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Long overdue Podcamp Toronto 2009 debrief

Just so you know, it bugs me like crazy not be able to dump my thoughts on various time-sensitive issues that occur on a daily basis. It’s unfortunately that time of year again when my post frequency is hindered as a result of “March Madness” (year-end for government clients). I am working with about six clients at the moment in addition to regular speaking engagement travel gigs. This is more than enough to eat up all of my time.  My “blog about this” list has accumulated over 60 items since my last post, however the #1 item I want to write about first is my great experience at Podcamp Toronto 2009.

As I usually do with my conference “debrief” posts, the following are essentially key items derived from my handwritten notes for each session I attended. The quantity of bullets under each post is not a reflection of the session quality but rather “new” things that I learned and/or people that I met. Sometimes a single item and/or contact can be extremely valuable to me. There is little grammatical structure to these bullets since they are meant to be a brain dump. So without further ado here are the sessions I attended…

Building Relationships with Word of Mouth and PR Practitioners While Maintaining Credibility with Your AudienceAnita Clarke, David Jones, Eden Spodek and Matthew Stradiotto, moderated by Keith McArthur.

My Two Cents: Walked in late, however it is always refreshing to hear what “hobby” bloggers have to say. I often find myself forgetting that most bloggers have personal blogs unrelated to their day jobs.

  • Sysomos is apparently emerging as a competitor to Radian6 (which I use religiously)
  • Blog pitching firms expect bloggers to show them their private metrics in order to gauge performance
  • Quantcast Analytics is a very useful, publicly accessible analytics site
  • Many “hobbyist” bloggers don’t care about analytics, trends, marketing space, etc…

Stalking Your Audience for Fun & Profit – Monitoring Your Community & CompetitorsSean Power on the O’Reilly book \”Complete Web Monitoring\”

My Two Cents: I was absolutely amazed as to how many great free monitoring tools I had not previously heard of. Sean did an amazing job presenting a massive amount of content in a short amount of time.

  • I was told to watch the video “Website is Down” to get an idea of what IT guys do during their work day
  • There is absolutely no privacy online…NONE, ZIP, NADA!
  • Most visitor behaviour assumptions can actually be measured
  • Monitoring 101: What did they do? Could they do it?  How did they do it?
  • Minefield of buzzwords out there
  • Key items to ask:
    • How did users get there?
    • Places and tasks: What are they doing? Where are they going?
    • Where did they leave? Why?
  • Install Clicky –>Spy software analytics
  • People do this: Consume, Click, Give Data, Navigate
  • Neat metric: Percent of people that scrolled to the bottom of the page (Visitor attention vs. absolute scrolling reach)
  • Install Clicktale & Crazyegg–>Real-time monitoring software examples, both track scrolling & fold.
  • Neat metric: Blank fields left by user (if you have forms)
  • Install Bitcurrent –>Replays user paths
  • Need to start using the amazing exit survey tool called 4Q
  • Install Monitorus
  • Start using Google Sets
  • Use SpyFu to find out what competitors are paying for various keywords
  • Start tracking my TinyURL’s in Google (great performance metric)
  • Use MyBlogLog to establish your identity
  • Various additional Social Media Monitoring Tools worth using:
  • Download the Facebook Socialistics app to analyze your social network
  • Use BackType to track comments
  • Those interested in being part of the analytics community should look at becoming moderators on the web analytics list
  • Platforms worth looking into: StatZen and WikiMonitor (?) to measure wiki metrics (Sean or anybody, I need a link here! Can’t find it using Google…may have written it down wrong).
  • Look into Trendrr
  • Use Compete to look at competitor traffic

How social media can be used to demystify public service institutions to encourage civic engagement - Jairus Pryor (Bank of Canada) and Audra Williams (Parliament of Canada).

My Two Cents: Walked in late to this one as well so I didn’t catch everything. However, I was very happy to see someone else speaking on public sector social media usage, albeit more so the political side. I tend to have an issue with political examples here in Canada since I find that simply using the “tools” doesn’t mean squat if your belief system and political culture are not in tune with the basic principles of “web 2.0” (collaboration, transparency, 2-way engagement, etc…). Those of you wondering what I’m talking about haven’t worked with the Prime Minister’s Office.

