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.