I still want to write. Sheesh… 4th post on a single day. I thought I'd recap some useless thoughts I had during the day.
- Live blogging is actually a very good way to pay attention to what someone is saying.
- A ThinkPad is a live blogger's best friend. The extended battery provided 6+ hours worth of on time. While doing so I witnessed several other notebooks die. The other thing is: how can people live without a trackpoint!?
- I NEED to start a spanish blog. I have the domain, and I have the ideas for content. Thanks to today I also have a strange idea for the template. All I need is time to put it all together.
- This sort of thing can be quite inspiring. Quite surprisingly inspiration can be triggered by all sorts of random comments. I guess the exposure to interesting content for extended periods of time does that to people.
- I will never ever organize an event in my life. Mariano, thanks for this.
- I need to pay more attention to the Spanish blog scene. iGoogle Tab being created.
That is all… I promise not to post again until tomorrow.
Lunch Break is over. My only concer so far is that this is running a Little late. The afternoon themes are more on my fields of expertise. This will all start with Analyitics & Metrics.
Juan Damia is the first speaker on the subject. Starting a little too simplistic from my point of view, but since this is a blogger conference more than an analytics summit I guess that is the right thing to do. ABC on how to tag pages. Mainly focused on how Google analytics is implemented. As a matter of fact, too focused on how to implement google analytics for my taste, but, once again, I guess that is right for most people who can't afford to pay for a metrics vendor. The notable thing I didn't know is that GA shows estimations much of the time and not really analyzed data. That explains quite a bit some of the odd behaviors I witnessed on the reports when I still cared for this blog's traffic (too busy caring for other sites traffic, conversions, SEM, etc to obsess with my own blog's analytics)
Aviansh gets mentioned, as well as his book.
Getting into "what can we learn from our users using analytics tools"
Micro$oft Gatineau will be launched soon, will use MSN or Live! Information to populate data into the tool to get demographic information (creepy!)
Juan Pablo Lantrevi is going to talk on long tail blogging. He starts asking the most obvious, yet less asked question, "why?" Why have a site, a blog, or whatever. Juan recommends reading the long Tail. Blogs can take advantage from the long tail.
There is a lot of competition on blogs with highly popular themes, yet there is less competition on the less popular but much more eclectic "long tale" themes. Aim to blog on those subjects no one else is talking about but people search nonetheless. "Long search query strings make good long tail". He recommends using hittail.com. I need to look into that tool ASAP.
One can always re-optimize old content. Excellent talk by Juan Pablo.
Next: Corporate Blogging.
Sergio Hernandez moderates and makes an introduction.
Not too many companies blog. Brand blogs are not corporate blogs. Ad-blogs are not corporate blogs. Not all companies can take advantage of corporate blogs. Examples: those companies that have something to hide, those that have a conflictive relation with its customers (Note: maybe they can start fixing their relation by suing a blog?)
Intel also held a blog contest. That yielded a 3x boost on visits for Intel pages in the region.
"Blogs can't be thought as a traditional way of advertising". Employees that blog for a company need to be committed. The "Social media coordinator" figure is gaining importance, helping to answer comments, and keeping the community committed.
"We believe in blogs" "We want to advertize on blogs" "Why not invest in them as if they were traditional media".
Next speaker is Leo Piccioli Officenet's General Manager. Officenet sales office products and they were bought by Staples.
His YouTube video talking on why work at officenet had 25.000 views, which boosted their decision to get 2.0ish… "If we're so good, why not letting everyone know".
They have developed a Wiki (400 pages) and a FAQ with over 10'000 questions about their products (online and RSS enabled).
Why they blog: Communicate & tell, listen and receive and transparency. "A blog is the place where lawyers are not in the workflow": now that is a definition I love.
Critique against blogging:
- Waste of time, Leo says it is part of his job and makes it part of his job description.
- You are going to attract bad comments. He only deletes those that are "harmful"
- People will find out about our secrets. He couldn't find any secrets that were at risk by blogging. One of the comments he received was "I hate not to understand why you publish negative reviews about your own company". He does it to add value and weight to his posts and writing.
Next steps they will take: how to talk to those used to new technologies as well as with those from previous generations. They want to coordinate their activities. They don't want to do advertising, they want to interact with the blogosphere on more interesting way.
Very interesting talk. Highlight #2 on the day.
Section on Usability and Design. This shall be interesting.
Walter Kobailansky, is talking about people arriving to the sites and landing on pages different than the home. The Mac used to present is having issues. Get a ThinkPad! .
