San Francisco

I spent the majority of this past week out in beautiful San Francisco, CA attending the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s (yes it exists) WOM Basic Training conference. At its most basic level, Word of Mouth Marketing is defined as giving people a reason to talk about your products and services, and making it easier for that conversation to take place.

Overall, I found the conference very eye opening and enlightening. There were some very compelling presentations and they far outnumbered the poor presentations (including the pathetic disappointing keynote from Robert Scoble). What I found most fun were the stories and examples of different people rallying around a specific cause or passion, including www.savesurge.org, www.snakesonablog.com, iPod Battery Replacement, and the Chevy Tahoe “make your own ad” fiasco.

I also met some great people, including the fine folks from Brains on Fire from down in Greenville, SC (thanks Spike, Robbin for dinner on Wednesday evening! It was fantastic!).

I could write for pages the things I learned and the background on the previously mentioned examples, but I think I’ll just add them sporadically to the blog as time goes on. It will make for some interesting and diverse reading.

I look forward to attending future conferences like this and I can only hope they are as informative and enlightening as this one!

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Spike Jones

Stephen,It was great meeting and hanging out with you as well! I’m glad you found the conference interesting and relevant and know you’ll be able to hatch some great ideas from the takeaways. If nothing else, it’s always great to connect with a kindred spirit.Sorry Robert, but he’s right. Love what you’ve done for the blogosphere. Love your book. Not too thrilled with your speaking.

Robert Scoble

Interesting, I had a line of people coming up saying we were the best keynote of the conference.Shows you can’t please everyone (something I already knew — when I planned conferences even our best keynotes, by ratings, got lots of complaints). But, I’d like to learn what made you think it was pathetic so I can improve next time.

Snakes on a Blog

I’m a walking example.

Stephen Clark

Robert, I was actually very much looking forward to the keynote after I heard you would be speaking, yet I found the end result disappointing (maybe should have used that word instead of pathetic…I did not intend my post to come off harsh and I do apologize if that’s the way it read). I found the speech disjointed and rambling, without focus or a cohesive message that the audience could grasp hold of. It sure appeared to me that little to no preperation went into it, and all you and your partner did was just get up there and start talking. I could not tell if the speech was to promote your book, or your recent successes.

If you and Shel are going to be speaking in support of your book, I’d consider spending a bit more time thinking about what are the key messages you want to communicate, researching the type of audience you’ll be speaking to, and then tailoring and focusing the message to the points and topics that will engage them.

As you said, I am sure some found the discussion interesting. But for this audience member, I thought there was a lot of room for improvement.