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SES Toronto Day 2: Recap

On the heels of a relatively productive first day at SES Toronto, day two delivered more of the same.  With an impressive keynote address, and more sessions packed into a somewhat busier trafficked day, business certainly did pick up.  As some of you probably noticed, yesterday I finally caved and relented to the hype that is Twitter, and actually started using it and <gasp> kinda like it.

9:00am: Keynote by Emanuel Rosen.  Wow, did Emanuel really blow my socks off, and probably wake up the entire group, probably somewhat hungover from the NVI/Acquisio party last night.  Anyways, back to Emanuel.

Emanuel wrote the book on buzz several years ago, and he’s back for more with a follow-up book entitled, “The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited.”  Before recommending it, I’m going to have a go at reading it (Oprah take note), but if his presentation is at all like his penmanship, I’m sure not to be disappointed.

Rosen went into great detail about people he’s met and talked to that were catalysts of buzz, i.e. anyone with a significant story to tell about marketing and social dissemination of information.  People that were able to facilitate change by leveraging relationships and to some degree, technology.  

10:30am: Follow the Carrot: Cool Mobile Apps.  Ok, so my first foray into Twittering didn’t go so well, having maybe been a tad off color by dropping the “WTF” bomb in my first ever update.  Sorry guys, too excited, too green… lesson learned.  But I did so with the best intentions.  Mobile is where it’s at, RIGHT NOW.  It’s no longer on the radar of long range weaponry, it’s too close to be watching, you have to be reacting now.

Who says?  Yahoo for one. Compelling reasoning from Nick Papsiopolis of Yahoo Canada indicated that their analytics has shown dramatic growth in mobile over the past 18 months.  They report that less than 5% of all visits to Yahoo.ca were from mobile devices in April of 2008, more than 5% in August 2008, and suddenly more than 20% in February 2009.  The future is now.

Yeah, but that’s Yahoo, right?  Fine.  Want more (less quantitative) proof?  Google’s on board with Adsense for Mobile, have their own mobile platform with Android, and are (as of today) selling Android-enabled HTC smartphones through Rogers to finally get in on the mobile action.

Mitch Joel, I feel sorry for you bud.  It can’ t be easy moderating, but you butchered Miriam’s last name “Warren” (aka Webber), as well as Nick’s a few times.  Just wait until I’m a speaker!  ”Przyklenk” doesn’t roll off the tongue without a bit of therapy.

12:45pm: Information Architecture, Site Performance Tuning and SEO.  Or as I like to call it, the “bastard child” of SES Toronto sessions.  In my mind, all of these subjects should have been addressed individually, but Naoise Osborne of NVI changed my mind.  He rocked the house with his in-depth knowledge and experience, and seemed to overshadow the incorrect/misinformed answers provided by a few of his counterparts on the panel.

I won’t name names, but the tension was a bit obvious in the closing minutes at the end of the session, just when an interesting debate was about to break out.  DANG!  

Needless to say, Information Architecture isn’t the sexiest of topics, but one that could have probably been made more interesting or legitimate with more time or more speakers able to contribute, without being distracted by having to touch upon site tuning and SEO. 

Aside:  Site Tuning and SEO were probably beaten to a bloody pulp all show long, but really, they should be in their own sessions with star presenters like Brian Eisenberg, or Tim Ash, or someone flying solo.

2:15pm: Social Media: Do Big Companies Get It?  The answer is no.  Enough said?  As with everything in big companies, the pyramid of time, effort, and decision making is unfortunately top-heavy.  Big organizations can do a lot to learn from a few select companies that actually get social marketing.  You can’t hire interns, you can’t pay content people peanuts and expect the world, get specialists and you’ll get results, period.  It takes time, hard work, expertise, some freedom, and a lot of collaboration.

4:00pm: Site Clinic or something?  Okay fine, I admit it, I got carried away in conversation with a few people outside the session rooms and really blew out a good portion of all of these clinics.  I figured someone would probably bust me anyways, so might as well be honest.

I’m not going to attend day three with the in-depth training sessions, so that is the show for me.  It was a new venue, a new economy, and several new technologies came to light.  I want to thank some of the key people I was able to network with during the two days of SES Toronto, and hope that you can make it back to our unseasonably cold and dreary city next year, I promise it won’t snow.

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    • http://www.nvisolutions.com/ Naoise Osborne

      Hi Garry,
      Appreciate the recap, and agree on the need for more separation between SEO, architecture and site tuning. Jill and I spoke after the presentation and we agreed that next time, if we’re given the chance, we’ll try to do a joined presentation that lets us get into technical things a little more deeply.

      Thanks again.

    • http://www.nvisolutions.com Naoise Osborne

      Hi Garry,
      Appreciate the recap, and agree on the need for more separation between SEO, architecture and site tuning. Jill and I spoke after the presentation and we agreed that next time, if we’re given the chance, we’ll try to do a joined presentation that lets us get into technical things a little more deeply.

      Thanks again.