What you'll find here is simply a quick recap of the PubCon event. There are a lot of details that I'd like to share with you in upcoming posts - about individual people, resources, websites and things that I learned - so keep an eye out for those as well...
Before I kick this off, I'd like to give a big THANK YOU to Rae Hoffman. I've known Rae since probably '97 or '98. Not only is she one of the best in regards to affiliate marketing and SEO, she's a also a great friend. Rae made it a point to introduce me to people that I wanted to meet, and to people she felt I should meet. She also offered a lot of pointers in regards to the sessions, which was very helpful.
So thanks, Rae - and yes, I owe you inbound links for the next decade over the Thursday intro's You rock! (By the way, someone asked me: "are you one of Rae's girls?" - so are you pimpin' now, or what?? hehe)
Note: I got an exclusive interview with Rae on Affiliate Marketing a couple of years ago that is still one of the most popular.
What Makes PubCon Different?
I've been to several conferences and seminars over the last few years, and I have to say that the thing that sets PubCon apart from any other event is the lack of the pitch. Basically, there is no pitching. Even during networking hours, you wont find people pitching their business or themselves - but simply getting to know each other and sharing ideas and resources.
The speakers at PubCon are everyday people who offer great advice and real-world examples. Their hands-on experience, and the fact that they are 'out there doing it', makes their perspective invaluable.
This is THE event to attend. Make it a point - or a goal - to get to the next PubCon, or one in the very near future . I'll be in Vegas for the next PubCon event (Nov 2006), so let me know if you are going to be there and we'll make plans to meet up!
The sessions were broken down into four groups, and all four sessions were going at once. You had to choose between them, and hope to catch notes & details from the people who attended other sessions. Tough choices, yes, but it did make for some very good conversations after hours...
Tuesday April 18th
Tuesday started out with registration and continental breakfast at 8am. It was actually an impressive spread for a "continental breakfast" - I had orange juice, coffee, a blueberry muffin and a rasberry danish. None of which I finished because the conversation at our table was more interesting than the food at the time...
Greg Niland joined us, and after brief introductions we talked about everything from WordPress to outsourcing. I actually skipped the keynote address by Malcolm Gladwell to continue this discussion (yes, it was that good).
Fortunately I have both of Malcolm's books, and there is an excellent recap of the presentation on Lee Odden's blog: Malcolm Gladwell, PubCon Boston Keynote.
The first session of the day for me was Affiliate Microsites and Niche Marketing at 10:15am. Chris R. talked about 'emotions in advertising and media' and how to trigger various emotions through our websites. Very good stuff.
Ted Ulle spoke about Long Copy, and specifically how to "write tight, not wide". Some of his more interesting points were on how you can pack in a lot of readable points even to visitors who are 'scanning' your copy. Again, good stuff - and Ted was a great person to get to know after the sessions. Very approachable.
Jeff Libert was up next in this session, and he shared some good info about setting up "dot orgs", about niches (love or money?), and about micro-sites. Overall this was an excellent session.
The next session I attended was Affiliate Site Strategies and Optimization. This block of sessions was a tough decision for me because Rae Hoffman was on the panel for the Link Building Clinic at the same time - so I sat in on the session through Greg Niland's presentation and then moved over to the Link Building Clinic for the remainder of the time.
Fortunately Greg was up first. I have to say, his presentation was the most entertaining of them all. He moved very fast, kept us all madly jotting notes, and threw in a few and along the way to boot. I'll have to share some of this with you in a later post... great stuff.
Oh - and listen to WebmasterRadio.fm - Greg hosts the Goodkarma Show (I'm listening in as I write this - Dave N. and Mikkel deMib are on)
Like I said, I skipped out after Greg spoke and headed over to the Link Building Clinic. Byron White and Dixon Jones were on the panel alongside Rae Hoffman. There were some really good points made, enough to warrant a post of their own on Link Building, so I'll post that over the next week.
I have to note here that the most interesting thing about the Link Building Clinic, other than the info, was watching Rae Hoffman on her laptop throughout the session. She's fast and she's good. If you ever consider hiring someone for a site audit or a linking plan... Rae is the one you should contact.
Next on the agenda was LUNCH . It was actually a sack lunch (mine was Ham & Swiss and pasta) while we listened in to Matt, Vanessa and Amanda on Google Sitemaps. More on this later too - I had a hard time juggling lunch & note-taking, but I managed and do have some good tidbits to share with you
(The guy in the front row at the "Google Lunch" was blogging through the entire session. I wish I knew his blog address!)
The next session I attended was Blogging, Pod Casting and RSS Feeds. Greg Harnett's presentation was particularly good. He did a great job of planting seeds’ in regards to sharing ideas that could generate large spikes of traffic.
I had an opportunity to meet and speak with Greg later that evening in the Sheraton Lounge. He is full of innovative ideas, quite an interesting person. In fact, the entire crew from Best of the Web was great to hang out with - definitely "people to know".
After the sessions, Rae introduced me to both Jim Boykin and Aaron Wall. I've been following Jim's blog ever since his article on co-citation so it was great to meet him in person. The article is a must-read. It's very well written, nicely illustrated... and "need to know" stuff for anyone with a website.
Wednesday April 19th
My day actually started at 11:35am with Link Building Campaigns. We heard from Mike Grehan, Jim "Dont Blog This!" Boykin, Bill Hartzer & Eric Ward. I'll post more on this (minus Jim Boykin's tips, which were for attendees only) - there were some real nuggets shared in this session.
(Yes, I missed Robert Scoble at the Morning Coffee Session. I regret that, but it just wasn't going to happen for me Fortunately I found a great recap of the session.
Todd's presentation: Paid Link Strategies was great. I learned A LOT in this session, so I'll definitely be blogging more on that. In the meantime, follow the links throughout this post- Todd and Roger both have excellent blog posts to check out... and everything I linked here, I linked to for a reason
I skipped the Super Session on Wednesday afternoon for a nap (so sue me), but the evening was full of interesting people and great conversations. Likewise, the Pubcon Classic event on Thursday was excellent... and the discussions (not to mention the fun!) lasted into early Friday morning.
And yes, this was a "Quick" Recap, so keep your eyes peeled for more from me on the PubCon event - juicy tidbits, photos, resources & strategies that I picked up, and interesting people that I met...
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