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PubCon Boston

My Experience

     
2:02 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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YPN Party last night was fun. I got a bunch of people in who weren't invited to crash it and Y was cool about it. Open bar, good grub. Spoke with lots of neat people from the YPN team.

Earlier in the day had conversation with the AdSense folks. It's good to be able to express targeting issues and address concern over the network quality with them.

Yesterday saw the Google Sitemap session, Matt did a rundown about bigdaddy and other issues.

Hotel is decent but the after hours conferencing has to move into individual suites as they keep kicking us out of the lounge around two am. So, this isn't a Florida style conference, but it's something good.

2:07 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the enlightment MB :)

Keep it coming for us low lifes that couldn't attend this time!

3:54 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, the sitemaps session was helpful and a few tips and tricks were revealed to show how could better use the tool.

I particularly liked the live demo of the robots.txt checker which is devised to help avoid robots.txt errors and to aid crawling.

I believe that many of the attendees will now be heading off to set up their sitemaps.

Also, Google confirmed that 'mediabot' will be used to get results into Big Daddy. The idea behind this should save both Google and webmasters significant bandwidth. Here here!

Clarification was also made on the fact that there is no advantage/benefit in the serps. However, a problem could manifest itself if you serve different content to mediabot and to googlebot.

We briefly discussed about how Google identifies data for geolocation delivery. Matt Cutts confirmed the issue regarding domain names and hosting and that webmasters should use the local domain where possible (eg .co.uk instead of .com) and that Google looks at the host IP to decide if the data is delivered to the main index, or the local index. It's not perfect, but it works in most instances.

5:15 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>Google looks at the host IP to decide if the data is delivered to the main index, or the local index

Interesting, not new but interesting nevertheless. Matt metioned some time ago that they are looking at IP, language and domain and you need to get at least 2 of them right to show up in the local index.

I'm seeing Google getting confused about Denmark and Norway a lot - they seem to get both the IP and the language mixed up. Not perfect yet, but hopefully they'll get better at it.

Thanks engine!

12:19 am on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The conference started off and ended with a bang! Malcolm Gladwell's opening keynote was extremely insightful and having Microsoft demo their new portal and search features was well worth the flight from Denver, but I was hoping to get Matt's mother's blog url and found it interesting that she might be cloaking to get higher visibility on the search engines...
3:14 am on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The keynote was excellent. This funny, unassuming scholarly-looking man with fuzzy hair quietly captivated the audience with his fascinating, anecdotal, casual delivery. I bought his book (Tipping Point) this afternoon and read the first few chapters on a park bench while enjoying the last few rays of Boston sunlight once all the sessions had ended.

As often happens, the most interesting tips to bring home are those that slip out peripherally to the topic at hand. The "clinic" sessions draw out hidden nuggets of wisdom that the speakers may not have otherwise prepared. I'll discuss some of them in appropriate fora.

This is my first pubcon. The best part - sorry Brett not to diminish all your hard work - is not the seminars - it's meeting people from WebmasterWorld whom I have only known by their nickname for a few years, and finally attaching a human face to you all. Pleased to meet you, finally!

9:19 am on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Very interesting on the Google local stuff.

Did you get the impression that the "main" index (as they call it) is starting to become the "subsidiary" ("if we don't know where to put it shove it in here") catch-all index?

TJ

2:41 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I was there Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday. I learned a lot. I really like the session that had Tim Mayer from Yahoo! and Matt Cutts as they reviewed "seo'd" sites.

I also liked the LifeTips guy Byron White's talk about writing for the search engines. He had a great PowerPoint presentation.

Does anyone know where I can get a copy of that PowerPoint and others from this PubCon?

3:42 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I second kudos for Byron White at Life Tips. Overall, a great conference. I learned a lot and got to connect with friends/peers. Hats off to Brett for putting together another great event.
4:51 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Does anyone know where I can get a copy of that PowerPoint and others from this PubCon?"

I think Brett said that we will be getting a dvd in a week or 2. Maybe the powerpoints will be in that.?.

5:11 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think Brett said that we will be getting a dvd in a week or 2. Maybe the powerpoints will be in that.?.

Yes - exactly

6:31 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi aok88

Would you please elaborate a little on how they reviewed "seo"ed sites?

Thank you.

11:54 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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300m,

We got our power point cd about 3 weeks after the Vegas PubCon last November...

12:55 am on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I had an idea related to the last posts mention of a DVD of the Life Tips presenter. Could it be possible in the future to film the presentations from each conference for distribution to other WebmasterWorld members? We would of course pay for these recordings to cover WebmasterWorld's costs and any copywrite fees paid to the presenters.

Just a thought.

1:52 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Another excellent WebmasterWorld conference wrapped up yesterday at a nice pub in downtown Boston. I enjoyed the blogging session a lot but I think the most informative session was the site reviews by Google and Yahoo and two SEOs. Matt Cutts from Google is often very helpful with detailed advice in those sessions.
3:24 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The Wednesday morning blog session was great - I really enjoyed the open discussion format between them. I've never heard Rob Scoble speak before and really enjoyed his candor. I stopped into the Public Relation section Wednesday morning and was also impressed with the information and personal recommendations from the speakers.
4:30 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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PubCon is over and after not really participating for a long time, my enthusiasm is renewed.

The session I enjoyed the most was the Comptetive Analysis. This is a subject that I have been lacking in knowledge on. Some of the tools mentioned were tools I use but not for competitive information...silly me.

