Blue Man - Las Vegas - SEO

So what do the Blue Man, Las Vegas and Search Engine Optimization have in common? Yes, the Blue Man is a fun pack 2 hours entertainment event at the Blue Man Theatre at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. Yes, Las Vegas recently was home to PubCon's Search Engine Marketing conference. But the fact that both have Las Vegas in common doesn't make Blue Man = SEO.

What they have in common is the marketing team behind the Blue Man show; understand search engine optimization and the importance of building links. During the Pub Con, the Blue Man invited several of us to attend their show. The cost of admittance was to ensure we wrote a review of the show and ensured that it would be published on-line with a link to the show. They clearly understand the importance of viral/word of mouth marketing and of link building. With each link to their show web site, they increase the importance of the site in the eyes of all leading search engines. So the distribution of a couple of handful of tickets to leading bloggers and SEO people can easily lead to the selling of hundreds of more tickets.

Yes, I saw the show free of charge, but does that mean you shouldn't pay for it. Alan K'necht with a Blue ManAs a reviewer, I was entertained even before the show started right through to the closing routine. Simply waiting for the show to start and reading the stages electronic marquee (ticker tape) with humours messages about turning off cell phones was entertaining. Even as the show was just about to start, they singled out several individuals in the crowd including yours truly. As I gazed upon the ticker tape I noticed my name flashing across it, with the message "Let's welcome Alan K'necht an all round good guy who knows everything!". My simple waving of hand wasn't good enough; the marquee then got the entire audience to chat in unison "Stand Up Alan and take a Bow".

After I took my bow and they directed their attention to others in the crowd, the show began. The show a combination of amazing drumming, visual effects, humour all from the emotionless Blue Men is something to be experienced. The only complaint was at times the band with their use of neon and blinking lights was a bit distracting from the action of the Blue Men.

So if you're heading to Vegas, I highly recommend this show.


Spock the Next FaceBook?

People are always looking for what the next big thing on the web is going to be. Almost a year ago I wrote about Facebook. Back then it was still redistricted to people at educational institutions. Well it opened up to the rest of us and as the say "the rest is history".

So what is the next big thing? While I won't put any money it, give Spock a look (www.spock.com). This site is the ultimate web site for ego surfing. It is a search engine of just people. So type in your name, type in my name and see what comes up. You might be surprised.

Want to update your personal information or start a network of trusted individuals then go for it by registering. Spock has a rating system of the importance of individuals called "Spock Power". Simply add more people you your network and your power grows. As well, you immediately get Spock's recommendations of others who you might want to invite to your network because they are connected to you through someone in your network. Think of Spock as a blending of Facebook (the personal social network site) and LinkedIn (the business social network site)

You can also increase your power by establishing trust with others. Get people you know to confirm who you are and anything (tags) that you've used to identify yourself.

So why do I think Spock could be the next big thing, after all we already have Facebook and LinkedIn. I registered with Spock about 1 year ago and I didn't hear anything more about it or from it. Yet over the past 2 weeks I've started getting lots of "Trust Requests" from it. This means others are now starting to flock to it. Perhaps it's a fad perhaps not. Either way, people are starting to use it and if you want to be up on the latest social networking sites, you better take a look. And while you're there, why not add yourself to my network as a K'necht-It reader.

Las Vegas Web Conferences Wrap-Up

It's hard to believe that it's been 2 weeks since the wrap-up party from PubCon. I know I promised to keep you posted on events and news from both Web Builder 2.0 and PubCon, but work and life sometimes gets in the way of the best plans.

To summaries both events, both were great in different ways. Web Builder 2.0 as predicated brought to together developers, web project managers, usability specialist and so much more. The sessions were top notch and giving the speakers a full hour each gave them a chance to go more than just surface level on their given topics.

PubCon on the other hand was an SEO and SEM focused event. It was much larger and the sessions were composed of panels of experts (including yours truly). While this format gives the opportunity to hear lots of different views, by limiting the panellists to 9-12 minutes each, you don't get into much depth.

