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Initial Web 2 Summit Lineup Up, Registration Is Open

By - May 28, 2008

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My partners at Web 2 told me today that the new website is live, the initial theme is up and posted (I am very excited about this year’s theme) and if you haven’t gone before, you can request an invitation to come here. Last year we had nearly 10,000 requests for an invitation, so if you want to come (Nov. 5-7 in SF) please fill out the form asap. I review each request personally.

The first line of speakers is also up, and there is a lot more cooking. Initial speakers include Jack Ma, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Andreessen, Ken Auletta,

Richard Rosenblatt, Lance Armstrong, Ralph De la Vega, Paul Otellini, Mary Meeker, Padmasree Warrior, Kevin Johnson, Joel Hyatt, Mathis Wackernagel, Marc Benioff and Vinod Khosla.

From the theme:

The Opportunity of Limits:

Sustaining, Applying and Expanding the Web’s Lessons

The commercial web is now a teenager—it’s been fifteen short years since Marc Andreessen released the Mosaic browser. To put this in perspective, television as a commercial medium reached its fifteenth birthday in 1956—the year Elvis Presley made his first appearance on national TV. National news broadcasts were still in their infancy, “As The World Turns” debuted as America’s first half-hour soap opera, and “The Price Is Right” began its dominance of the game show genre. Commercial grade videotape recorders emerged, portable black and white television sets were introduced, and the first local color broadcast aired in Chicago.

Fifteen years after television’s birth, the contours of the new medium were just emerging. The idea that this revolutionary new phenomenon—one busily reshaping the very fabric of society—might one day become just another application on a vast web of computers, well that idea wasn’t exactly in vogue.

In the first four years of the Web 2.0 Summit, we’ve focused on our industry’s challenges and opportunities, highlighting in particular the business models and leaders driving the Internet economy. But as we pondered the theme for this year, one clear signal has emerged: our conversation is no longer just about the Web. Now is the time to ask how the Web—its technologies, its values, and its culture—might be tapped to address the world’s most pressing limits. Or put another way—and in the true spirit of the Internet entrepreneur—its most pressing opportunities.

As we convene the fifth annual Web 2.0 Summit, our world is fraught with problems that engineers might charitably classify as NP hard—from roiling financial markets to global warming, failing healthcare systems to intractable religious wars. In short, it seems as if many of our most complex systems are reaching their limits.

It strikes us that the Web might teach us new ways to address these limits. From harnessing collective intelligence to a bias toward open systems, the Web’s greatest inventions are, at their core, social movements. To that end, we’re expanding our program this year to include leaders in the fields of healthcare, genetics, finance, global business, and yes, even politics.

Increasingly, the leaders of the Internet economy are turning their attention to the world outside our industry. And conversely, the best minds of our generation are turning to the Web for solutions. At the fifth annual Web 2.0 Summit, we’ll endeavor to bring these groups together.

I can’t wait for this year, it’s going to be great! And there is a lot of room for speakers still, in particular with an eye toward this theme. Please make your suggestions in comments here. Help me make this as good as it can be! Thanks.

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Help Me Make the CM Summit Amazing….Tickets Going Fast

By - May 20, 2008

As many of you know, next month is our second Conversational Marketing Summit, this time in NYC. The line up of speakers is really fantastic. I’ll be interviewing:

- Beth Comstock, CMO of GE

- Rich Silverstein, co-fonder of Goodby Silverstein

- Sarah Fay, CEO North America, Aegis Media Americas

- Wenda Millard Harris, Chair, IAB and President, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Speaker Bianchini Gina Bianchini

Speaker Comstock Sm Beth Comstock

Speaker Rich Sm Rich Silverstein

Speaker Fay Sarah Fay

And also coming, either running discussions or presenting, will be:

- Clark Kochich, CEO, Ave A/Razorfish

- Jonah Bloom, Editor, Advertising Age

- Jeff Berman, President, MySpace

- Joanna Shields, CEO, Beb0

- Jon Raj, Chief Digital Officer, OMD

- Jason Kilar, CEO, Hulu

- Gina Bianchini, CEO, Ning

…and a ton of others, including brand managers from Kraft, GM, Samsung, Adobe, EA (a first ever look at Spore!) and many many more. It’s going to be so cool.

We’re close to sold out (we’re limiting it to around 300 again, as we did last year), but there are still tickets available as of this writing. I think the hotel room block (at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park) is already sold out, but I am sure there are other places nearby to stay. This is all part of Internet Week, so a lot of folks will be around for that in any case.

So, what are the issues you want me to ask these folks? It’s a very interesting time in the world of online marketing, that much is certain….

The Green Web

By - May 16, 2008

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FM has partnered with Chevy to create a site that pulls together the best of sites on the web covering all things green. I’ve found it a nice way to stay in touch with a subject I’m increasingly interested in. I use the feed to monitor stuff, and then click through when there’s a story I want to engage in. Sure, it’s an FM project, so all the regular caveats apply. But judge for yourself. And if you don’t like it, well, tell me what we can do to make it better.

This is part of an ongoing trend I’m seeing, both at FM and certainly across the web, where marketers are providing a service to their potential customers in the form of supporting authentic media, as opposed to creating their own content and hoping it takes off. I like the trend.

PowerSet To Go

By - May 13, 2008

I’m late on Powerset (I just don’t have time to do the briefings anymore), but Mike has coverage here and Danny’s is here.

What I find interesting about Powerset is the refinement, which Danny covers well. The interface (in particular the response to query) is much more grammatical and conversational. That’s where the entire web is going, and it’s cool to see an example of it.

The CM Summit in New York: What A Lineup

By - April 22, 2008

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FM’s Conversational Marketing Summit is just six weeks away, and I am getting more and more excited about the lineup of speakers, and the issues and topics we are going to cover. Check out the lineup of speakers:

# Jeff Berman, President, Sales and Marketing, MySpace

# Henry Blodget Co-Founder, CEO, Editor in Chief, Silicon Alley Insider

# Jonah Bloom, Editor, Advertising Age

# Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer, General Electric

# Matt Freeman, CEO, Tribal DDB Worldwide

# Louis Giagrande, Online Marketing Manager, Samsung Electronics

# Darren Herman, Group Director of Digital Media, Media Kitchen

# Michael Hoefflinger, GM – Partner Marketing, Intel

# Mark Kantor, Co-founder, Graffiti

# Jason Kilar, CEO, Hulu

# Clark Kokich, CEO, Avenue A | Razorfish

# Andy Lark, VP–Global Marketing & Communications, Dell

# Andrew Markowitz, Director, Digital Marketing & Media, Kraft Foods Inc.

# Daina Middleton, SVP, Director Sunao Customer Insight, Marketing Analytics, Emerging Trends, Moxie Interactive

# Wenda Harris Millard, President, Media, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia & IAB

# Eileen Naughton, Director of Media Platforms, Google

# Martin A. Nisenholtz, SVP – Digital Operations, The New York Times Company

# Michael Osborne, Vice President of Sales, Bazaarvoice

# Jon Raj, Chief Digital Officer, OMD

# Randall Rothenberg, President & CEO, IAB

# Ian Schafer, CEO, Deep Focus

# Rich Silverstein, Co-Chairman, Goodby Silverstein & Partners

# Rudy Wilson, Director of Marketing, Doritos, Frito-Lay

A great lineup, and we’ve still got plenty more to add. I’ll be the host and emcee of this event, and I’m really looking forward to digging into the theme.

If you’re interested in attending, sign up now. The early bird discount expires in a week or so. See you in New York!

Language Is the Transit of Conversation

By - April 18, 2008

Some musings, fundamental stuff for most of you I imagine, but still, background on the noodling I continue to do around my shadow next book, over at the Amex site where I’m contributing some thoughts from time to time as part of an FM brokered marketing program. From it:

At its core, the Web is a network of computers. As businesspeople, we’ve been in dialog with computers for some time now. But back in the 1960s and 1970s, computers were hulking machines meant for the back offices of Very Large Companies, not small businesses. These machines had a very particular interface – a command line into which you were required to type an arcane “computer language” to get anything done. The number of people who spoke this language were understandably low, and therefore, the number of people in the world who were having “conversations with machines” was also quite low.

In the 1980s, we all got “personal computers,” and thanks to the graphical user interface – “GUI” – millions of us starting talking with computers. But the conversation was hardly fluent. I call this the “hunt and poke” era of computing – we used a mouse to navigate a representational desktop; when we found something we wanted, we poked at it until it came alive for us. This gesticulative interface – not unlike what the wordless signals we employ while in a foreign land in need of the bathroom – is a step forward, but it sure doesn’t scale.

And then the Internet came along. And everything changed. Now we were not just navigating our desktops, or the back office computer files. We were navigating mankind’s possible knowledge base. The whole shootin’ match. Clearly, not a place we could hunt and poke our way through. We needed a new interface. And we found one, in search.

Udi On Search

By - April 17, 2008

I’ve always been a fan of Udi Manber, late of Yahoo and Amazon, now at Google. Popular Mechanics has an interview up with him. From it:

I’ve noticed, anecdotally, when watching people search, that they will rephrase their query over and over again until they get a proper answer. To what extent can that be fixed on the search engine side?

Many ways. First, we take that into account. The results we show you are based not only on what we know of the Web, but also what other people have searched for. Second, we are developing more tools to allow you to refine your queries—at the bottom of many pages, you’ll see query refinements. These are suggestions from us about what your next query should be. And we put it at the bottom because that’s where you run into problems—you tried to read the page, you didn’t find what you want, you may need other suggestions. Plus, we’re working on many other ways to help you with this process. [Search] is clearly a process.

The Alive Web

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I find this concept very interesting, and important as we move from our current navigation/UI to new forms. New Scientist’s coverage:

SITES that evolve as if they were living organisms are making their way onto the internet.

This ability to adapt without human intervention allows sites to stay up to date with changes in their users’ tastes and can result in designs that are more user-friendly than anything a human designer is likely to come up with. Evolving sites might also allow web designers to home in on the features that work best for users.

Pre-Registration for FM's Second CM Summit, This Time, In NYC! (Searchblog Readers Only)

By - March 20, 2008

Cmsummitynyc

Last September my company, FM, hosted the first ever Conversational Marketing Summit in San Francisco. I wrote about it here. The event was a hit – sold out, good buzz, great speakers and attendees. I was proud (and very nervous about hosting our first event).

This year it’s back, and we’re doing it twice. First, in New York, the capital of brand marketing. That will be this June 9-10, as part of New York’s Internet Week (official site). Then we’ll do it again in SF this Fall – more on that event later.

But first, to our June event. If you read my rant on ad networks a few days ago, you know I’ve been thinking a lot about brand marketing, the online world, and conversational media. So it should not come as a surprise what the theme is this year. We’re calling it “New Brand Way”, and in our two days of conversation, we’re hoping to move the needle a bit on some sticky issues in marketing and media.

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We’re selling only 300 or so tickets to this event. We’ve found that keeping the audience intimate makes for a really valuable use of everyone’s time. And those of you who’ve been to events I’ve run know we don’t waste folks’ time.

Readers of Searchblog get a chance to register early, and get a 25% discount. The code to use to get that big discount is JBAT25D. This discount won’t last long. We do events right, we spend real money on production, audio visual, and decent food (we’re doing it at the Ritz Carlton, after all). So get the discount while it’s hot!



Speakers include:

Jeff Berman, EVP – Marketing and Content, MySpace. Curious how MySpace’s plans to make money in social media? Me too!

Eileen Naugton, Director of Media Platforms, Google. Eileen is in charge of Google’s media monetization strategy, including YouTube. Yep, that’s a big job.

Matt Freeman, CEO, Tribal DDB. Matt is a leader in creating new forms of marketing online. See his interview in Ad Age here for more on his kind of thinking.

Michael Hoefflinger, GM – Partner Marketing, Intel. You know Intel Inside? The one with a billion dollars to spend each year? That’s Mike’s program.

Wenda Millard Harris, President, Media, Martha Stewart. Wenda is also Chair of the IAB and used to run Yahoo’s brand advertising sales. She’s got tons to say, as you might imagine.

Rich Silverstein, co-chair, Goodby Silverstein. Yep, he makes great 30 second spots. But his agency is also leading in online innovation. So what does he have to say about the future of our medium?

Mark Kantor, CEO, Graffitti Wall. Want to know how to succeed on Facebook? Talk to Mark.

Jonah Bloom, Editor in Chief, Ad Age….

….and many, many more.

Below are some highlights from my write up of the theme. If it reads like a post on Searchblog, well, you should not be surprised. In fact, what I’m pasting below is pretty much the beginning of my second post on ad networks and brands. But I’ll get to that later, maybe this weekend…

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CM Summit New York

June 9-10, 2008

The Ritz Carlton Battery Park

“New Brand Way”

Close your eyes and imagine leafing through your favorite magazine – Vogue, perhaps. A two-page spread halts your progress – the image of a beautiful, sophisticated woman standing in the doorway of a crumbling Havana doorway, with an elegant brand – “Lancome” – etched in the lower right corner. Or perhaps it’s a spread in Fortune, an arresting montage of imagery featuring a Jaguar automobile, a model you’ve never seen before.

Now, open your eyes, and imagine the same experience online.

Having a hard time?

As marketers, we love scale, and we demand safety and quality. But somewhere along the online way, we’ve forgotten about engagement.

Brand marketers are experts at using traditional media to build demand for their brands – over the past 50 years, we’ve perfected the art of the engaging spread, the irresistible 30-second spot. But when it comes to online, we have yet to find our footing.

Instead, we’ve funded the first ten-plus years of the commercial Internet with direct response dollars, pouring “branded display” budgets into ad networks and CPC vehicles. We’ve tried just about everything, to be sure, and we do buy display units on our favorite sites. Yet we’re often disappointed with the performance they deliver.

To paraphrase Wenda Harris Millard, Chair of the IAB, we must not trade our brands like pork bellies. Brands are not commodities, so why are we judging our online marketing by the standards of direct response? Is it, perhaps, because we can? Or, perhaps, is it because we don’t know how to measure that magic that occurs between a consumer’s ears when they first see the image of a beautiful woman standing in a crumbling doorway?

To keep building our brands, we have to go where the audience has gone. And every month, more than 600 million people visit conversational media sites – foreign lands when it comes to brand marketing. Or ….are they?

At the second Conversational Marketing Summit, our first in the brand capital of New York City, we’ll tackle this conundrum head on. What kind of marketing works in social media? Which of the lessons learned from marketing in traditional media apply when the audience joins the conversation? Why will we pay an $80 CPM to reach women, 18-34, in Vogue, but just $3 to reach the same audience online? What do we make of the promised new platforms from Google, AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo? Are CPC networks simply harvesting the hard won brand value we’ve built offline? How does one create engagement and build brands in the context of conversational media? What are the online analogs to the executions we so love in magazines and television, and how do we execute them? Who’s already doing it right, and how?

It’s time to reclaim our brands online, and to declare marketers a full and fair participant in the burgeoning conversation that is the online media world. In short, it’s a New Brand Way online, and it starts at the CM Summit, New York. Join us!

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I hope to see you guys there. And if you have input, thoughts, ideas for making this program better, please let me know. Thanks!