Interactive Austin – Breakouts 2 – Human Cloud, Conversion, Government & Social Media

thought-cloudThe second set of breakouts for Interactive Austin 2009 included:

The Human Cloud – A discussion of cloud computing, trends, and the human component that is driving the evolution of the ASP business model with panelists Ynema Mangum, Matt Cohen, whurley, and Sara Dornsife.

(Website Visitor) Conversion – A discussion about the “kinds” of conversion practices you should consider, how testing is done and why it will give you a significant advantage, which elements of your web site are actually blocking visitors from buying, and how to select content that converts visitors into revenue with panelists Brian Massey and Alissa Ruehl.

Interactive Government – A panel that explored and discussed ways that constituents can be better served when government officials utilize new and innovative channels of communication and information distribution which are available through the social web with panelists Michael Williams (Commissioner, Railroad Commission of Texas), Giovanni Galluci, Mike Chapman, and Rick Foote.

Social Media Marketing Workshop #1 – A discussion of essential elements and best practices that drive successful social media based marketing efforts,and  how to plan, measure, and track your results, with panelists Dave Evans, Connie Reece, Alan Weinkrantz and Amy Lemen.

I took a vote on Twitter and the Social Media Marketing Workshop won out, so I headed that way.

Dave Evans opened by taking about “Interruptive media” like television and radio, where you know that people are busy doing something else (hence the term “interruptive”)

Then you have other media avenues that are typed by those who are researching, like though google.  Those searches are like a digitally connected word of mouth.  You may have a purchase model, but take a look at post purchase (what happens next?) (community generated content/feedback about your products, service and customer experience that then becomes searchable).  There are a million channels for your customers to tell the world. 

First comes awareness (about your brand, product or service), then research (among consumer generated content – positive/negative), then the purchase.

We traditionally put together integrated campaigns that manage multiple channels.  Social media is another set of channels. 

(Taking a look at community generated content) When we see negatives, we can fix them internally.  When we see positives, we know not to change that in our company.

Social content & social platforms integrate within social interactions.

Blogs – They are your identity, your content.  A blog isn’t about what it does, but how it interacts.  It’s your long form content for search visibility and an anchor for Linkedin, Facebook & Twitter.  It’s a way for your entire presence to connect together.

Amy Lemen – Content is king, be relevant, write for the web, keep it simple.  If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say it (don’t make noise for the sake of making a sound) it dilutes your message.

Give value and relevance it will come back to you.  It’s a marketing strategy on your own.  Whatever you’re selling or promoting, it has to be valuable.  It’s what drives decisions and makes people go to your website.  Amy doesn’t blog – but until she has something to say, she’s not going to make a whiner blog.  She writes for mags & ghost writes.  

Compelling content is a reason to blog – you must be transparent.  People will figure it out if you’re not.

Clarity trumps persuasion.  

Editing by committee is a bad idea.  Decide who’s responsible for your copy and go with that.  Trust that they are going to make the right decision.  

Alan Weinkraz – 25 yrs PR, journalist, San Antonio Express News writer,  considers himself an amature content producer.  

PR Enforces credibility.  Social web is not a substitute for traditional PR, rather it complements and becomes part of a communications strategy. 

He uses the social web to bring awareness to himself and his clients.  Traditional media still matters.  

Create content that can be found, pitch your expertise, and be a source.  Make your pressroom social.   At, Adam started blogging about an AT & T product.  He sent story ideas to major news outlets and landed on Good Morning America. Think like a journalist.  Build content that is media friendly and don’t be afraid to pitch.

Amy said to create a visual image with your words and to be compelling.  Explain as much as you can, avoiding lingo and jargon.

Connie Reece mentioned eye tracking. When reading on the web, the eyes land in figure of an F.  Use shorter lines and bullet points.  Remember that people skim and that you only have a matter of seconds to capture their attention.

The question of Pitch Engine came up.  Alan said that free has a price, and it depends on what you’re objectives are.  Connie said that journalists are more likely to pick up from a traditional service.

Connie went on to say to be yourself and find your voice.  She mentioned that there are two different types of media submissions – social press and traditional press.  Social is designed for search engines and to be picked up on the web, traditional reaches more journalists.

When crafting releases, especially for the web, you may want to research keyword and get ideas for additional or complimentary phrasing.  Amy suggested using and

3 responses to “Interactive Austin – Breakouts 2 – Human Cloud, Conversion, Government & Social Media”

  1. Interactive Austin Keynote Videos | The Pragmatic Contextualist

    […] Neer, for each Dion Hinchcliffe, Sam Lawrence and whurley. (Additional coverage of the first and second breakout sessions can be found on Ricci’s blog as […]

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    […] PubCon South, Dave Evans spoke about “interruptive media” (blog post) When you are watching television, a commercial comes on that interrupts what you were intended to […]

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    […] One of my favorite internet tools is Google Insights, a Google keyword tool that Amy Lemen recommended using at PubCon South 2009 (blog post). […]

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