2009 Web 2.0 Expo in New York City – Day 1 Comments
This year’s Web 2.0 Expo NYC is surely an experience for me since I AM PHYSICALLY THERE in PERSON and enjoying every minute of it.
Let me start my day one highlights (11/17) with some general observations
- Web 2.0 Expo is one of the largest events I’ve attended and unlike the cozy feeling of smaller events such as MarketingProfs Digital Mixers or PodCamp Boston events it is easy to feel quite lost in the sea of people.
- Spotty wireless connectivity was a big issue for me during day one (hoping for a better day tomorrow)! I usually tweet a lot from my netbook. I could not since I cannot get online from any of the meeting rooms. It definitively took away from the experience I am used to having with a virtual attends. Sigh.
- This was my first attempt to participate in a conference w/o taking single page of written notes. If it was to be recorded it needed to be recorded electronically. I admit it did not feel right at first, but I am really hooked now. I am paper free and have been able to accumulated over 8 pages of typed notes. Hurray! Feel so liberated.
Comments/notes on three sessions I attended:
w/ Kristina @Halvorson from Brain Traffic
Here is Kristina’s argument
- Content is the single most important thing most web sites can offer to their users.
- So why is that that content is usually the last thing web teams work on without giving it much thought
- This includes content writers being pulled into the project late, with no context and expected to finish their work in no time or the project will be further delayeKristina’s answer to this problem: develop a content strategy that helps determine
- What content you have and what you are missing (content audit, gap analysis). This includes content online and offline, text as well as rich media
- What are you trying to accomplish with your content/website? (business goals)
- What do your content ecosystems look like? Internal factors- How is content created in your companies? External factorsWhat about the competitors’ sites? What users want in terms of valuable content? How do we analyze success of content
Here are the key phases of the implementation
- Identify and develop overall messaging
- Launch priorities
- Establish content hierarchy and structure
- Develop page-level recommendations
- Establish ditorial guidelines
- Set up editorial calendar
- Identify workflow
- Deliver content on regular basis
- Maintain content by revisiting it on regular basis
Does this all sound like a lot of work. You bet! But since content is KEY to your company’s success you must start thinking about it more seriously.
One thing Kristina’s presentation did not address was user generated content and how to incorporate that into your content strategy. Oh well, there is always next year.
Kristina’s presentation is available on slideshare.
THE FUTURE OF WEB SEARCH
Panel discussion w/ Erick Schonfeld (TechCrunch), Akhil Wable (Facebook), Tobias Peggs (OneRiot), Vik Singh (Yahoo) Gerry Campbell (Collecta)
Web search is not my strongest subject so I really cannot interpret or comment on these opinions rather than just to give them to you as they were presented to me.
Main focus of the discussion was real time search and the fact that
1) Indexing large number of data is just plain hard
When Google started there were 24 billion pages to be indexed.
Now there are 2 billion indexable pages generated DAILY (incl. 20 million tweets)
2) How does indexing real time data play with existing search results that are displayed based on search relevancy and in many cases are more authoritative.
Ranking vs. timeliness dilemma
One thing we know based on research is that users want just one search window (not two types of searches: real-time vs. relevancy-based (aka traditional)
Yahoo’s thinking: Get content as fast as it comes to us and use internal algorithms to determine relevancy based on authority. Must be cognizant of other users of the search who are not interested in real-time search results. These folks are looking for truthful, relevant results. It is Yahoo’s job to determine how valuable data is before displaying it. Let’s not rush too fast into indexing twitter data (BTW, Yahoo study determined that only 2% of tweets are matching current search queries) and let’s spend time thinking how to best resolve the ranking vs. timeliness issue.
One Riot’s thinking: 60% of searches are navigational (aka traditional model). 15-30% or 40% (depending on research quoted) are made by users who are looking for real time results. Must distinguish between fresh content vs. real-time content vs. breaking news
Facebook thinking: indexing info. in real time – might be interesting for few minutes/hours then it loses its value. Facebook is concentrating on making search relevant to your network of friends before focusing on open search to include non-friend related Facebook data.
Final issue: monetization of real time search. Real time search is less predictable than the SEM monetization workfle currently in place for traditional search. No good answers to that question yet.
THE NEW CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP LANDSCAPE
By Lane Becker aka @monstro (from Customer Satisfaction & Adaptive Path)
I have listen to Lane a few years back at one of the Adaptive Path’s User Experience training seminars when he spoke about quantifying the value of user experience. This time Lane talked about the new opportunities to establish lasting relationships with customer. The truth is though that there are few companies (Zappos, Comcast) who not only get it but acting on it.
Lane stated by presenting the traditional flow of product lifecycle
No 1: Product Ideation > Immersive testing > Launch (w/marketing) > Customer Service
In this model customer service is in the last place and ofter an afterthought in the product development cycle. CSRs are often sitting in your company’s basement or worse yet are entirely outsourced and barely speaking English. Moreover, they are constantly reminded of operational efficiencies which include decreasing the time on the phone w/ a customer (aka “get rid of him/her as fast as possible”. Customers are directed to static FAQs that are seldom updated. If your customer has a problem it will be logged into a “Trouble ticket system (the emphasis of the word TROUBLE). Get the picture? Not pretty.
New product development model puts the customer service department first and always in the center of the action for every product lifecycle. The flow looks like:
No. 1: customer service > product ideation > Immersive testing >Launch
I love Lane’s comparison of this new model to a hotel’s concierge desk where company freely interacts with its customers through a community manager(s) otherwise know as “trust agents” and where customers have a place (hotel lobby) they can visit knowing there is someone there who will listen to them and will be willing to help.
Where are organizations now in terms of developing this new customer service model? Well, not far.
- Firstly, organizations finally realized that customers are out there in social spaces
- Secondly, they also realized that every part of the organization must be aware of customers (not only in marketing and Customer Service, but also product development, etc.)
- Lastly and most importantly: most organizations have no clue what to do about it!
- from control to cacophony – no matter how large yr company is you are just one node in the big great NETWORK where companies, partners and people are connected Don’t forget though that in that NETWORK, customers now lead the conversation, not you. Get used to it.
- change happens faster than organizations can process it. Must rely on humans who are much better/faster at handling change
- from process to approach that is more flow oriented (agile processes, from waterfall to washing machine)
- from documentation to collaboration
- Collaborate w/ your customers and internally within your company
- From prevention to recovery
- Management’s job is not to prevent risk but to develop the capability to recover when failures occur. (Ed Cartmill, president, Pixar)
- Going from hidden to open/transparent
Lane’s presentation is available on slideshare.
Since the keynote speeches were streamed live you can draw your own conclusions. You can access the recordings of these keynotes on the event’s website. I managed to take a couple shots.
I also sat on Jeff Jarvis’s presentation on Content in Beta World. I will write about it tomorrow though. Too exhausted today.
Totally psyched for day 2!