Contrast not only comes in colours, but also on sizes. Luckily for Lenovo, Natalia Berriolo understands this. Not only the design is important but the way the information is made present.
They are showing subtraction.com the guy who redesigned the New York time's site. Another example: veerle.duoh.com. Columns on the left make life harder to readers who come to your site. theshapeofdays.com is used as another example, in this case of a good and readable font size. The design gives identity, blogs are personal (note from self: even if a blog is corporate, it still needs to be personal and have a strong identity).
A good aim is how to try and integrate everything into the blog. Flickr, facebook, all should (or could) have a place in one's blog. (Note: are blogs our own personal presentation card? Are they our personal aggregator?)
Massive footers are a good idea to give a "price" to the readers that make the effort to scroll (and hopefully read) all the way down the page.
Next talk is on monetizing a blog. Not particularly interested in this from a personal perspective, but it might be valuable from a business side.
Different ways to make money… given you have a number of visits and impressions that is high enough to do so.
The more interesting part of the talk is AdSense. Ismael Briasco suggests to show adds only to new visitors. This is something I've already heard around.
The guy in charge of the largest affiliate program in LA, Daniel Nader is next speaker. How they make the program grow: Community building, tool development, trust and collaboration and timely payments. How to create added value with ads. Daniel says it is possible. I still need to think how is it that adds can be something more than a (sometimes) relevant obnoxiousness.
Matt is providing some background on how the first WordCamp got organized; surprise, surprise more than 200 people showed up on occasion. WordCamps also held in China, and Philippines, now the turn comes to Argentina.
"I'm here to talk about the advantages of using TypePad". Spanish is the second language behind English. 1.700.000 Mill monthly visits on Spanish WordPress.com blogs already.
Release cycle is aimed to have a major release every 4 months. 2.3 is latest release. Added tagging and update system. This is a really cool feature for all of us who sustain a couple of blogs (note to self: I need to upgrate…).
There are over a thousand plugins on the plugin directory. 50+ added every week.
"People are doing things that are not at all a blog with wordpress". He also predicted what has just made a headline on Tech Crunch: Google Open Social is due to launch on Thursday.
"Backpress" is going to be a universal backend for social sites, allowing users to do more things than "just blog".
GPL-type license is an enabler to allow things to scale and grow. Matt calls it the "dot org boom". "The real opportunity for open source is going to be outside the US". The license is the common base.
WordPress 2.4 has a complete re-work for the backend.
Leo Preito is the next speaker up.
Leo talks about how he got introduced into the web world, how he created an agency and how he resigned to that when it became a "sausage factory". He created FayerWayer because there were no good Tech sites in Spanish.
Leo is taking about Tomás Poolak, his guru for WordPress. This guy developed an aggregator for WordPress blogs, with different access levels.
The 2 reasons they had for switching from MovableType to WordPress were: speed and open source. WordPress allows customizations far beyond what proprietary software would ever be able to release. The bonus reason for the change of platform is Akismet
FayerWayer was created over a weekend, and it just boomed. Fayer Wayer has different plugins, amongst them, paged comments.
Every time he goes to a new company they go with the tale of "the world has changed" and the odd thing is that technology companies have no clue whatsoever.
They've put up the "frente de liberación digital", as a response to the Chilean government closing a deal with M$ to centralize all computer operations on the country. After putting up some social media applications people organized themselves in less than 10 days and presented a case in court to prevent the deal.
When FayerWayer was hacked they lost a full week worth of posts and comments. It was the users who sent their records, screenshots and data to rebuild what they lost. The bottom Line is community works.
The next speakers will talk on Blogging and Journalism
Vanina Berghella is the first to speak. Opening up to the public and the public claiming to have their own voice. "Can journalism happen on blogs?" Of course the answer is yes. My personal take is that you should ask any major newspaper on the world and let them answer you how threatened they feel about all this web 2.0 jumbayala. She predicts the end of traditional press. Really? C'mon!
Now it's the turn for the second speaker, Gastón Roitberg, with a more radical and accurate point of view, IMHO. There's a lack for a blogging policy in mass media in Argentina. I guess that is a common thing elsewhere.
For mass media Bloggers are no longer "weirdos", but people worth listening to.
He does not feel blogs are a threat to "traditional" media. Mass media is using blogs as another tool in their arsenal. Although the writing style on those blogs isn't yet as relaxed as it is elsewhere in bloggistan.
