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PubCon 4 - officially started - notes

     
1:53 am on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Myself and SugarKane celebrated the first beers of PubCon 4 tonight. (eg: I probably shouldn't be posting at this time. lol. If you log in and find anything really really weird, it can be safely discounted.)

- hotel - most excellent. Everything it was billed to be.
- hotel bar - rather small, but cozy. Micro brewery within one block!
- odds are running 40-60 on a certain WebmasterWorld member making it into the states ;-)
- Top new SEO tips and tricks...as if...you had to be there ;-)

9:52 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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the rest of our table who I'm just having a hard time remembering nicks, Brett from Nashville

momsbudget: You may have just helped me determine my new nick (my present one I used because that's what I've always been and I "game" a lot, no not gambling, Counterstrike and all that).

Maybe I should change mine to Brett_fromNashville so people don't think I'm a pimple faced 12-year-old.

Also,

Okay, I told everyone I would be posting more

Come on, you're not fooling us. We see that posts: 1 there. You have to post first to post more. ;)

Just kidding about that but you better post more. I enjoyed hearing your perspective on things while at PubCon so I'm sure you will be a great addition here.

10:06 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Mike_Mackin: how about some pictures from a little earlier in the evening?;)
10:32 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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LMAO.. Brooklyn is REPRESENTED! OMG... that guy was something else. Just glad we didn't have to watch Dave kick his @ss and have all of us thrown out of the hotel on our bums. I know someone who was there taking pics, but they are actually still away, but I am told I will be getting them sent to me via email when they get back, so hopefully I can post some soon.
10:46 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Just got back. Great time with all.

Nick_W it was a great evening!

I've got over 100 pictures of the event(s). Hopefully Brett can get them up as go through the best of them.

Highlight:

Seeing Matt in the basement, down by the sewers (bathrooms) with the affiliates...

Worst experience:

Let's just say...the homeless can be a slight problem.

Second worst experience:

Explaining to the gate security at the airport what the Google pen was...sheesh. They asked me THREE times if I owned the bag they wanted to search. They hadn't ever seen such a thing! "Careful-he may write something with that!"

10:50 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Be careful what you write with that pen.
IT CALLS HOME
10:53 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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CIML (A gentleman in the traditional sense...he'll be "Sir CIML" ere the decade's over)

If he ever gets knighted he'll be next in line for the guillotine.

11:21 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Explaining to the gate security at the airport what the Google pen was...sheesh.

So, I tried to put my big new beer pump in my carry on... it fit in the bag, so I sent it through the scanner, and after scanning it no less then three times, they sent me back to check-in, saying "That's just too heavy to carry on. It will have to be checked."

OK. No probs. Went back to the front counter, talked to the woman there, "The scanner staff said this was too heavy to carry on, so can I go ahead and check it?" I set it on the scale. "That's not too heavy," says she, "I'll walk back with you and see what the problem is.

If it hadn't been 6am, I would have found it a LOT funnier to watch no less than five scanner personel try to politely explain that it's not too heavy but it looks too much like something you could knock someone in the head with. (My phrase... they never did work up the nerve to come out and say it) Various phrases used:

"It's too blunt" (What, you prefer I carry SHARP objects on the flight? Or have you watched too many crime shows where someone is done in by a "blunt object"?)

"It's just too heavy" (Weight limit was 40 lbs per carry on. This was 22 lbs.)

"It's, well, we just can't really tell what's in it" (I've told you at least five times: It's a British beer pump for dispensing beer from a keg, AND offered to open the package for them.)

This went on for almost 1/2 hour. Needless to say, I was glad I arrived at the airport early for a change... and of course the pump was put in checked baggage.

Thankfully the luggage tossers were feeling gentle, and it arrived unharmed.

11:39 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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skiguide, thanks for clarifying the "from away" thing. ;) I did know that Laisha and kfander weren't originally from the Pine Tree State, but residing in and owning one's home in the state's close enough for me. I definitely understand the distinction to native-born Mainers, though. For example, I've only been in Vermont 23 years, and I'll always be a flatlander to "real" Vermonters. (PS, my wife's from Portland, but I understand that even folks from "down East" are often considered not true Mainers.)

Sorry we couldn't meet. Maybe when SEMPO [sempo.com] starts having meetings? They're based in Boston, aren't they? A mere stone's throw away...

11:48 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for outing us there, Skiguide! :) You may not be aware that Ken runs a Delphi forum called "From Away" for people just like us! :)

Actually, we've looked into it, and you're not considered a "Mainer" until you're third generation!

Did we thank Mr. Mackin for the masks, among other things?