  • Conservatives tend to use more social media “tools” than the Liberals
  • The Bank of Canada has a wiki, a fake blog, a Flickr account (for press to get pics from) and a Twitter account.
  • Advice: “Once you have managed to start using a tool and bypassed the red-tape successfully, figure out ways to use the tool in new ways”
  • Great quote: “What is today supported by precedents will hereafter become a precedent”.

Government 2.0A discussion on the expanding role of social media and government/citizen interaction, right here in Canada Mike Kujawski (That would be me!).”

My Two Cents: Great crowd, although I wish I had more time allotted than 30 minutes. I was just getting started! Here is the link to the video of the presentation. I have no notes for this one for obvious reasons.

Making Traditional Media a Little More Social – Using Twitter, wikis and live-blogging at the Globe and Mail – Mathew Ingram.

My Two Cents: Great to see the person behind the Globe & Mail’s social media initiatives.

  • Globe & Mail has created a real-time live-blogging widget (based on Cover it Live) that also captures Twitter & blogosphere discussion that is tagged appropriately.
  • Good quote in the newspaper world: ” The people formerly known as the audience”.

A Social Media State of the Union Discussion – Collin Douma.

My Two Cents: Always a great open great discussion when Collin is moderating.

  • There is still widespread debate as to the meaning of the word “podcasts” now that mainstream media is using it quite loosely.
  • It is important for us social media folk to look outside the fishbowl of our own community.
Jedi mind tricks & you – How to help your clients embrace the risks & opportunities of implementing social mediaMark Farmer.

My Two Cents: Solid presentation on overcoming barriers.

Taking Control of Success John Meadows, Steve Saylor, Keith Burtis and Katherine Matthews.

My two cents: Good open discussion on the various perspectives on “success” in the social media community. I mentioned the importance of setting objectives, which many “hobbyist” community members tend to forget…hence why they have a difficulty in measuring performance and defining “success” , which in my opinion is completely relative and dependant on your own personal objectives.

  • Great quote “If you’re interested, you’ll be interesting”
  • I should try out Batchbook

Lunch & Learn on the latest in mobile social media marketing Robin Browne.

My Two Cents: Extremely glad that Robin took the initiative to create this impromptu session after noticing the severe gap in Podcamp content this year: no sessions on mobile! Given that 99% of the Podcamp audience was busy clicking away at their mobile devices throughout the entire two days, this should have been a no-brainer. Needless to say, everyone had something to say on this topic. Listen to the discussion here.
  • Download SkyHook –>more accurate locator than standard GPS
  • Need to look at
  • Great non-profit mobile initiatives going on in Africa where the mobile penetration rate in most countries is often higher than in Western countries.
  • A great discussion on mobicodes and the future of e-commerce
  • Toronto mobile community has organized regular Mobile Monday get-togethers.
  • Fascinated with the work Glenn McKnight is doing in Kenya with scaled-down, mobile, android-based computers. Glenn, we need to get in touch!
Well, that about sums up the sessions I attended. The other side of PodCamp is of course all of the off-the-record hallway discussions, for which I am even more thankful for. Those of you that missed this one completely, or are still on the fence as to whether attending a podcamp would be worth your while, be sure to have a look at the Podcamp Toronto 2009 Media Archive ,where you can find videos and decks from most of the sessions. I hope this brain dump will be of some use to you!  I’m off to Vancouver bright and early…
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  1. MIke,
    I’m glad you learned something from our panel discussion about blogger outreach.

    Some bloggers get hung up on stats; others don’t. Many hobbyist bloggers do care about stats but not in the same way many agencies do because agencies have to be accountable to their clients. I believe it’s shortsighted to discount the other types of reach a blog may have because often conversations extend beyond the blog, for instance to the offline world and social networks.

    Here’s a link to the Sysomos site we were referring to during the session:


  2. Hey Mike,

    I’m bummed out that we didn’t get a chance to say hello when I was at PodCamp. I needed four more days to say hello to everyone. 🙂 Glad you got some great insights from the weekend, and really appreciate your using (and mentioning) Radian6! Next time, let’s be sure and try and say hello.

    Amber Naslund
    Director of Community | Radian6

  3. Hi Mike, thanks for mentioning Sysomos. If you’d be interested in seeing the system in action, let me know. We’d love to show you what we’re doing!
    Steve Dodd
    Director – Business Development / Sysomos

  4. Great recap!

    Thanks for sharing your notes/impressions. I will definitely be visiting and revisiting this post – it’s a great link repertoire.

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