#pcto2011 LIVE! Saturday Sessions



Trying my hand at liveblogging from Podcamp Toronto 2011 today. Don’t expect Engadget-at-an-Apple Event-like speeds (I don’t have that much gear) but let’s give it a shot, k? Enjoy!


8:14 am – Getting ready for Podcamp

  • Well as you all know it’s the first day of Podcamp and I’m uber pumped to go but I haven’t been organized enough to pick any of my sessions yet (oops)! Perhaps it’s time I sorted that out. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • As an aside – thanks to all who are asking if I’m holding a session this weekend. No, I am not but am extremely flattered everyone thought so. Next year, ok? ๐Ÿ™‚

10:30-11:15 am – How To Build a Product in 99 days (Satish Kanwar, Andrew Peek)

  • Prep Work- Add contraints, follow lean startup methodology
  • Creating a team – Round out the team, use an advisory board, have a support group (support group great to share learnings)
  • Motivations – Set expectations, Interests > Skills, understand how to define a win
  • Define the problem – What’s the opportunity, who has this problem, what is my business model?
  • Plan an approach – Make more decisions more often
  • Familiarity vs adaptation – Project planning does not equal project reacting! Frequency of communication is paramount
  • Execute (x5) – Develop in what you need to know best
  • Find the minimum – Add operations in the right order, callout each individual assumption
  • Acknowledge mistakes – Make mistakes early and often so you don’t need to unravel 12 steps back but only 1 step back. Learn from mistakes
  • Launch – “Launch. Send tweets. You know shit is broken but you still have the scotch” ~ Satish
  • Get back to work – Talk about the product, leverage the momentum to talk to customers and fix little thing

My biggest takeaway – Don’t take too long to launch and wait until it’s perfect because you will suddenly become irrelevant. (See Satish’s comment about Launch above).

** You can find Satish and Andrew’s entire presentation on Slideshare! **

11:30-12:15 am – The Importance of Core Messaging (Mark Evans)

  • What is core messaging? It is the foundation that gives you focus around all your core mediums. Core messaging is evolutionary – demand changes, your business changes thus so should your core messaging.
  • How do you come up with a core message? Who are you? What do you offer? What are the features/benefits? What problem do you solve? What are your competitors doing and how are you different?
  • Biggest challenge of core messaging – You’re so married to what you do that you don’t evolve your core message. Be open to new ideas. Core messaging evolves and your business evolves.
  • Don’t do these things: Talk about you, focus on features (features don’t make you better – doesn’t do a great job of telling customers what you do and why they should care), and don’t tell them everything on the first date.
  • Boilerplate – 1. Add your value proposition. 2. What are the features/benefits? 3. Keep it short (people scan, they don’t read)
  • The “Mom” test – When you come up with your core messaging tell you mom and if she can repeat it back to you and gets it then you’ve done your job.
  • Ask your customers –Ask your customers and they will tell you what your core messaging is. Don’t be afraid to ask them! There may be a big gap between what you think your core messaging is and what they tell you it is. Figure out what’s important to your customers!
  • Who’s doing core messaging well? Netflix (online videos). Freshbooks (online invoicing). Mint (manage your personal finances).

My biggest takeaway – Core messaging is the blank slate that you build your entire strategy on. Take time to get it right and keep evolving it as your business changes. (See Mark’s comment about the biggest challenge of core messaging above).

** You can find Mark’s entire Podcamp presentation on Slideshare! **


1:45-2:30 pm – Community management or complaints department (Keith McArthur and Mary Pretotto from Rogers, Kerri from Kobo, Mark Nicolson from ING Direct, Kerri Birtch from RIM)

This one was an open panel discussion so I’m going to try to capture the gleans of insight that I found interesting.

Introductory comments

  • Great take on this: A complaints department traditionally is a one way communication – you enter in your complaint and it’s over but where you have the benefit within social media is using it to engage with people and create a two-way dialogue.

How do you strike a balance between being a customer advocate and being a company advocate?

  • Some groups actually craft the message which empower them to balance the two views while they’re crafting the messages. Others are air traffic controllers between the people asking the questions and the people with the answers.
  • At the end of the day it sounds like all groups don’t discourage people to say what they need to say to them. Open discussion.

On dealing with trolls

  • Panel sounds like they agree that often your community becomes your advocate and helps you drive trolls away.

Are your teams empowered to do things yourselves or is your team the conduits that bring people to those that can do things?

  • Sounds like half and half – some people have access to do changes themselves but other teams are conduits that bring people to those that can those types of changes (think account changes, etc.)

Future of community management?

  • Community management will become more experiential. Example: you’re half done assembling your IKEA Billy Bookcase but you’re missing a part. You scan a QR code and it will take you to someone. A professional listener.

My biggest takeaway – A complaints department is a box in Wal-mart, one-way conversation. Community management is a two-way conversation that gives you the opportunity to engage with people, help them.

2:45-3:30 pm – Naked Dating (Jeremy Wright, Melissa Smich)

  • Part of the problem of traditional dating sites is you’re looking for something really, really cute and you actually look like *insert Borat in bathing suit here*
  • Old school dating – you meet someone, you go out and you don’t know if you have any commonalities at all. Doesn’t always work out so well.
  • Online dating – you’re trying to make yourself look the best so it’s not always honest.
  • Dating on social media – how you talk on Facebook/Twitter, where you go on Foursquare it’s your life and how you act. When you meet starting things from here, it feels like you already know each other.

How do you meeting someone on Twitter and go to dating them?

  1. Follow & Tweet
  2. DM
  3. Move into other networks (Facebook)
  4. Coffee/Date
  5. Follow up DM
  6. Thank you Twitter!!
  7. Married!

How do you deal with exes on Facebook?

  • Jeremy: Hide them – they’re still on there but I can’t see them.
  • Melissa: Delete, delete, DELETE!

How do you know it’s a date?

  • Jeremy: Guys…grow a fucking pair. Grow a pair, be a man and ask her on a date. That way if she’s not interested in a date you know it’s not a date.

When do you Facebook friend a cute avatar?

  • Melissa: I think the difference between Twitter and Facebook – Twitter is open and you can talk to anyone you want, Facebook is private. I like to add to Facebook after the DM’s.
  • Jeremy: I will go to Facebook and see if a girl is actually as cute as her Twitter picture.

Do you Google on the first date?

  • Melissa: YES! Google someone before you go on a date. You want to know what they do, if they’re a serial killer.
  • Jeremy: I don’t Google on a first date.

When do you exchange phone numbers?

  • Melissa: I prefer not to do the phone number exchange until after we met but I’ve had people be too aggressive about getting my phone number and that creeps me out.
  • Jeremy: I tend to go phone numbers after a whole number of DM’s. We’ll do DM’s and then lots of WhatsApps.

My biggest takeaway Social media is changing the way we interact with each other and further blurring the rules on how we date. At the end of the day use common sense (exchange numbers when you’re comfortable), keep an open dialogue (ask if it’s a date if you’re not sure), and be yourself!

3:45-4:30 pm – What is the Price of Integrity (Danny Brown, Gini Dietrich, Eden Spodek)

Open discussion with a panel regarding blogging disclosure.

On blog disclosure:

  • From an agency perspective the lines are getting very blurred – they do paid placements and they’re doing editorial outreach. I feel the perspective from their side is that they want to work for people who disclose regardless if they are paid money or has any kind of relationship with that blogger to speak about a company.
    Example: Eden says she would not blog about a product/service whether she was paid or not. She also says to disclose that relationship (between blogger and company) to keep trust with her community.
  • In the US, if you don’t disclose you can be fined. So it doesn’t matter if it’s a free product/service or if you’re getting paid.
  • On your blog you really need a disclosure because you get new readers coming in all the time and make it clear that you either do or do not accept 1. paid cash/free products/service or 2. payment. Lots of free templates online.

So bloggers need to disclose this information but mainstream media doesn’t. What is the difference?

  • You look at newspapers, radio, TV and you know it’s an ad. We know it’s been paid for. But if I come to your blog as a new reader I don’t know anything about you and I don’t know what you’ve been paid by Sony with a free TV to talk about the new Sony TV’s coming to Canada.

How do you raise excitement on your blog but keep the integrity (i.e. getting a free Tassimo, didn’t like it, but have free ones to give away on your blog as an example)

  • There are ways you can do it – i.e. say it wasn’t for you but you have two to giveaway and pick the two best comments.
  • Just because you are asked to do something, you don’t have to. If it doesn’t resonate with your readers, you really don’t have to!
  • And if you think PR companies won’t come back, they will. It depends how you say no. You can say “No this doesn’t fit with my blog/audience but if you have something coming up like *insert here* then please approach me again.”

My biggest takeaway – Care of Eden Spodek “Trust is the currency” when talking about disclosure on blogs. You create a relationship with your readers and by being transparent you keep that trust.

4:45-5:15 pm – Social Media Trends for Business (Dave Fleet)

Silo busting

  • Integrate social media with other forms of communication for best results
  • Social support activities will blend into traditional channels

Maturation of social media

  • Influence matures – thought leadership and experts take precedence. Think relevance vs reach of people.
  • Businesses realize that social integration to existing web sites doesn’t only help them become relevant – users will expect it.
  • Hire for experience and train for success.

** This is where the battery on my laptop dies and I write this on my iPhone**

Rise of the “less shiny object”

  • Plan for a crisis and drill yourself/your team on the plan so you’re all prepared.
  • The beauty/issue of the Internet is anyone can create content so go after niches and post content that add value/encourage collaboration.
  • Optimize activities by researching what topics ppl are searching and creating long-term content.
  • PR has always struggled with metrics but social media allows more opportunities to measure outcomes of activities not outputs.
  • Content creation and optimization becomes critical – what does your audience want? Plan your content but be flexible.

Communication accelerates

  • Listening is mandatory so formalize your monitoring and establish your escalation processes. Listen for talk outside your company but about your values, your industry, etc.
  • It’s not just about what you post and where but also when! You can figure out where the spike in visits is.

Ubiquitous social

  • Social is ubiquitous so plan to optimize your mediums…yes it really is everywhere!
  • Start to think outside what’s big – think Lo(cation)So(cial)Pho(to)Mo(bile). Combine the digital and real world.

** This is where Dave runs out of time but you can find his entire presentation on Slideshare! **

My biggest takeaway – That Dave is ridiculously smart. ๐Ÿ˜‰

No but really, I think that the one thing that struck with me was when we were talking about social media being part of everyone’s job Dave used this quote from someone:

Social media shouldn’t be 100% of 1 person’s job but 1% of 100 people’s jobs.

I couldn’t have said this better myself! Everyone in the organization has a role to play within social media The more people start working in that space, it will quickly become apparent that a silo’d approach isn’t optimal. Sharing information is key and will allow the organization to better understand where there are information gaps and how to better fill them. Although this seems like a very obvious conclusion, most organizations don’t take such an integrated approach. Customers/clients are literally telling you what they want you to talk about, what gaps you could be filling; if only someone was listening and really hearing their feedback. Relating this back to Satish and Andrew’s presentation above, each person has their own expertise and may react to the feedback differently…but that’s not a bad thing as it means more eyes on something, eliminating gaps that may stand in the way and allowing for a faster cycle of production. And now I’m rambling…Perhaps it’s time to call it a night. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hope you enjoyed my take on Saturday’s Podcamp! Hope to bring more updates from tomorrow’s sessions. If you have feedback for me, please send me an email (see email link on far right menu bar) or leave a comment. I love hearing from you!



13 Responses to “#pcto2011 LIVE! Saturday Sessions”

  1. thanks so much for this wonderful summary! I’m not able to be at #pcto2011 so this is brilliant!

    • Really happy you think so! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will give a recap next week when all the ideas have percolated a bit. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Hey there Aleksandra,

    Great overview – really captured the spirit of Podcamp and the sessions you attended (I heard great things about the Naked Dating one!).

    Thanks for sharing some of the highlights from our session – and say “Hello” next time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks again, and have a great second day if you’re going.

    • Danny thanks so much for the comment. As an avid reader of your blog this really means a lot to me!

      My apologies for not being able to pop by and chat however I was rushing to try to find a strategic seat near an AC outlet for the next session to be able to keep up the liveblogging.

      That said, hope we get a chance to chat soon. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Oh I hear you on that – I had to keep going to the Rogers recharge centre for my phone. ๐Ÿ™‚

        We’re over Toronto way next Friday and looking to have a semi-impromptu tweetup in the early evening if you’re around? ๐Ÿ™‚

        • oOoOo Keep me posted on that bad boy! ๐Ÿ™‚

          When you have the details, just shoot me a quick email (see right-hand side menu for “Email Me” button) or shoot me a tweet (@alisaan).

          Look forward to meeting you!

  3. Thanks for typing this all up Ali! Especially appreciative of both Satish/Andrew and Dave’s talks being up here, as I missed both.

    Good seeing you yesterday and hope today is just as fun!

    • Aww you’re very welcome Emma! I had a great time doing it too – just so glad people appreciate it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thanks for the kind words, Aleks! (*blushing*).

    You’ve managed to capture my presentation really well in just a few lines… makes me wonder why it took 30 minutes to get through it!

    Oh, and watch out for that Danny Brown guy… he’s trouble… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s that British accent of yours, mate – you need to say everything 2-3 times to be understood… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Danny – and the ginger hair…it’s like the sun. I know I shouldn’t stare but I can’t quite keep my eyes off it.

        It burns! It burns!!! ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Let me tell you it was not an easy task because:
      1. You had a lot of great info
      2. My laptop died and I had to type the rest of my notes using HTML codes on my iPhone!

      Great presentation – I’m stalking you on Slideshare now.
      *wipes hands as if job well done*

  1. 1 #pcto2011 LIVE! Sunday Sessions « Famous Last Words

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