Friday, June 15, 2012

MosoConf Day #1

Today was my first opportunity to attend a conference since leaving University. And I have to say, it has been quite a lot of fun, informative, and insightful.

Speaker 1: Duncan Stewart


Duncan is a "futurist" from Deloitte Canada who's role it is to predict what trends are going to happen. What differentiates them from people with lofty predictions of the future is their accuracy. All their predictions contain the following: What, Who, and When. What his company does aside, Duncan's talk was very entertaining and eye-opening at the same time.

What I took away:

  • Despite how popular mobile is, 92% of internet traffic in the US is on a personal computer.
  • > 90% of tablet traffic is on an iOS device.
  • And, whatever your mobile strategy is, it must adhere to lower-tier smartphones. That is, not forgetting that a large number of smartphone users out there do not use the "Crème de la crème" devices available and your stuff should work with their devices as well.


Speaker : Darren Hailes


Darren is a Social Media expert at WestJet. He gave us an informative talk about how his company uses Social Media to help their customers. He also presented us with some pretty sweet videos his company put together.

Key points I got:

  • Don’t be afraid of negative feedback, complaints are time for you/your organization to step up.
  • Know your product intimately and expose the unique things in an interesting way.
  • Converse with your followers, and don't be a robot while you do it.


The videos he showed us:



Speaker 3: Julien Smith


Julien's presentation was called "You do not exist", but I preferred my title for it (a line he said near the beginning) - "Leveling you shit up!". I say that because his talk (at least I felt) was about how to grow your business and the path's you can take to get there... in a round-about way. He showed us some videos of the crazy things people do when they become truly in-tuned with their bodies and moving in ways most people don't today simply because they developed the skills that many humans have forgotten.

What I took away:

  • Persistence Hunting: What do you need to do to get to the next level? What is the thing that we can develop to out-last our competition?
  • "Once you’ve found your niche, you play it to the hilt… and let it turn you into a weapon"
  • “Our prison is our own ideas” Things have become such a pattern that you no longer feel stimulus.
  • Act on the inevitable today and innovate before everyone else does


Speaker 4: Rob Swick


This session was all about SEO. Rob had a twist on the regular idea of SEO by mixing it with some core principles from Feng Shui. While Feng Shui has 8 fundamentals that it is based on, Rob's SEO "Bagua" has nine broken up into three categories (order of importance left -> right):
  • Structure - Organization, Coding, Links
  • Identity - History, Focus, Location
  • Content - Targeting, Content, Social Media


A few points I took away:

  • Content: Targeting - What does your target want? Think about how these people see it.
  • Context: Competition - Study the successful competition and break things down to a general term level. If they’re winning certain terms, find out why.
  • Content: Social Media - It's important… but only 5% important.


Speaker 5: M. Jackson Wilkinson


(Michael) Jackson gave us an interesting talk about how you need to keep things consistent between all platforms your business operates on. Colors don't necessarily need to be the same from platform to platform, but the general layout and functionality should.

What I took away:

  • Rinse, Borrow, Repeat. Take what you’ve done, extend it to other platforms, you don’t necessarily need to change things.
  • Choose your platforms wisely
  • Don’t Ever skimp on quality!


Speaker 6: Mark O’Sullivan


This talk wasn't originally on my docket of presentations to see but there were schedule changes and this is what I went with. Mark is the creator of Vanilla forums and had many a lesson to teach us about online communities and how to manage them.

What I took away:

  • 90 / 9 / 1 rule - 90% of people know about a community, 9% of people have accounts, 1% are active users.
  • Sinking - Forcibly closing/locking discussions cause mad outbursts from people. Instead of deleting or closing a thread it causes bad/trolled posts to slowly disappear. Sinking causes the discussion to die… and no one knows they’re discussion was programmatically dropped in rank.
  • If you have a community for your organization, link to it from your main navigation.
  • Don't Engage Trolls... Ever. Trolls will poison a community.


Speaker 7: Dave Carroll


I'm sure just about everyone knows who Dave Carroll is, if not by name but by reputation. Dave is the United Breaks Guitars guy. Being a simple musician, who got thrusted into the world of Social Media seemingly by accident, he gave us fun, music-filled, informative talk.

What I took away:

  • Is social media relevant to your business? You need to embrace it… You need to know what your consumers can do and say, and you need a way to defend against them.
  • Don't get caught in the “statistically insignificant” trap. With attitudes like these, your bound to lose customers (a 5% disgruntled customer rate can cause quite a stir online!)
  • Branding - Companies no longer controls their brand exclusively. The stories behind the story are just as interesting. You co-create your brand with your customers.


That finished off day 1. I'm looking forward to day 2 which starts right away.

See: MosoConf Day #2

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