Keynote: Dan Lyons, aka Fake Steve Jobs
This guy is hilarious and he authors an entertaining blog from the perspective of Steve Jobs (on crack). He talked about how and why he started the blog and why he thinks it works. In the end it boils down to boredom, fear, an idea, and an engaged audience.
Boredom because it started as a prank that happened to take on a life of its own. Fear because as a traditional Forbes tech writer he saw print publications coming to an end due to the emergence of blogs. An idea - "what would Steve Jobs write if he really did go nuts?" And an engaged audience that included 90K monthly readers after just 6 months and 25-50 emails a day with suggestions on what to write next.
Games 2.0: Why the Future of Games Looks More Like Zombies and Scrabulous and Less Like Halo 3
This session ended up being a little different than what I expected but what was interesting is that while social networking sites are trying to deploy game dynamics in their communities as discussed in the 'Children of Flickr' session, game sites are trying to embed social relationships and social context into games.
The Audience is the Medium: Video 2.0 & Online Communities
I was a little late to this session but joined in on the debate of Live vs. On-Demand video. Live events have a higher interaction and allow viewers to be part of the conversation. BUT...the web is not equip to handle live video distribution and advertisers look at the big numbers as oppose to engagement. Ultimately there's a place for both and the decision needs to be made based on the objective.
The Power of Online Communities: Lessons from the Best of the Consumer & Business Community Managers
This session included community managers from SFDC, Dell, Yahoo!, Kiva and Flickr. Here are a few things worth passing on:
- SFDC put the responsibility of their community into the hands of their product managers by making it part of their job to create, encourage and maintain conversations for their product.
- Kiva lucked out and avoided formal marketing all together. They grow 100% organically through word of mouth - but a big part of this was knowing and connecting with the right people.
- Flickr suggests being 'elastic' and don't just try to make your audience do what you want them to do.
- When building a community create a feedback mechanism. Don't just listen - engage.
- When hiring a community manager look for someone with relationship building and communication skills - PR background a plus. Also someone who authors their own blog or possibly someone in your community.
Best-kept Secrets to Search Engine Optimization Success: the Art and the Science
This was a session on Wednesday that I attended but didn't have good notes for. This guy - Stephan Spencer - really knows his stuff but it was hard to keep up. Luckily he made his slides available and you can view them here: