In Social Media

It happens. You spend time and money to go to a great event and then, when you return, the real world smacks you square in the middle of the forehead and you let your ‘follow up’ slide.

It’s been three days since I returned from the WidgetWeb Expo and I’m just now getting around to doing a post. How sad … considering how fabulous the event was! Here’s a recap of just some of the highlights;

  • Event launched by Ivan Pope, founder of the Expo and CEO of Snipperoo.
  • Keynote by Hooman Radfar, CEO of ClearSpring — Predicted that one possibility of the future of FaceBook is that their value will not be in the FB network itself, but they’ll become the largest (de facto) social graph aggregator. His advice is to “Think Big and Act Small”, meaning developers need to keep a big view of the widget life cycle, make widgets fast, think cross channel and have a data driven focus on the end user.
  • Ivan Pope further explained his thoughts about the development of a long-term Widget strategy… and how widgets are at the intersection of social networks and marketing.
  • Carnett Williams, with Sprout Builder, outlined what he terms “Web 3.0 – The era of Self Promotion”. One great tip from his presentation was you must constantly stoke the marketing/promotional fire… that virality is not a given.
  • Lawrence Coburn, Owner of SexyWidget and RateItAll, Talked in great depth about cross-domain functionality.
  • Chad Catacchio, Marketing Director of ZoomProspector gave an overview of “Standards for Widgets” and his ideas of cloud sourcing the process of creating widget development standards.
  • Michael Leis with Emerge Digital tells us “frequency is the thing.” Other themes were “the KISS principle” and “Brand as a Platform.”
  • Anthony Zito with MediaForge demonstrated some great examples of the right and wrong ways of widget implementation that lead to end-user engagement.
  • Fred Wilson, CEO of Union Square Ventures, kicked off the second day with his Keynote speech. Drawing the biggest laugh from the entire event, Fred described how he demarcates the Millennial generation as, “the generation where they had a computer before they had sex.” Too funny, and too true!
  • Chris Thorpe, formerly with MindCandy and currently off doing his own thing at Jaggeree, gave a fabulous presentation of the development side of the picture; including analytics/metrics, coding issues, programming language issues and scalability.
  • Josh Burnhoff, VP at Forrester and co-Author of Groundswell (yes, it’s on my “must read” list), presented a “Business case for Widgets” and tied many of the ideas from the book to the world of widgets. (That’s Josh pictured with me … clearly, I’m not a stalker or serial killer … inside joke)
  • Patrick Sexton with talked in detail about spreading widgets on a budget and a dozen other widget ideas surrounding search engine optimization.
  • Fraser Kelton with Adaptive Blue gave a great equilibrium model that balances “Value for the Publisher” with “Value for the Browser” and “Ease of Replication.” Without this balance, your widget is more likely to fail.
  • Jeff Nolan with News Gator talked about engagement drivers and how the value to the audience can be dramatically increased through the use of widgets.
  • Jodi McDermott (ClearSpring) and Albert Lai (Kontagent) gave a well balanced presentation on the issues of metrics and viral analytics.
  • Finally, Marcia Kadanoff, VP of Marketing at MuseStorm presented a “mistakes to avoid” list, emphasizing the importance of cross platform compatibility.

Because there were two channels, I was only able to attend half the sessions. I guess next year I’ll have to bring my alter ego.

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