He's working on training and masters for the journalists on La Nación to help them to close the technological gap between the journalists and the scary reality.
Audience question: when to refrain from publishing something in a blog. That is an excellent question. Not only for journalists, but also for all of us who are employed by corporations. My common sense tells me when no to talk about something, and I've only had to regret 1 unfortunate event in over a year in that regard.
Almost 3 hours in here already, and I still have more than 50% battery left. God save the extended battery.
We have just launched a new Lenovo blog, Lenovo Connections, this is personally relevant to me for a couple of reasons.
For starters it is the first new blog to launch after migrating to a different platform, which is held completely under our control. Another good reason to care about this particular one is that its main author will be a good friend of this blog: Mark Hopkins.
I also believe it marks one more step forward for Lenovo and its customers. Mark will be focusing more on the business side and not so much on the engineering or design, as our previous blogs did. The insights that will be provided there might very well interest a wide array of people, as we open another door into some of the things we do in the company.
Exciting times, and, dare I say, “the best is yet to come”. Stay tuned.
The new Canon S5 IS has proved to be the right choice so far. I haven't been presented with a lot of chances to take interesting or breathtaking photos since my arrival, yet I have done some testing and fooling around. Here are a couple of samples.
Of course the easiest subject around is Hermione, our cat. She gracefully poses for the camera, well, she couldn't care less about me taking pictures granted she can sleep her 22 hours / day:
This photo was taken with the colour accent feature included in the camera's programs. You pick a color, and a threshold level and it preserves that range, while leaving everything else in grayscale.
Then of course an old love of mine. Night pictures. In this case taken from my apartment's balcony.
Wide shoot on Vicente Lopez's Skyline
Here's another sample, 4:3 aspect ratio, 24x zoom in:
Finally, a long exposure take on an airplane passing over my house. 15 second long shutter speed yielded this as a result:
Hopefully I'll get some more chances to take some more pictures soon. If I go to Bariloche in the next month or so (as planned) that should provide an excellent opportunity to put some of nature's beauty into film (well, digital).
I’m attending WordCamp Argentina this Wednesday. It will be the first time a WordCamp is held in Buenos Aires, thus I couldn’t miss it.
Thanks to Mariano for making this idea come true. We’re not worthy!
I’ll probably be blogging from the event or after the event, giving some insights and thoughts (free wireless and coffee for all!).
In case that anyone who's attending wants to put a face to this blog, just look for the guy with a ThinkPad.
I must admit that Friday was not what I’d consider as “productive”. But I expected that. It is not easy to start doing anything when I knew I’d had to cut it off early.
So, the usual headed to the airport stuff. Got to the plane, and got sited in the middle spot of a 3 spots row, right beside a monolithic individual. I have never wanted an X-tablet as much as in that Flight. Have you ever tried typing on a computer with your own elbow forced against your ribs? Not nice. The design team behind the coach seats needs to review what they do!
Thus I mainly devoted the flight from Raleigh to Miami to read “The Ultimate Question” (thanks David) and sort my mail out, hoping I’d get to reply some on the next flight.
I had to run to catch the Miami – Buenos Aires Flight. I mean that literally; I flew from concourse C to concourse A through some zigzagging hallways (the place is being remodeled) with some sort of paranoia that the airport security was going to put a bullet in my back because of my suspicious attitude.
The fact that I’m writing this post from someplace 30.000 feet above Bolivia depicts two things; one: I made it safely to the plane and two: once again I can’t sleep in the aircraft. The cool thing is I get to see the flight attendants run like crazy as we hit some turbulence.
The overall balance has been, of course, positive. I needed some face time with my new team. It is not that I ever felt segregated in any way, quite on the contrary, but nothing can beat good old human interaction.
If I had to choose a single world to describe the week, that would be, without a doubt: “inspiring”. I didn’t do much during the past 5 days in the sense of actually acting hands-on something. But I did a great deal in terms of knowing what my general direction is, what I need to do and what needs to be achieved. Besides I now poses a rattling brain, thinking already on the next level and steps.
Final night at Raleigh. Most certainly there wont be a post tomorrow, since I'm heading back to Argentina.
Things turned out the good way in a couple of ocasions today, really excited of what the future seems to be looking like.
I've ate too much all week, and haven't done any exercise at all. I'll wrap up the way things have turned out on a post written from the comfort of my house this saturday, but I can already tell the balance is way on the positive side.
The air trip back shall prove to be a good chance to write up a couple of things I need to put into writing sooner rather than later.