The tumbleweeds were rolling at the Moscone Center yesterday afternoon as ad:tech ’08 came to a close. I always find it depressing when something that was once so full of life ends – I get really teary at the end of movies when there’s a flashback scene to the way things once were.
But anyway, here are some things about ad:tech that stuck with me, on both a professional and a personal level:
- Thursday afternoon’s Widgets and Gadgets panel was packed! Seems like everyone is interested in incorporated widgets into their marketing mix somehow. But how? What's the best way? No one really knows. All of the panel members had a different definition for what makes a widget successful – from active users to downloads to buzz generation. But everyone agrees that, when done right, widgets can vastly expand and monetize your reach.
- But that’s not what everyone will be talking about after ad:tech ’08. What will be on everyone’s mind are NBC CDO George Kliavkoff’s comments on iTunes and piracy. I put a short post up on this a few days ago, but check out Sean Howard’s comments over at Craphammer for some great detailed insight.
- The parties weren’t as awesome as everyone hyped them up to be. At least on Tuesday and Thursday. Apparently I missed all the crazy Wednesday night action.
- This industry really needs some estrogen and some color. Pronto. On average, there were 0 - 1 females (who could barely get a word in edgewise), 0 - .5 people of color (including ONE sole African-American man), and 0 - 0 African-American women (i.e not a single one) sitting on each panel. This became exceptionally apparent to Katie Chatfield of GetShouty and I during Internet Superstar’s closing keynote. There are quite a few female internet superstars out there, but not one was interviewed during this live broadcast. The interview couch resembled a frat house basement. Lots of talk of bad alcohol, French maids, ninjas… you know, normal guy stuff. Which is always funny... kinda.
- But I did get a kick out of Kevin Rose, co-founder of Digg.com and creator of Diggnation. He talks faster than a tween on Red Bull and is richer than everyone I know (combined), but he still has a certain... je ne sais quoi about him. Let's call it charm. And he didn’t snuff me at the afterparty when I went over to chat, which is more than I can say about other Internet... celebs, if you will. In my opinion, you can always tell a lot about someone's true character based on how they treat those outside of their close circle. And based on their smile in a photo :) Kevin's seems pretty genuine.
- The best parts of the conference, by far, were the enthusiastic high-level conversations, deep discussions and general nights of merriment with my fellow bloggers and friends. Oh, the beauty of the face-to-face! Look for more perspectives on ad:tech ‘08 from bloggers Sean Howard, Katie Chatfield, Cam Beck and Paul McEnany.