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Here is my overall wrap-up from the AlwaysOn conference in NYC this week. Check out all of the coverage.
Overall, the technology at this conference was some of the best I have experienced. The WiFi worked perfectly and some of the connection speeds were better than I have ever experienced. The main demo room had 10 or so 52" plasma panels showing the live chat. Very, very cool. They also had a webcast as well. Top marks for the technology!
Maybe I missed the notice, but the conference felt like DEMO in the sense that it was a lot of 6 minute CEO demonstrations with a few workshops as a bonus. The room was a bit small (the staff told me they removed the blogger tables to hold more chairs. Each of the sessions really could have been longer and would have benefited from at least another hour. The longer time would have improved my overall rating for the sessions dramatically.
The mashup session was my favorite as the moderator allowed questions during the chat. I was looking most forward to the power blogger discussion. This one seemed to let me down the most, mostly because it was just a general discussion rather than a "top tips" to be successful. The sessions at SES were stronger overall.
You can read some of my reviews of the CEO demos here. These CEOs probably paid a pretty penny to have 6 minutes on stage. The Payperpost guy decided to use a bunch of his time with fancy PowerPoint transitions. Most of the live chat was asking about the business plans and models for the companies. Rovion appeared to be bashed a bit in the live chat. Most liked the ClipSync demo, he engaged the audience with his basketball in Israel story. This, my friends, is the key.
I enjoyed the two days of AlwaysOn. The staff really helped a lot to make this a great conference. If you plan to run a conference, you might want to talk to the AlwaysOn team about how they managed the facility and the technology. I look forward to attending (and hopefully paneling (!) at the next AlwaysOn gathering.
Well as the AlwaysOn conference comes to an end (my wrapup will come late tonight), I had a chance to chat with Seth Sternberg. Seth is the CEO of Meebo and a really brilliant guy. He is also pretty well connected from the number of handshakes, nods and waves during our discussion! Have a listen below. Also, Meebo is hiring programmers and developers.
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Download our audio chat(9 minutes)
Last workshop of the day, mastering the mashup. Seth from Meebo, Itzik from Clipsync, Rex from Davetv and Danny from Etelos are on the panel.
Unfortunately one audience member seemed to want to dominate the entire discussion. Frankly I don't care who you are, let others ask questions too!
Moderator: How do you create value when you are mashing other services and what business model can you create?
Rex: we actually meter those apis and we track everything
Seth: We think that aol, msn, googles networks are really like operating systems. today aol's im client operates on top of their network. meebo is just an application that operates on top of someone elses operating system. is it defendable? is there a way to make money off the idea too.
Itzik: it is important to add value too
Danny: we focus on licensing and that's how we add value. We are targeting businesses.
User: Dealing with copyrights and issues like this?
Itzik: What we provide right now is to not store or stream videos so I play the video raw from YouTube or Metacafe. I provide value on top of their content. I dont touch the content itself. There is no copyright issues.
Rex: we actually work with the content owners.
Seth: We don't see Meebo displacing aol or msn services. you still see their images on the frontpage. keeping users comfortable with what they already know.
Moderator: your favorite mashup?
Danny: Netvibes and Pageflakes
Seth: I really like redfin.
Ray: I like HopStop here in NYC. I think mashups have opened up the creativity.
Itzik: My favorites are Zillow and meebo.
I am here at the AlwaysOn event in NYC today. This page will serve as the hub for my event coverage. Keep checking this page as I add more coverage or grab the RSS Feed to be notified as new posts are, well, posted.
General Notes (newest at the top):
- Final wrap-up
- My chat with Seth from Meebo
- Video from Creating Contagious Behavior with Digg, Photobucket and Yelp
- Mastering the Mashup
- Digg – Yelp – Photobucket – Contagious Behavior Discussion
- CEO Showcase (lots of companies!)
- Professional Blogger Workshop Notes
First thing I have noticed is that in the Blogger Bullpen, the majority of people are using Dell laptops with Windows XP. Only a couple of macs.
Bambi Francisco asked the first panel about whether Google will be the dominant player for search in 3 years. One panelist said basically no, while the other said yes in that Google has the brand.
- Photos now available on my Flickr set
- Anand Subramanian, CEO, ContextWeb – great presentation – had 6 minutes and used good tie-ins with current hot items.
