It’s Sunday morning after PubCon week in Las Vegas (Nov. 8-11, 2010). I couldn’t sleep the night after the show was over, my mind was just racing with new ideas to implement at work. I have been in the web industry since the early 90’s. Primarily working on websites both as a designer and a programmer. I got active in Open Source in 2001 and had my first exposure to community driven software. I’ve always had an interest in but never really pursued the advertising/marketing side of the web. I knew I was supposed to design or code to certain specifications to help with ranking. I never really understood.
For the past couple years I have secretly been following aka stalking top names in SEO/SEM and online marketing. Reading every blog post I can get my eyeballs on, watching every video I’m aware of and absorbing all I can. It was a lonely existence as my ex-boyfriend thought all this internet marketing/social media was a waste of time. He’d scoff when I’d tell him something new and exciting in the industry. Facebook is a waste of time, twitter will die and there is no value in networking. So I sat at my computer or in the book store and read all I can to try and keep myself up-to-speed but couldn’t really talk to anyone else about my passion. I can regurgitate just about anything related to SEO/SEM and Social Media. Did I understand it? Only partially Did I feel it was a black art? Oh hell yeah.
Although there are tons of fantastic write ups about the sessions at PubCon (my first online marketing conference) there aren’t as many about the other aspects of attending an online marketing conference. PubCon has been growing and growing and if you are an SEO/SEM or handle PPC you MUST make this conference a requirement. PubCon 2010 had 3000 registrants! Up from 100 or so in 2002!! Shows you how much this industry is growing!
I’m writing this from a holistic view ( but I’ll add links in a separate post for the sessions so you can dig in a bit deeper for the specifics you want/need. If you are like me you want to absorb all you can and stay ahead of the game)
Knowing you are not alone
We all spend a lot of time on our computers and smart phones. In apps and browsers digging up information or communicating with friends, family and associates. For most of us our families and friends do not share the same interest and don’t get the terminology of the intent of this industry. When I left the show on Thursday I KNEW I had at least 2999 other people who believed in and made their living in this industry. I had made connections with the movers and shakers and my belief in this industry as a whole and it’s longevity was validated.
Dispel those horrible myths or untruths on the web
Although there are areas in this field that engender some argument or debate there are quite a few aspects that everyone can agree on. Sitting in a session and listening to one of my online SEO/SEM heroes repeat in person what they had written about in their blog somehow made any future blog posts that I will read much more valuable. Looking at someone in the eyeball and having them tell you something in person (that you read online) and knowing they are telling the truth is irreplaceable.
The Q&A sessions at the conference were the most valuable part of the whole show. There were multiple times when some other person in the audience asked the panel a question I was going to ask (back to the ‘not being alone’) and the answer cleared up what I was going to ask plus other aspects I didn’t even think about! Sitting at a table in the “lunch” room and listening in on conversations that provided new insight into the industry from various perspectives was a tremendous advantage.
The PubCon conference not only taught me more about the industry as a whole but it provided validation and a sense of community.
The biggest thing I took away from this event was to be proactive and not reactive in response to the uber speedy changes in the internet marketing space.
Coming soon! People to follow and the best sessions at PubCon