In my business, we mostly know who the competitors are but there are a few new ones that we don't have a lot of information on. So, this session provided me with the information I needed to start learning more about this entire area of the business.

Big thanks to the presenters...

5:54 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hands down my favorite part was meeting all the smart folks there, but second to that, it was Joe Morin's idea on serving up content other than your regular website to your competitors. Like annoying popups, or their own website or porn. (awesome).
6:00 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, a great gathering for sure, many thanks to Brett, and all the fine presenters for the hard work that goes into it. I was particularly impressed with the “Search Engine Smack Down”, seeing representatives from all four major SE’s speak at once was great stuff. (interesting to see these huge successful companies are being run by a pretty young looking group)
11:50 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Smashing conference - would have been better had I thought to bring a photo-id! Thank goodness the hotel bar didn't check.

Some of the highlights:

Spent some quality time with great folks and got to speak with several lurkers. Wish they'd sign up and participate though (yes I'm talking about you).

Watched bakedjake participate in 3 simultaneous online conversations while chatting with 3 or 4 people at the table in the bar.

Watched martinibuster's face curl up in disgust as he tasted a half-dry martini (he likes them dry).

Learned about a new ad delivery service - publishers keep your eyes open.

Agreed to supply a bottle of 21yr Glenfiddich in exchange for about 100 lines of code. I work for single malt - a bottle of 12yr Macallan will get you 300 lines. ;)

Learned a bit about Quarks, thanks Physics!

And met up with many old-friends and made some new ones too.

Oh, and a special thanks to sugarrae for sharing her beef stoganoff recipe! Can you believe that girl cooks too!

12:47 am on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Watched martinibuster's face curl up in disgust as he tasted a half-dry martini (he likes them dry).

yeah, but - he likes vodka martinis. Oh, the shame... but he does have good taste in gin... and socks!

Anyone paying attention during the comments about Big Daddy and cache sharing are probably glad they did

3:19 am on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I valued the differing points of view represented by attendees and exhibitors -- many with years of experience in a market where I've never ventured. The best part of PubCon is beyond any individual "bits of information"... I found myself in Paradigm Wonderland.

I also was impressed by the information about MSN AdCenter, especially the quality work they are doing to make sure that demographic targeting factors are statistically significant but also retain user anonymity. When you get down to combining zip+4 targeting plus a few other demographic factors, that anonyimity stuff becomes important!

3:22 am on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>user anonymity.

Interesting that you mention anonymity, I'm making the case that in some sectors, anonymity will have to be relinquished.

5:19 am on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This was my first PubCon -- I had a wonderful time and learned a lot of really valuable stuff. The speakers and topics were all great. Shelling out for the registration fee was money well spent.

Everyone was very nice and helpful (especially at the pub when it came time to make sure I had a drink in my hand...) and I greatly appreciate the warm welcome. :)

6:06 am on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Highlights of my PubCon

1) Go to the wrong terminal at the airport, take the tram and lite rail to make flight at last minute.

2) I arrive at hotel to realize that I dropped my only pair of eye glasses in the hotel shuttle. I cannot read my room number on my check in receipt and hotel staff have been instructed not to verbally say the room number.
This could be a new experience, I decide to go blind for the entire conference.

3) I wander around the hotel trying to find the conference, I find out that it is in a different building. Before finding the general location of PubCon, I visit several other conferences in various locations.

4) I have made arrangements to hook up with a few people, they text message me and leave phone messages.
I cannot read the messages, nor can I see the buttons on my phone, but with help I was able to make a call.

5) It's now noon of the first day and with the help of the conference security guards, I have found Pubcon and wander around the exhibit hall. I stop and visit, the big stuff I can see, but the rest is just a blur.

6) Fast forward through the rest of conference.
I had one of the best times ever, had a blast hanging out with old friends and made some really great new friends.

The networking was great, so much information freely changes hands when people bond.

Thanks guys. Blind-Bill not Blind_Bill

9:09 am on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I got the chance to confront a couple of SE reps with some of my more convoluted theories regarding personalized search, and several ways toolbar data could be used to influence organic results. I admit at times I might have sounded like a wacked conspiracy theorist discussing Area 51 with a military general...
1:38 pm on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I had a great time too. My first PubCon and everyone is so eager to talk and introduce themselves. :) I wish we could have them more often. Maybe you should all come to Minneapolis. Ha ha.
12:37 am on Apr 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I had a fantastic time, it was my first PubCon, and certainly not my last.

I'm making the case that in some sectors, anonymity will have to be relinquished.

Be that as it may, I myself refuse to relinquish my anonymity on WebmasterWorld. Just the thought of everyone knowing that I'm Sean Pecor, an internet geek from Boones Mill, Virginia sends chills down my spine!

Sean

3:25 pm on Apr 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Another great PubCon! So many people, so little time!

Three days later and still trying to come down from the caffeine and nicotine (hope my wife doesn't see this!) LOL!

Nice to meet up with friends both old and new. Hey, minnapple, was great "seeing" you again!

4:54 pm on Apr 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Back in Germany and over the hang-over + jet leg, I just wanted to drop a big thank you to Brett (next time you might recognize me without the help of Johnathan :-)...

I only made it to 3 sessions in the 2 days, the rest I got stuck talking to people, which is still the best of all!

My favorites:

1.) Bill loosing his glasses, but having Rum on his room

2.) Matt strangling webmasters

3.) Zivs motivating high competetive affiliate session speech

4.) Starting the pubcon in NYC on sunday with shri :-)

Will come to las vegas if humanly possible!

P!

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