I always say you can tell a great conference from a good conference by what happens between sessions. Using this measure both conferences were great! PubCon gets an extra star for organizing a wrap-up networking session on the last day. Perhaps it was the free beer and soft drinks, perhaps it was squeezing almost a thousand people into the Brew Pub at the Monte Carlo or perhaps it was just the desire of people to get to know people at a deeper level.Whatever the reason, this was the highlight of PubCon. I met more new people that afternoon and swapped more business cards in 4 hours then I did over the first few days combined. Many of the speakers stuck around for this event and it gave the opportunity for the attendees to get to know us and to ask us those final questions they didn't get to ask during the sessions.

My personal highlight was watching Matt Cutts (of Google fame) and Danny Sullivan (from Search Engine Land) race their cellphones. It was IPhone (Matt Cutts) vs. The HTC 6800 (Canny Sullivan). I had to cheer for Danny as he has the same cellphone as I do (IPhones are not available in Canada). So with cellphones in hand and browsers open, the race began. Would the sleek design of the IPhone win over the large QWERTY keyboard of the HTC 6800. It was Mac vs. Windows Mobile and the winner is...

Well Matt Cutts did hold up a Search Engine Land sticker on his head.

Here's hoping that both events will take place again next year. If so, I can almost guarantee I'll be there.


Summary of Web Builder 2.0 2007

This years Web Builder 2.0 was well organized and had a great speakers. Unfortunately attendance was down a bit from last year and the rooms could have easily help 3 times the number of attendees.

One thing that became clear while attending several of keynotes and sessions is that world of Web 2.0 is maturing. There wasn't much new to say, just a few adjustments and adjusted forecast.

One presentation that stood out to no surprise was the Usability session with Jared Spool of UIE. While Jared didn't address Web 2.0, he did take us back to the early days of the Wang word processor and showed the "Evolution of Intuitive Design".

The one quote that stood out from his presenation besides pointing out that everyone uses the word "intuitive" incorrectly was "Who ever set the standard that an "*" means required? I want to find that person and kill him. Just kidding!".

Despite the small turn out, I still enjoyed Web Builder 2007 and the people I talked to loved the fact that this is only conference for the whole web team. Here's hoping there is going to be a Web Builder 2008.

2 Conference 1 Week

It's Wednesday and I'm half way through my 1 week in Las Vegas with 2 conference addresses at two different conferences.

This morning I wrapped up my second address with Presentation at Pub Con.

It was a great presentation on "A Top Down Approach to SEO". I was part of a 4 person panel which included : Mark Jackson, Lyndsay Walker and Paul Bruemmer.

The presentation contained lots of great tips and my slide on comparing poorly coded web pages (from an SEO perspective) as noose vs. a straight rope (the linear approach) was well received.

If you'd like to read more on the presentation, Mark has a great summary of the presentation on his blog


The Night Before Web Builder

Another year has gone by and its time for Web Builder. As usual there are lots of speakers and lots of interesting topics being covered. While nothing has made me jump with excitement and highlight a specific session, I'm sure there is going to be lots of great information being exchanged.

My presentation on Web Analytics is now all ready to go and is rock solid with just a touch of humour and lots good information. The sad news is it is the last session of the day. And with a conference starting at 8:30 am and going until 6:00 pm I don't know how many people will still be there come the 5:00 pm start time.

I'll be sure to post any interesting tips and gossip I hear during the conference.

It's hard to believe that it is 10 years since I attended my first Web Builder conference in New Orleans. Back then all this was so new and the excitement of just being with others in love with this emgerging technology called the web as a communication tool gave the conference a buzz that I have never seen or felt before or since.

So keep your eyes on this blog for some great info. Remember that I'll be speaking and attending PubCon from WebMaster's World starting Wednesday.

The best news so far is that I've been comped a ticket to Blue Men for tomorrow night and there is going to be one big blow out party sponsored by Microsoft this week. I'm sure there will stories to tell from that party.