mesh day 2 wrap up
mesh ‘06 is officially over and what a great time it was. The conference had it’s ups and downs, but it was by far the best I’ve been to in a long time. The relaxed format and discussions with the audience were perfect.
The final days focus on marketing was an interesting mix of ‘traditional’ and ‘rogue’, with a healthy dose of entreprenuers and old fashioned business sense thrown in. I have been a bit worried about the ‘bubblet’ aspects to 2.0, but it sounds like if we keep the channels of communication open and are willing to share ideas and missteps we can make an impact in the long run.
A few key take-aways from two of the final sessions (Building a brand online & Engaging the blogosphere):
- It’s still a conversation. Only now the customer isn’t mute. It’s a two-way one.
- If you are a corporation, sooner or later you’ll hit the blog radar. It’s up to you if you choose to engage as the conversation will take place with or without you.
- It’s no longer enough to have a ‘brand identity’ each of your products needs an identity as well. The message should be built into the design (i.e. the first 2 “i’s” – innovation and integration)
- It is all about the experience. But not in the traditional sense anymore. It’s not enough to throw up a flash piece that showcases your product: you need to make the product and the interaction come to life and be relevant and engaging.
- Corporate blogs, if done in an authentic voice, with sincerity and humility can be a huge brand builder. But the company has to be prepared to take its lumps if necessary… and participate in the ensuing conversation.
- New metrics systems are needed to track the power of the medium in all its facets. Click-throughs, immediate conversions and impressions won’t cut it anymore to judge the success or failure of a campaign. Tracking conversations started, trackbacks, comments, site traffic and referrals must start to be measured.
- The companies who will succeed in this new age will be the ones with a clear mission (ala Google, Apple, etc.) vs. the ones whose mission is to make The Street happy each quarter. Innovation will happen there first.
Lots of food for thought and great ideas flowed out of those panels. They really felt like conversations vs. lectures. The success of the “unconference conference”.
I do have a couple of suggestions for the next go round… one of the things I found a bit disappointing was the lack of leveraging the power of web 2.0 within the conference itself. Why not have the participants submit questions for the panels and enable a voting system to determine which ones get asked? I know the audience was just chomping at the bit to get involved, why not take it to the next level and involve them right from the beginning?
I also would have liked to see dedicated channels for each panel (i.e. the IRC in the final panel of the day). Unfortunately, the way it was implemented, with the board being open for regular chats, as well as the live blogging became too confusing to keep track of while the session was happening… there’s a place for free form and a place for info presented in a somewhat linear fashion ;)