AlwaysOn is holding a workshop about how to engage contagious behavior. The panel includes Jay Adelson, Digg CEO, Jeremy Stoppleman, Yelp CEO and Alex Welch, CEO Photobucket.
Panel workshop now completed. Comments below from the panel. If there is an interest, I can post audio and video from the session.
Moderator: What is the definition of contagious behaviour?
Jay – engaging consumers is contagious.
Alex – i think of external and internal for contagious behavior. Includes the team – we grew from 1 to 60 pretty quick and how do you gt the culture to come together as a team. And the outbound part with listening to your consumers.
Esther – teaching users how to take control. Esther starts right out by shilling her company.
Moderator: how do you deal with tools?
Jay: for us it is a lot of trial and error. we know some tools only work with 1-15% of our audience. the first step you have to go thru is understanding your audience really well – and then design the tools and ui for them. as for what to create – that depends on the vision and philsophy. it is first that core understanding. the way we are doing segmenting now is we create features that apply to the broad range and then watch the reaction. thats a slow process.
Jeremy: we look at it from 3 segments – users finding businesses, businesses, and users who actively post on the message boards. when we develop features we decide which ones they go to.
Alex: don't overlook the obvious.
Moderator: what about the notion of failure?
Jay: We fail a lot. I feel close to this issue. If you are not failing, then you are not trying enough things. We try experimenting. You have to look at features and tools you develop and be willing to accept what it is telling you. "if we wait longer, it will succeed" it is a way that many silicon valley mantra.
Esther: Keep making new mistakes.
Jeremy: the data rarely lies. We love to experiment. if it is flatlined from the day we put it out there, then we know it wont work.
User: share a personal horror story:
Alex: all of mine are hardware failures.
User: how do you make sure that the next big thing doesnt take your contagious behavior?
Jay: I want to be something that helps with the next contagious behaviour. We want to help with everyone's contagious behavior.
Esther: it is important to be generous. Have a sense of something. Sites need a personality.
Jeremy: it's about network effects. look at flickr – it's where people go.
Alex: it was about taking a good idea and making it better. we did something similar at photobucket. we solved a simple problem and got momentum and built from that.
User: contaigious behavior is mostly anonymous. whats the balance as you want to know everything you can about them.
Jay: there is a difference btw profiling and identity.
Jeremy: you have to get creative.
Esther: Let the user know what you know about them. And let them change it if it is not right.
User: what are the biggest mistakes being made today?
Alex: don't follow the fads
Esther: deliver on the expectations you set.
Moderator: when it sucks, say it sucks.
I thought this session was pretty good. It felt very light on the subject, could have gone much deeper, but 45 minutes including open forum questions is probably not enough time to go deep. After the session ended, many of the attendees flocked to the front to speak with the panelists. Seemed Jay and Esther had the longest lines. I could see a full day workshop about this topic at a future event.
I am listening to the first CEO Showcase of the day for me. This is updated as of 3:50pm today.
- PumpAudio – allows musicians to post their music for sale basically. Rather than sell to consumers like an Amie Street or Indistr, they sell music to companies for use in stores, commercials, etc. Pretty nice looking software package.
- Turn – the world's first automatic targeting ad network. No manual targeting or keywords required. Turn delivers amazing simplicity, better relevance and more revenue.
- Rovion – "human media" – creator and leading provider of technologies that "humanize" the delivery of online messages – these are the ads that I called annoying about 3 months ago. Some on the online chat seem to like these ads. I don't think they are bad, just that they need to be placed correctly and they need to always be activated by the user.
- Pando – a hybrid p2p network – they have a free consumer application empowering people to share large media. Works with im clients, and email clients, and showing large-file podcasts including TalkCrunch, rocketboom and scobleshow. The distribution and monetization platform for digital media. They claim to be the YouTube for high resolution large files.
- ClipSync – real-time social networking. Screens look very well done. Very good presentation — really engaging! He discusses entertainment as something that is emotionally satisfying. Clipsync is about syncronized sharing. Integrated search with Google Video, YouTube and Metacafe.
- Motionbox – personal video made easy. He shoots a lot of video. They offer filmstrips for easier browsing before having to commit to watching a video. They also let you create mixes of multiple videos.
- Payperpost – their mission is to connect our advertisers with the largest network of high quality publishers to promote their products online. Advertisers compensate bloggers to create sponsored content. No mention about it being a review, really being more about "content".