley). It was also apparent that he has great affection and respect for everyone in the industry, and that helped to create a nice sense of community during his presentation. He spoke about how the internet has matured, and how the New York VC scene is currently responsible for 1/3 of funding in the online community - up from a paltry 1/8 of all activity back in 1995.
Building a Personal Brand within the Social Media Landscape
This was the best presentation of the day. Gary took his family company of wine sellers from $4million/annually to $54 Million. He currently hosts his own video blog at www.winelibrary.tv – I recommend you check it out. Gary’s enthusiasm for wine and making money is contagious.
Thursday September 18th
HIGHLIGHT: Repeating some details from an earlier post - but I wanted to show each day broken down.
We are Smarter than me: unleashing the Power of Crowds in Your Business presented by Barry Libert of www.mzinga.com
What an interesting, out of the box type of guy. Barry gave his presentation on the last session during the next to last day (I believe). It was late afternoon, and he was able to actually get us out of our seats and interacting with each other....wow. The main point of his presentation was that "WE are much more powerful than ME"....what a novel idea. A few points that stuck out for me that any company can readily apply to be more "we" friendly:
1. Be Social - Create a forum to open the lines of communication with your clients (Starbucks was cited as a great example)
2. Be Co- Creative - Start idea shares, and encourage innovation
3. Be Open - Start a company blog and join social networks
4. Be rewarding - hold contests - and give back to the community
5. Be Evaluative - Survey, review comments and ratings of your services to improve your product.
An interesting point that Barry made about Twitter and the upcoming election – Hillary Clinton has a few hundred people following her, but she is not following anyone. Barack Obama has a few hundred people following him on Twitter, and he is following MORE than are following him. WOW. We need to open our eyes and ears.
Friday September 19th
Arianna Huffington was interviewed and made some great points that we can apply to our business:
1. Be Passionate, Engaged, and Excited
2. Screen the comments that you allow to be posted, but pre moderate quickly
3. Open an honest dialogue with your end users or in our case our advertisers and publishers
4. Unplug and recharge (again back to the first point that unplugging was a main theme during the show)
Ben Huh spoke about how simplicity powers large, growing, and complex communities like www.icanhascheesburger.com a compilation of photos with comedic tag lines generated 100% by users. Ben and his team are also working on new projects, and he had this advice to offer companies in the online community:
1. Keep it Simple – it doesn’t have to be perfect – just get it out there
2. 100% user generated is a good thing (we should be talking even more to our advertisers and publishers to find out that they want and need from us).
Also- I don't recall which day they presented, but one of the most exciting companies I saw present is called www.drop.io they’re a very simple way to share files online, that I feel is the next iteration of social networking. They walked us through a demo where a person can create a "drop" at a specific location in a city - add photos, details about what happened at that location and then share that "drop" with their friends. This is like a social network page on steroids!
I hope this overview was helpful and gave you some idea of the exciting things occurring at the Web2.0 Expo in New York.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Here’s a quick break down by day
Last week New York City’s Jacob Javits center played host to Web 2.0 Expo and I was lucky enough to attend. It was a rare opportunity to have extended exposure to software developers, VC’s and other great minds shaping the internet today. The speakers included a wide range of talented people - from Arianna Huffington of the Huffington post, to Anthropologists that spoke about how the internet is affecting the world we live in, as well as nations that don’t have the internet yet (apparently in Malaysia they burn paper laptops so the dead can use them in the afterlife). The daily schedule of topics was a wish list of what’s cool right now. Once the week was complete I was floored by the sheer volume of notes I took during each session. Main themes that were heard often throughout the entire conference:
1. Companies need to pay attention to their customers more
2. The next big theme online is going to be “unplugging” from the internet – Meetup.com was seen as a leader – moving people away from computers and into the real world (Akoha from Techcrunch50 was cited as well.)
3. Digg, Twitter, and facebook are on everyone’s lips. This should help us with our Marketing and PR decisions in the future –
4. Top German company presence – Smeet.com, Berlin Partner, and of course zanox, Inc.
After having worked at performance based ad networks for the past 3 years, you learn a lot about what offers work, and which don't. After our difficult economic downturn recently, people are panicking about their credit reports. These offers - or ones that seem to offer a "free credit report" don't really offer the credit report for free. Mostly they are placed on sites that incent the user to sign up in order to get something else in return (points for example - to purchase another product). In affiliate marketing, these offers perform exceptionally well. Don't be fooled.
I'm writing this post as a sort of warning to read the fine print. When you're looking to get a free credit report, certain companies don't offer the service for free at all. Annual Credit Reports are used as the lead in for a continuity program that could charge as much as $20/month if you're not careful. You may want to take a look at a few of the most reputable services first.
Here's a short list:
Good luck, and keep your eyes peeled for the fine print. These companies aren't doing anything illegal - this is just a heads up that you're going to get "pinged" $20 a month for the service.