Pubcon 2008 was much like Pubcon 2007 for me, a brief whirlwind of networking, presenting and dinners. Due to a pretty big workload, and wanting to make sure we keep our clients happy, Pubcon was a 1 1/2 day visit for me. Pretty much a 36 hour on the ground trip.
I got to sit in for a session and present on Social Media & Search - a Love or War Story.
Of course I think it's a Love Story. :)
My other fellow panelists - David Wallace of Search Rank, Chris Winfield of 10e20 and Bill Hartzer of VizionInteractive , pretty much all agreed that it's a love story too. David's presentation brough up the fact that many companies are quite there yet in believing in the Love Story of Social Media. Chris highlighted the Love Story of Google and Digg, how there can be value if you have a good strategy in Digg, and you understand the workings of it. Bill highlighted how feeds play a big role in Social Media and search, if anyone knows the ins and outs there, it's certainly Bill. I highlighted that companies need a strategy, that you need to know who your audience is and where they are before you start. I also said that in the future, search engines are going to be relying a lot more on social media sites for their signals of what's relevant, rather than so much emphasis on links.
The session before ours on Tuesday, was about Social Media: The Big Sexy Buzz. This panel had Warren Whitlock on it, who is a huge Twitter advocate and wrote the book Twitter Revolution, he brought up some great points about utilizing twitter, many this audience has heard and espoused themselves. Guillaume Bouchard had some great data on Digg and how its changed since it did some major overhauling to its algorithm. Kent Schoen from Facebook spoke about how businesses can utilize Facebook and Brian Carter spoke about the "trifecta" of blogging + twitter + bookmarking. Brian even gave out a free pony during his presentation, one in a cute pink purse.
Overall it was a great "quick trip". I had plenty of hanging out time with Shashi Bellamkonda, who is the Social Media guru from Network Solutions. Any time you have a chance to chat with Shashi at length take it! He always gives me new perspectives on how to look at introducing social media as another channel of marketing to clients.
Also congrats to Geoff Livingston (who spoke on the session after mine and is a fellow Phillies fan) on his one year anniversary of the launch of his very successful book Now is Gone. If you haven't read this book, go out and buy it now! Geoff's another very insightful Social Media mind in the industry.
Since my trip was rather brief, I'm going to leave the rest of the highlight up to Chris Phillips, SMG's newest writer. He's out there now probably partying it up at the Webmaster Radio Bash (the one thing I REALLY miss not being at!)