Some of the things I learned:

  • It's pronounced "neech," not "nitch."
  • Bum is the guy, Guide is the girl.
  • I may not actually be THE most hated woman on the web.
  • Winooski is a place in Vermont.
  • There's more to FAST than I originally thought.
  • A ton of affiliate info (Thanks, Rae.)
  • Boston cabbies are suicidal.
  • It doesn't take much to make the the Lycos people leave the table easily!
12:12 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Laisha, I think I "helped" move the Lycos folks when I asked if they could scoot over a space so Milne68 and I could sit together. D-oh!
12:14 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>It doesn't take much to make the the Lycos people leave the table easily!

....and we don't know what is was that YOU said ;)

12:21 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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PubConference IV
The story of PubConference as told by EliteWeb

PubConference IV, also known as PubCon hosted by WebmasterWorld.com is a gather, a conference for SEO’s, Webmasters, SEM’s and everyone else in the Internet industry to get together and communicate about the search engines and everything else that’s relevant. Fourth year running and growing strong this one was held in Boston, Massachusetts within the U.S.A. at the Wyndham Tremont -- Saturday April 26th, 2003.

Although it was only officially for one day everyone started gathering on Friday and continued until Sunday strong as events were planned for the whole weekend. I got into town on Friday afternoon traveling from Orange County, California leaving at a 6:45AM flight and made it into the hotel by 4:00 PM then proceeded to the room to setup the network within and check out the network. Around 5:00 PM I headed down to the Piano Bar inside the Hotel and enjoyed a beverage while mingling with the bunch of Webmaster World people who already made it in and continued all night long. The room was full of people, tons of conversation and very easy to talk to people at any time. Later found out that there were more people located at other bars around the hotel.

My background is Search Engine Optimization, Web Programming and Design I came to the conference to talk about SEO/SEM and also affiliate programs to see where people were making the money and how. My experiences on affiliates weren’t as good in results as others so there was much to be learned during the weekend. I had a list of questions I prepared before the conference, which I knew I needed some answers, ideas and solutions for, preparing these before hand gave me the upper hand as alcohol can often impair thoughts and actions ;) I suggest everyone with unanswered questions to post on the site, and also write them down before the next conference, of course it wont happen for a few months so you’ll have better luck asking on the message forum.

At the bar I spoke with quite a few people and a lot of the talk was about what each other did and what we wanted to do throwing around ideas on how to make it most effective. Affiliate programs for everything, no matter what your interest in, you name it someone at the conference has done it or is doing it. Link trading and talking was also a huge discussion throughout the conference, at least through my conversations and those I spoke with. The night closed, and to keep everyone’s identity zero day private I drank more so I’d forget names, erase data then proceeded to sleep.

The conference officially started at 8:00 AM on Saturday morning, which I ended coming down to a little late, missing breakfast and walking in on the panel of speakers. Luckily I found a seat not too far back and I didn’t miss too much besides the food and clean cups :) The panel consisted of representatives or staff from Google, FastAllTheWeb (Overture) and Teoma/AskJeeves. This panel presentation and Q&A afterwards was the most entertaining presentations I’ve seen. Google’s presentation had humor involved such as the gender of GoogleBot (Hint: It’s both male and female heh or was it both of them some male and female or was it a hermaphrodite hmm ;) The other two were informative about the search technology used and Teoma did a good job drawing graphs and showing how their results were broken up.

The question and answer (a.k.a. (also known as) Q&A) was humorous and informative in many angles. There were many questions presented about results, algorithms, penalties and toolbars. Someone brought up the question asking if any of the search engines planned on releasing toolbars for operating systems such as UNIX and Macintosh, thus your petition for Google to create a full toolbar for the Macintosh including PageRank. Safari already has the Google search box built in but lacking the PageRank technology and no bars exist for Internet Explorer. The petitions can be setup online to show your interest through sites like [petitiononline.com...] or any other site. Once a petition has been started I will be one to help promote and sign it, this goes the same for alternative operating systems as well.

Those Search Engines guys sure were funny; they had humor in their bones and went after each other a little. After the Q&A the search engines guys were available for chat, and there were a handful of tables promoting different engines and products offering goodies such as pens in nifty black boxes (positiontech), pens along with paper and mints in a nifty toolbox tin (overture) and coupons for free AdWord credits ($20.00), promotional material and pens which flash with colors from Google. GoToast was talking about their software and stuffing the toaster with cards for it to be given away later on that evening, and Search Engine Commando was giving away trial CDs of their software.

Overture was giving away wooden jellybean dispensers branded with the Overture logo; I was one of the people who won one of these. When Overture announced they were about the perform the drawing they asked to make sure everyone put their cards in and that it was the last chance I was talking with the Google people. Jokingly Matt (Google) reached for his wallet to grab a card, then funny enough the card they pulled belonged to me :D After claiming the prize I thanked Overture then went around sharing the beans with those wanting them.

