Was I dreaming? Was I still hungover from various parties on tuesday night? I know I was late into BJ Fogg’s Keynote session, but I could swear I saw a lego man walking around the red light district of Amsterdam giving pennies to Lady GaGa. To make matters worse, the photos of BJ using Olay products in his bathroom kind of reminded me about… well, nevermind. Needless to say that SES San Francisco had some interesting moments, not the least of which were some stunning sessions from very smart people indeed.
Highlight: News Search Optimization
What a fantastic panel of experts! Lisa Buyer, Topher Kohan of CNN, Brent D Payne of Tribune, Allison Fabella of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Eleanor Hong of ABC News. In addition to the one-up-manship between Brent and Topher (and Simon from AOL in the crowd), there was actually some great content to be had here. A full review will follow in the coming days in the form of a standalone post, it was that damn good.
Highlight: Search Engine Watch Labs: SEO
I love open forums and site clinics, but this one was extra special because of our hosts. Maile Ohye of Google Webmaster Tools, Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz.org, Jonathan Allen of Search Engine Watch, offered the audience tips and advice on SEO issues such as duplicate page problems, internationalization issues pertaining to languages and ccTLDs, link building recommendations, and parameter filtering advice. It’s always great to learn first-hand from experts using real life examples, maybe even learning from other’s mistakes. One of the highlights of this 2 hour session was Parrots.com. If you haven’t seen it, go now!
Highlight: Black Hat White Hat Unconferenced Event
Seeing folks donning cowboy hats is always special for an east-coast Canadian city boy.
What was great about this event was that American Express sponsored the first round of drinks, and gave away not 1, but 5 Apple iPads. Another great event to learn from the experts outside of official sessions.
Highlight: IM Charity Party
Heading north on Howard street to ROE, the party started slowly, but quickly livened up to a fever pitch, with experts literally all over the place. When you get geeky search people in a room with alcohol, you best keep your ears open because class is in session. What a great party to reconnect with old and new friends: Jim Hedger, Topher Kohan, Jonathan Allen, Rand Fishkin, Alex Cohen, and many many more that I didn’t get on camera.