Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pubcon 2009 Was Great

Pubcon Las Vegas was great this year. After many of these events, I thought the conversation was at a very high level. Better than ever. People were serious and there was not much fluff going around. I didn't encounter too much of the old sales pitches at the sessions nor at the bars.

There were parties every night at various clubs on the strip. Some better than others. Some clubs are not told or don't understand that people want to talk at this events. They play the music so loud that you have to scream to be heard by the person right next to you. So those events, like the one this time around at Planet Hollywood, are pretty pointless. The next night was much better with the music at a lower volume until they opened the doors to the public. Then it was time to leave and head to a real bar where you could hear and talk again.

If you are serious about business on the internet and running your own show, it is the best mid to large scale event to attend.


Monday, November 10, 2008

No Pubcon For Me This Year

For the first time in many years, I'm skipping Pubcon in Las Vegas. It's not easy. Well, it was easier when I lived within a 90 minute drive. Now that I've moved to New Mexico, it's either flying for quick jaunt or driving for 10 hours. And with everything going on in the economy and business these days, I decided to pass on this one and attend something else coming in the new few months.

P.S. I actually talked myself into going to it at the last minute but then was turned off by the higher end price. I know, all conference jack up the price rate for late comers. Not sure why this is really. I couldn't stand it to pay $400 more because I decided a day later than I should have. Oh well.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pubcon Las Vegas 2007

Another Pubcon is done. Cheers to Brett and the gang for another fine event. The same half a day's trouble with registration but I kind of expected it so I was there early before a line formed. It always makes me laugh when tech related events have glitches. We try to be so neat with computers or touch screens or printing on the spot. Based on recent conferences, I think maybe just an old 3x5 note card system would be better. Look up the name, bingo, there is the badge on it. Hand it out with a bag.

Instead events save those few no-show labels and waste tons of other peoples time.

No review sheets or feedback forms at the event which is odd. Comments are worthless if not gathered promptly so I'll have to write here if I don't get anything soon. Maybe an email link will come.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Social Spark Launched at Postiecon 07

Okay, I admit that I stayed after Blogworld for this Postiecon 07 in Las Vegas. I didn't know what to expect but now that it is over, I can put the weird cult like atmosphere aside and write about it. I had flashbacks to early days of eBay and some of their fan events.

Full disclosures. This blog is not sponsored in any way by anyone. It's just my longtime eight year old web forum persona here. I didn't receive anything from Izea AKA PayPerPost AKA SocialSpark other than the usual convention stuff like a shirt and drink holders. I even bought my own lunch. I've never been paid for a blog post anywhere. I did use PayPerPost in the past as an advertiser and am still not sure of the results, if any.

PayPerPost was the controversial system built by Ted Murphy in 2006. It allowed bloggers to make money by posting about who knows what. Advertisers paid for this. Many bloggers used it in a deceitful way of writing about stuff without saying they were paid for it. And many other bloggers always disclosed it. Controversy ensued. And I can't help but smirk at the irony of the name being Postiecon when some thought that the idea of hidden paid blog posts was a con for readers. Enough said.

Izea became the name for the parent company. And now another step away from PayPerPost and nail in the coffin of it was unveiled at Postiecon 07 and it is called Social Spark. No, it's not the dating website that had consumer complaints against it. I assume the domain changed hands for this new venture (but I don't know anything about that for sure) which is due to be released in January 2008. The socialspark website just goes to payperpost for now. In the end, it distances the system away from what it was and that's a smart move.

Everything is more open, even to those not logged in. There does not seem to be any privacy anymore. We can see all the good and bad posts and ad buys out there. They have extensive demographic information which will mislead a lot of people. The demographics come from the members of this marketplace. It is not data on a large swatch of people like MySpace or Facebook. Data on a bunch of people selling their words for a few bucks may not be an advertisers typical customer. It is a social network for bloggers and advertisers. Does a major corporation want to be social with a woman who blogs about mosquitoe nets, Costa Rica and breast implants in the same day for $5?

Probably not.

There seem to be positives for both advertisers and bloggers. Advertisers can inspect bloggers more closely and even have a price driven downward from what they originally set.

There is a marketplace for free posts. A blogger can get sponsorship on their blog. They can put annoying ads of all kinds over their blog for a set fee per day. In the best aspect I saw, a blogger can request a job or indicate interest in advertisers. This indicates possible passion and interest which is good for both sides. Advertisers have more control over their campaigns as well. Overall, I think the improvements are better for advertisers than bloggers. And that's what is needed to grow this kind of company. You can't cater everything to a small percentage of the bloggers on the net, the most successful of which says they make less than 20k in over a year.

All links will be "no follow" and have the same disclosure badge. This has several aspects to it.