This is truly a nifty looking device; a video will be added soon. It holds a nice amount of jellybeans, and as you turn the knob the beans will roll down the ramps that is seen through the clear glass and is then dispensed from the wooden flappy door. I was half tempted and still am tempted to stick it up on eBay just for the fun of it. Just not sure what to do yet – keep it as a prize or commercialize and sell it on eBay?

Lunch was served, and I grabbed a Snapple Ice Tea to go along with it, then everyone continued with discussion and everyone started gathering and heading over in bunches on shuttles over to Elephants & Castles eight blocks away with a open tab sponsored by a nice company. Four tickets were given to each person at the door, counting for 4 drinks a person although the math wasn’t very correct as the tab ran out by my second ticket :D No worries about that though I’m grateful of any open bar for any period of time! Shortly after everyone gathered it was announced the affiliate meeting was going to take place so I went down with a few people and listened to what everyone had to say. In one way or another it was entertaining, got to see which programs worked for people and hear some good Q&A. Well worth the time, and well educating as I later spoke with many of the people further about the affiliate programs.

One of my developers lives in Boston and he was ready to meet up and get me up to date with the status on our projects so we went outside to find rain, wetness and cold. In Boston there’s something about taxis, not the taxis themselves but the people who take them. We stood outside for some time, called tabs, and flagged them down but when they came by people the building next door would suddenly run out and grab the door. We later found how to work the situation and took a hold of it and headed back. We were back in the bar drinking and talking, everything worked out good then we headed to the bar next door for more food and drinks when the Piano player came in and it didn’t work out well for conversations.

Met up at the bar next door and it was well occupied by WebmasterWorld’s PubConference people and continued the talks for hours, after that we hopped over to Rock Bottom for some snacks, drinks and talks and around 1:00AM I headed back to the hotel to get some sleep and figure out when my plane left. Luckily my plane didn’t leave till later the next evening so I talked with a few people then went out around Boston to take care of business on Sunday, got some food then left town on a shuttle, as it was cheaper than the taxi to the airport. The concierge called up and 2 minutes later the black van was there taken me away, when I got to the airport they had me strip down and put me in their little room to take off clothes, shoes and belts then was released to sit around for my plane.

Boston is definitely is cool town, a lot to it, a lot of history involved, wish I could have had a little more run-around time to tour the city a bit more like my last trip there but the rain on Saturday held me down. I got home around 12:15AM Monday morning. mmMmm content.

12:36 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Just got back to the UK after and another excellent Pubconference.

I'm only sorry there wasn't enough time to meet more of those that attended. For sure, I'll look forward to the next one.

Now, time for some rest and to try to get the time clock back to something approaching normal.

12:41 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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EliteWeb, I'm glad to see you had such a good time, and thanks for the offer on the Jelly Belly's after you won the prize. While I didn't catch your name tag then, I can now put a face to the posts you've helped me out with over the couple of years I've been here.

It's also good to see that the entire trip, from start to finish, was a success for everyone.

One other thing that hit me when I was leaving the conference to drive on home Saturday night - was the fact that for too long, I've only been playing the role of a "lurker". Having joined over two years ago, you'd think I could manage to accumulate more than 189 posts.

In preparation for the next event, I'm cecrtainly going to take a much more proactive view of my membership here on the forums... Starting with a subscription to the Supporters Forum. There's simply too much good info being passed around!

12:52 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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"Let's just say...the homeless can be a slight problem."

And don't forget the hookers and drug dealers ;).

"It's pronounced "neech," not "nitch.""

I was also corrected on that... can't remember for sure, but my mind wants to attribute the correction to Caine. :)

"I may not actually be THE most hated woman on the web"

For what it is worth, I thought you were very pleasant :). I'll be shooting those emails over to ya tonight!

Rae

12:56 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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PubCon 4 reaffirms a belief that I have had since signing on, and I can think of no better way to share with members not fortunate enough to attend than the pre-conference meeting (in Boston's Rock Bottom of all places) with 4_eyes, Mivox, and Liane.

4_eyes said: divided by land, water, culture, profession, goals and personality, the only common thread that binds us -- a desire to learn, the endless search to acquire knowledge.

That sums up the total weekend. I learned as much as I shared.

The thanks are endless.

On a personal note: should London be after September 30th > I will attend.

Oh BTW Shak -- the twin fathom is dead. I promise not to post before my third pot of coffee. ;)

Rod

1:09 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The deadly Google Pen is unleased on an unsuspecting infant!

