Web2.0 expo continued

September 26, 2008

I hope my web2.0 Expo overview was helpful and gave you some idea of the exciting things occurring in our industry. I’ll post more in the coming days – in the interim – Here are more url’s that you may already know – but I want to share including some top bloggers and resources:

www.visualcomplexity.com
www.many-eyes.com – take a look at the word most often used in John McCain’s acceptance speech with the visualization chart
www.instantaction.com – owned by IAC
www.nowisgone.com
www.rapleaf.com
www.buddymedia.com
www.rocketon.com
www.smeet.com – Berlin based
www.etsy.com – great business model
www.diggnation.com
www.bringtheloveback.com
www.wearesmarter.org – great message
www.failblog.org – funny stuff
www.icanhascheesbuger.com – more funny stuff
www.drop.io – coolest stuff
www.deborahschultz.com – blogger
www.thisisgoingtobebig.com – blogger and founder www.path101.com
www.socialmediaclub.org
www.briansolis.com

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Fall is here

September 26, 2008

As we slide into the last days of September suffice to say: Fall is officially upon us.

What does that mean if you’re an affiliate marketer? Well, I thought I’d list the top 3 things that every affiliate marketer should be thinking about right now. Christmas is closer than you think, and Halloween is upon us.. So yes – you should be thinking about certain key things other than the Fall Foliage of course).

1. Halloween Offers
2. Christmas Offers
3. Ad:Tech New York

Regarding #1
For some networks this may be too little too late. Halloween offers are already converting like crazy, and if you don’t have the bandwidth to get these offers up and running by early next week, then you’re already behind.

Regarding #2
Christmas offers can mean simply reaching out to your best advertises on your network and requesting some great Christmas landing pages, or Christmas creative. Even requesting some special Christmas coupons, discounts, or any kind of “freemium” type of offering will help you out this holiday season.

Regarding #3
I’ll be speaking at the show this year, and if it’s even remotely near the insanity of last year than we’re all in for a massive treat. The New York Hilton becomes a complete madhouse – and truthfully – I love it.

Finally – no, I have no idea what I’m going to be this year for Halloween

Got any suggestions?


Web 2.0 Expo Day by Day Breakdown

September 25, 2008

Here’s a quick break down by day
Day 1
Wednesday September 17th
HIGHLIGHTS:

A New York’s Web Industry from 1995 to 2008 From Nascent to Ascendant –
Fred Wilson
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

Gary Vaynerchuk
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
HIGHLIGHT(S)

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.


More on Web 2.0 Expo here in New York

September 25, 2008

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.


Free Credit Reports

September 25, 2008

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:

Experian
Equifax
Transunion

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.


Mzinga

September 23, 2008

Last week during the Web 2.0 Expo I was simultaneously awestruck, and jump out of my seat excited. There were so many amazing companies, brilliant minds, and individuals that not only came to the table with impressive resume’s, but people that brought that intangible “something”.

One of those people was Barry Libert of 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 is much much more powerful than ME”.…what a novel idea.

A few points that stuck out for me that companies can readily apply to be more “we” friendly:

1. Be Social – Create a forum to open the lines of communication with your clients (Starbucks)
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!

What a dynamic inspiring guy. A Session well spent – thank you Web 2.0 Expo!


Epic Advertising Appoints Rob Wilson

September 23, 2008

In an interesting twist, my former employer Epic Advertising (former AzoogleAds) has appointed Robert Wilson Senior Vice President and General Manager, Europe. It wouldn’t be so interesting to me if Rob weren’t my boss here at zanox, up until a few weeks ago. Yikes.

I wish Epic Advertising the best with their new hire. Robert Wilson is one of the best in this business. Rob has laser focus that can cut through the clutter. He has an ability to execute that I’m certain Don Mathis and the rest of the team at Epic Advertising will be thrilled to support. Rob is certainly the right guy for the job, and I see him fitting in well to culture that the Epic Advertising team has fought so hard to cultivate.

This is a definitive move for Epic Advertising, who up until now have not made any major moves abroad. This indicates to me that they see huge potential in EMEA. I’m thrilled to see this move, and excited to see what unfolds in the coming months. The move supports my theory that major US business HAS to move abroad to not only survive but thrive.

See the PR Wire below:

Epic Advertising Appoints Rob Wilson

Former Zanox and 24/7 exec appointed to lead company’s European business

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Epic Advertising (www.EpicAdvertising.com), the New York-based online marketing leader, announced today that it has appointed international online marketing veteran Rob Wilson to the position of Senior Vice President and General Manager, Europe. Mr. Wilson will be based in London, England, and will start his new post on October 16, 2008.

In his position at Epic Advertising, Mr. Wilson is responsible for the further development and general strategic oversight of the company’s European-based businesses. He will also oversee all operational facets of the European-based division, including office expansion and staffing, as well as strategic oversight and P&L.

Prior to joining Epic Advertising, Mr. Wilson served as Regional Director for the US and UK markets for Zanox, a performance marketing company headquartered in Berlin. During his tenure at Zanox, Mr. Wilson maintained full P&L responsibility for the company’s English-speaking markets, and was critical in growing the UK market dramatically within a year. Additionally, Mr. Wilson championed several operational improvements including implementation of a revised set of Key Performance Indicators and a management restructure, while also leading a project team for the company’s Search Engine Marketing business.

Prior to Zanox, Mr. Wilson held several notable posts during his career. Most recently, he was the Managing Director, Europe for 24/7 Real Media, possessing full P&L responsibility over its European businesses. Previously, Mr. Wilson was the Director of Editorial & Customer Operations, Europe, for Yahoo! Search Marketing, where he was responsible for the creation, growth and continuous management of YSM’s European operations center. His impressive career also includes positions with Lexmark, One Direct and Guardian Direct Insurance. Mr. Wilson graduated with Honors from the University of Teesside in the United Kingdom, with a BA in International Business IT.

“Rob brings over a decade of experience in international business, sales, marketing and operations to our company,” said Don Mathis, CEO of Epic Advertising. “He has effectively combined strategic management skills with a proven track record of innovation and the rapid development of online and media businesses. He is a perfect fit for our company as we build upon our European presence and continue our journey towards being a dominant global player in the online marketing industry. We are fully confident Rob will help to lead this area of our company’s expansion and we’re excited to have him on our team.“

About Epic Advertising:

Epic Advertising (www.EpicAdvertising.com) is a global online performance marketing company that provides advertisers with measurable Internet advertising impact. Leveraging proprietary and patent-pending contextual and behavioral targeting technologies, and the over 35,000 publishers in its highly-acclaimed Azoogle Ad Network, Epic provides its advertising partners with performance and direct response marketing services, media planning, branded marketing campaigns and a targeted, worldwide online reach.

A pioneer in both the online performance marketing industry and in Internet advertising integrity assurance and compliance, Epic Advertising brings an intense focus on achieving the highest ROI yield for its advertising partners via transparent display and search consumer traffic. Epic scales its solutions by leveraging vast quantities of data, enormous internet reach and unparalleled industry expertise.

The company has achieved several industry accolades, including being named an AlwaysOn Global Top 250 Company as one of the top private companies in the world, a comScore top-50 ranking in internet reach (Ad Focus, July 2008) and being named a 2008 Inc. 5000 company.

Epic Advertising is headquartered in New York, with offices in San Francisco and Toronto. The company is privately held and backed by private equity firms TA Associates and Stripes Group.