It eliminates those that hide their posts.

It eliminates advertises looking for link love. They will have to want all that traffic from small blogs that write about nothing and everything in the world for a few bucks. And from what I heard today, most of which traffic is probably from marketplace bloggers praising each other.

It makes it easy for Google to find one consistent graphic and just nuke all those websites. One could argue the no follow tag link will make it look better however because it passes no credibility. But does an advertiser want to pay for an endorsement that says "no endorsement" behind the scenes?

Some negative things about Alexa and Google were said at this event. Alexa stats are skewed to people who have a toolbar installed. They are gamed and falsely inflate tech related companies who know about Alexa. So how is a ranking system from within a network of paid to post bloggers praising each other any better? Unknown. It's just a ranking of which paid blogs are the most trafficked and have a widget installed.

As for the backlash against Google changes lately. They created Pagerank and they own it. They can change it any time they want. Other companies and people opted to use it to make or save money and they have to accept the risk of it changing at any time.

That's my take as I see it right now. But it's early on....

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Hard Rock Las Vegas Blogworld

Hard Rock Las Vegas had an interesting philosophy for the Blogworld part held there last night. It was at the Joint, their club that hosts many concerts. They said, let's have our bouncers act like asses and treat hundreds of bloggers like crap. Let's be rude and disrespect as many people as we can. It was a job well done and very successful.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Blogworld Expo 2007 Day Two

Blogworld Expo and New Media Show Day Two is winding down. This was actually day one of the main conference. I'm counting the Executive and Entrepreneur day in my count. The show has continued to impress me as far as production, huge signs and technical aspects. You have to buy your own food today but at least guests are not paying for it in the cost of the pass. You do your own thing. There are pluses and minuses with that concept compared to conferences where you get box lunches. And those boxes that may or may not make you sick. I've spent a couple of past conference days at Search Engine Strategies either in the bathroom too often or just not feeling right. And when you see a sandwich with mayo put out at 9:30 in the morning for lunch several hours later, well you figure it out. But none of this is relevant with Blogworld Expo.

The morning keynote was with Wordpress Matt. (He doesn't need anymore links as any blogger knows). It was okay but nothing exciting. No news or real insight about anything. Matt is not a real dynamic speaker. And not everyone can be a great speaker so it's no big deal. I know I'd be horrible.

The morning session I chose was Monetizing Your Blog which featured Jeremy Schoemaker AKA Shoemoney. He is always an entertaining and a frank speaker who is bound to share something interesting that you can take away and use for yourself. I've seen and met him briefly a few times now at conferences. There is a select few people that I always look for on speaker schedules, knowing that something interesting will come out of the session, and he is one of them.

The show floor opened up and it was a pretty good one. There were four wide rows and it easy to maneuver through the crowds. Sometimes SES and Pubcon show floors are so cramped, it becomes a frustrating experience trying to schmooze. As usual, there are many new companies I've never heard of and will probably never hear of again. But that is normal. New companies launch and blow all their money on a show booth hoping to be bought, get VC funding or hit it big. Most of them just fade away leaving only pens and decaying signage in landfills to prove they ever existed.

More afternoon sessions filled up the day. All were good, well paced and without sales pitches. The final panel included heads of Technorati, Pajamas Media, Weblogs Inc, B5media and the founder of Blogger. It kept me awake but it was nothing noteworthy.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Blogworld Expo 2007 Review Day One

The first day of Blogworld Expo is underway. It is actually the Executive and Entrepreneur day today which costs much more than the two regular days on Thursday and Friday.

I was concerned before the conference started. First time event. Who knows who is running the show and if they have worked conferences before. No email confirmation when registering or making any changes. (Yes, I checked email filters and such. And I've heard from others that didn't get emails as well)

Thus far, it is an impressive show and beyond expectations. We'll see if it sustains itself when the masses join tomorrow. Well organized with lots of neat systems to help it run smoothly. Computer registration to reduce the check in line time. (Flashback to Pubcon and SES troubles in that area.) Nice booklet. Tons of signage. Good food, drinks and snacks. Lunch was hot with real silverware and cloth napkins. Also quite different from SES and Pubcon.

Sessions were solid. No sales pitches thus far. All just pure information and discussion at a high level. The only real disappointment was Huffington's cancellation for another higher priced appearance in NY.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Define This

I created this blog to have a web presence under my forum name. I have been around with my first website since 1995. I've been on forums with this nickname since around 2000, on places like I attend conferences varying from SES to Pubcon to Affiliate Summit and others. My web ventures have entirely supported my lifestyle since 2000.

The world needs another SEO blog like it needs another Middle East war. So this is not another SEO blog. I'll just occasionally post things like I see it.