Killer Pen [invoman.com]

(Will it still work with the drool all over it?)

1:11 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>(Will it still work with the drool all over it?)

Most attending drooled on them before you pick yours up ;)
1:22 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>And don't forget the hookers and drug dealers ;).

Yes, my wife laughed at that episode(s)...

I'm such a lucky guy:>)

1:28 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Scott, I wouldn't let my daughter anywhere near my pen ~ the moment she sees the fact that it lights up, she'll wait until I'm not looking and POOF - I'd find it six years later with a dead battery in some hidden obscure place. So my pen is happily sitting on top of my monitor, where she hopefully won't notice it, so I can play with it when I should be working ;)

Jen

2:26 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I just woke up from a 19 hour nap after an intense weekend. I had a great time hanging with you all.
To the Southerners:
I'm going to miss being called plastic.
To the non drinking Brits:
Thanks for all the great conversation.
To the drinking Brits:
I can't remember what we talked about, but it was really fun.
To the young Buddhist:
Get well and rest! :)
To Tedster:
Thanks for showing us your home town.
To the LA transplant:
That looked like a great lobster!
To NFFC:
After 10 thousand hours of conversation it was great to finally talk.

A couple notes:
Brits and US SEOs pretty much the same.
The black hats are more fun.
There are so many ways to squeeze money out of the web if you just open your eyes.
The search engine guys were much better sports than I would have given them credit for.
Love or hate Google, you have to give Matt Cutts a lot of credit for staying good natured while being corralled for several hours by many GoogleGroopies and the occasional GoogleSpammer.

Best line:
After chatting for a while with the Paul Gardi, he said to me (paraphrasing):
"We've just had a two hour conversation and neither one of us had said a thing."
Funniest seen:
Watching toolman try to eat ramen noodles out of a coffee cup with a pen.

I had a great time, and meet too many people to mention.
Thanks Brett for organizing a great show! Thank you sponsors for the free beer!

2:29 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I was also corrected on that... can't remember for sure, but my mind wants to attribute the correction to Caine.

I clearly remember who corrected me. It was Shak, who was much taller than I'd expected. :)

I think perhaps we need to make these things longer. Although I met almost all of the people I'd set out to meet, time was too short to actually spend as much time as I'd have liked to with each.

2:40 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>you have to give Matt Cutts a lot of credit for staying good natured while being corralled for several hours by many GoogleGroopies and the occasional GoogleSpammer.

Yeah, I asked Matt if he wanted to escape and go get some seafood. I promised "no SE talk" --but he opted to stay. Brave man.

2:50 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It happened too early in the morning, so I didn't write it down. Who was it that said about PR something about "why would we use 4-year old technology?"

Does anyone have the exact quote?

2:51 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>The black hats are more fun.

Were there BLACK HATS THERE?

3:24 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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ok - I'm kicked back in the Lazyboy and gettin ready to drift off into a coma - figured I'd try and hit the highlights of the weekend

- the FIST (you had to be there but you're better off if you weren't)
- the sheer volume of Canucks, seems like every time I turned around I was meeting another poutine eater :)
- that long chat with Shak on Sunday nite - thanks dude, you inspired me
- DaveN and Drastic with the disappearing beer trick

I know there was more but I can't keep my eyes open - I think I've only gotten about 12 or so hours of sleep since Thursday.

We just keep raising the bar. PubCon 4 completely blew away all previous events. Looking forward to London.

toasterguy

3:30 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This was my first PubCon and first WebMasterWorld Event. A regular at all the standard marketing events (Search Engine Strategies, eTail, Adtech) I must admit that folks who get their traffic for free sure can party!

I learned a ton and had a great time. Thanks for a great convention Brett.

3:35 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>Were there BLACK HATS THERE?

Yeah, they were anonymously picking up bar tabs all over town. (You didn't notice because you usually skip out anyway.)

4:55 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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"Yeah, they were anonymously picking up bar tabs all over town. (You didn't notice because you usually skip out anyway.)"

That reminds me... someone at Bennigans Saturday night didn't pay their bill. The waitress came up to us panicking to let us know someone from our group didn't pay. Serves her right for not bringing the tab to a group of 20 smashed people until two hours after she served them food ;) (and lord only knows how many beers). Jatar_k very graciously picked up the bill. I thought the poor girl was gonna have a panic attack.

7:58 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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lawman sayeth:

In theory, when matter and antimatter contact each other, annihilation takes place. Apparently that doesn't occur when spammer and antispammer contact each other.

LOL! It's 1 am where I am and I am sitting here snorting from laughing so hard. There's my nominee for Best Comedy Performance. Thanks for the great laugh, lawman!

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