• Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

I may be the world’s worst note taker – I always have good intentions, and as the speakers are talking everything seems so clear to me, I just jot down a few words and phrases…thinking that later I’ll remember what the hell was going on when I wrote it down. I never can remember, I should by a recorder.  This is a very brief, quick & dirty recap.  If you want more info, well – fly to Austin next time.  Just kidding – there are about 400 people in attendance, finding a detailed review should not be a problem.

Here a tweet, there a tweet, everywhere a tweet tweet

Day one of PubCon was like a huge Tweet-up.  Every session I was in somehow managed to bring it.  If the presenters didn’t then an attendee or two would ask a question about how it would apply to whatever was being discussed. I don’t know how many people were tweeting from the crowd, but #PubCon was trending on Twitter for a good part of the day, and mid afternoon the two T-1s feeding the data to the show were overwhelmed and people had a hard time getting a good connection.

Opening Remarks

Chris Brogan and Guy Kawasaki kicked things off with a fireside chat – complete with a virtual fireplace courtesy of Chris’ laptop.  Chris started out asking about Guy’s blogging and past jobs – Guy would have none of that and quickly was pronouncing his love of Twitter.  Guy said he wishes that email would be limited to 140 characters (yikes! inbox zero might never happen again).  Twitter is a weapon.  Guys big thing these days is AllTop, he uses twitter to drive tons of traffic to it.  Uses tools like TweetDeck and TwitterHawk he is able to track down people talking about things he has covered at Alltop and send them a link to it – it’s a bit more complicated than that, but it is pretty cool. [side note: I need to investigate this tool more and tell you all about it].  Guy is a very entertaining speaker.  If you want more details, check out the OutSpoken Media pages Guy Kawasaki Fireside Chat With Chris Brogan

In Houes SEO – Working within the walls

The session got off to a rough start, 2 of the 3 panelists took ill.  Thankfully, some quick work by the PubCon folks filled the slots just as the opening bell rang.  I wish I could remember names – sorry.

Informal poll of the crowd showed that most just wanted to know what to do and how to start – presenters obliged and modified slides on the fly.  Nice.

First presenter gave three quick tips

  1. Keep reports simple.
    She suggested using colors; red, green & yellow.  This allows execs to quickly scan and pause on are they want more information on, helps to not bog them down with overload.
  2. Be consistent in your reporting, good or bad.
    If things are going great, everyone will be happy.  If not going well, honesty will build your credibility, especially when your corrective actions fix whatever happened.
  3. Make your tasks actionable.
    Set goals that can be achieved, make progress

When beginning an in house SEO program, many think you need buy in from top down, presenters say the opposite is needed.  When you start making changes and “monkeying” with pages, the front-line troops will be with you or against you and either way the bosses will hear about it.

Plan of attack should be 1) make a list of changes, 2) implement quick fixes, 3) audit results and 4) repeat as needed.

You need to know where traffic comes from, and what are searches looking for; brand terms, or generic terms – determine which to work on first.  Some sites do well for brand and not generic, and visa-versa.

SEO Landscape

Brett Tabke and others painted an interesting picture of the future of SEO.  It certainly is not dead.  Nobody went into the how/where but it was clear that mobile search will be huge and we better get it figured out, and soon.  Geo-targeting will be an issue to contend with, even regionally.  Brett showed two google results pages, one from Dallas, the other for Austin.  The search for “longhorn” place the University of Texas at #1 in Austin, but further down in Dallas.  Lastly, SERP Data Extraction is something that google is doing that we just can’t decode.  Larger sites are ranking well for date buried deep inside – just because google thinks it should.

Conversion Optimization Testing

Great session by Taylor Pratt, Bill Leake and Brian Massey how what and how to test on your pages.  Before you can test, you must know what your call to action is – what do you want them to do? Figuring out WHO your visitors are will make it easier to know what types of things will work best for them.  However, be prepared to test everything.  Background & font colors, link text, buttons shapes & sizes – everything.

Twitter Landscape

This session was paneled by Chris Winfield, Michael Gray and Ricardo Guerrero.  It’s twitter, what is there to know, right?  Interesting that attendee poll only showed about 4 people that were not on twitter.  Chris showed screen shots of twitter replies to his questions about what to cover.  Um, OK.  Michael told us about the rules (then that he rarely follows them).  Ricardo had some great slides on good ways he has used Twitter at Dell.  He asked us (too late) to not call him “the dell guy”.  The best part (to me anyway) of Ricardo’s presentation was when the slide came up that said “don’t be vulgar”, I heard several people all mutter at the same time “surgarrae”.  I know Rae could care less about rules – nor do her 4000+ followers.  I had a chuckle as I was walking out of the room, I overheard the moderator comment that he was not happy that people are not asking questions in the sessions…they are all asking them on twitter.  Can you say Irony?  The Outspoken media gals were in this session as well, get more info on their blog: Twitter Landscape

Keyword research and selection

I didn’t attend this session, but since the Twitter session ended early (no questions) I just slipped in for the Q & A.  Kate Morris fid a great job of explaining the process, she even fielded a question about how Twitter might be used to find keywords.  I told you, Twitter was everywhere.

Organic keyword research and selection

I hate to say it, but it’s getting late and this session had a ton of material – a recap won’t cut it – go read Lisa’s post Organic Keyword Research.  I will say they did mention a couple tools I’ll have to look into because they looke pretty handy. and  These tools will let you find out what key words you r competion is ranking for.  Nice.

Interesting day

It was a good day, despite the rain, traffic and occasional wifi issues.  I was happy to finally meet some of my twitter pals: @kennyhyder, @davesnyder, @graywolf, @lisabarone (who says I look younger in person than I do online – thanks, I think) and @rhea…who *still* does not follow me.  Looking forward to day two.

If you are there, look me up – shoot me a tweet @JackLeblond so we can connect – love to meet you too!

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2 Responses

  1. 1
    @ggroovin  //

    Hey, Jack! Good little synopsis, man. Sometimes it’s not about being thorough, but about letting the top thing come through. ;D

    BTW- I didn’t say avoiding vulgarity was a rule, per se, just that as a business one should probably watch one’s mouth. I trust I don’t incur the (foul-mouthed) ire of @sugarrae on that one! hehe

    Just in case ya wanna share my deck, here’s a link for ya:

    Cheers & hope we can catch up a bit more soon!

    — Ricardo Guerrero
    (working on a real web site right now!)

  2. 2
    Lisa Barone  //

    I meant it as a compliment, I swear. Perhaps you should change your avatar to show everyone how young and dashing you really are. ;) Thanks for the coffee this morning. You rock! :)