Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

18
Feb

Memoir of the West Coast


While listening to Pandora tonight, a song came across the “Postal Service” channel, of which I was tuned into. The song was “West Coast,” by Coconut Records, and it reminded me immediately of a very specific trip to the west coast back in 2009…

Portland, Oregon

Two years ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Internet Strategy Forum in Portland, OR. This of course, was not my only trip to the west coast, but it was the most memorable.

My life has been blessed with memorable chance run-ins with noteworthy and eclectic individuals alike. This particular trip, I attended a Social Media Club Meetup which featured Jeremiah Owyang, who was at the time, still the Senior Social Media Analyst at Forrester. And yet, Jeremiah wasn’t the most memorable part of this trip. Don’t get me wrong, it was an excellent presentation, as was the Internet Strategy Forum that week.

However, as I look back to this specific trip, one experience stands out above everything else. A friendship by chance, that has lasted ever since that fateful trip.

I met Mike Phillips, a young professional like myself, at the Portland Social Media Club meeting. We quickly sparked ideas and conversation at the table we were sitting at. It was at this same event where I was introduced to another part of Portland I love to this day, Widmer Beer. #FTW! :)

At the conclusion of the event, we found ourselves with no agenda and no obligations for the rest of the afternoon, so Mike invited me to join him across the river on his side of town. None of my colleagues wanted to come to Portland with me, and since I avoid being alone on trips as much as possible, so I said “Why not? Lets go!”

This simple little chance decision, turned what would’ve been a typical conference, into an experience I cherish to this day.

We hopped on a bus that took us through downtown and across the river, and dropped us off near his apartment. We walked a few blocks through his neighborhood, and I couldn’t help but notice how much cleaner the air and everything else was, as compared to Raleigh, NC.

In fact, Portland is one of the cleanest and most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. There’s a natural feeling of peace, relaxation and beauty that envelops everything and everyone in that town.

After a quick tour of his apartment, we took some time to simply sit and relax on his front steps — enjoying some refreshing beers, of course!

Those of you that know me personally, know that it takes a lot for me to be able to slow down enough to simply relax.

However, the vibe of the people and the places I had seen so far, put me at ease. Humorously, sitting there on Mike’s front steps with his neighbors, reminded me of a scene from GoodWill Hunting. . . it was nice.

The next day started the Internet Strategy Forum, which I LIVE tweeted from, and even managed to fill an entire notebook full of notes which I still reference content from to this day.

But yet again, it was after the conference that I reminisce about often. Once again, I found myself with no agenda and no obligations. Seeking to avoid a night filled with mundane wandering around town, and a potential dinner alone, I opted to take a chance and call up Mike to see if he was doing anything; he wasn’t, and invited me over.

A quick bus trip later, I was right back in his neighborhood as we walked down the street to his favorite local pubs (literally just a block or two down the street). We talked a little shop, but mostly just had several good conversations, chased down with refreshing adult beverages which only Portland, OR and her numerous micro-breweries could offer.

At some point during our “pub tour,” I was introduced the the other memorable “character” of this trip, Alisa Starr, a young entrepreneur and founder of Snarky Cards — which specializes in custom hand-made greeting cards with a special “snarky” and often adult-humor oriented twist.


Alisa best best describes her brand and products in her Etsy Store as:

“Over the years I’ve noticed that other people don’t have the gift I do for saying exactly what is happening… So I decided to enable you, the coolest people of the world. So that your interactions [are] as clear and true and hilarious and uncomfortable as mine often are. And you won’t be trapped in a situation you don’t like because you can’t say how you feel.

Now that all I do is sell brutally honest greeting cards, people expect me to tell the truth. I don’t get in trouble anymore. People who spend time with me know what they’re getting themselves into. And they dig it.

I hope my cards help you dump someone not cool enough for you, or confess to pet murder or establish your boyfriends true sexual preference.

And if they don’t help you do any of those lofty things, I hope they crack you the f*** up.”

– Alisa Starr

I remember Alisa as being a vivacious and extremely energetic young woman with an paralleled sense of humor — you’d have to in order to create the cards that she specializes in.

It was around this point in the evening that Mike started talking about his band, the Fenbi International Superstars, which I can only describe as the producers of some the greatest Irish drinking songs of my young generation. They describe themselves on their Facebook fan page as “world Irish gypsy pop punk rock music.” I love their music, and I highly recommend checking it out sometime (buy their music on iTunes!).

We spent much of the night just hanging out, but as with all things in life, there’s always an end to every story. The night eventually wound down for me, as I had business to attend to the next day.

While this story doesn’t seem like an exciting adventure, I assure you that it was to me. The laughs, the sights and the friendships that came out of these two days, I still cherish even now.

I was a stranger, in a city where no one knew who I was. Mike and his friends accepted me as if we’d all known each other for years. We shared stories and laughs as if it was just another night at the “old pub.” I cherish this amazing experience, and the memories I still carry from it.

I still keep up with Mike Phillips and his infamous band. I look forward to finding my way back to the west coast again soon, and hopefully to once again share a drink with my friends in Portland, OR.


Special Thanks to Mike Phillips and Alisa Starr. You guys ROCK! :)


30
Jul

Internet Strategy Forum 2009

Internet Strategy Forum Summit West
Portland, OR ~ July 23-24th

Executive keynote presenters from Forrester Research, Hewlett-Packard, Intuit, Xerox, Intel, Welchman Pierpoint, Portland Trail Blazers and more; sharing their insights and ideas about Internet strategy — How to best leverage the Internet & integrate it into business strategy.

Having attended this conference last year, I had huge expectations for the 6th Annual Conference, and to my delight, all my expectations were once again satisfied in excess.

Featuring highly respected speakers from some of the world’s most established brands, the Internet Strategy Forum has once again provided a highly detailed and thorough conference which allowed these business giants to share their unique insights into how their organizations have been able to leverage the power of the internet, and to develop their brands and following while decreasing overall marketing expenses through Social Media strategies.

The Featured Speakers & Keynotes Included:

  • Jeremiah Owyang
    Sr. Analyst, Forrester Research
  • Katherine Durham
    VP of Marketing (Imaging & Printing Division), Hewlett-Packard
  • Johan Jervoe
    VP of Creative & Digital Marketing, Intel Corporation
  • Sheila Tolle
    VP of Marketing Small Business, Intuit
  • Duane Schulz
    VP of Interactive Marketing Xerox
  • Lisa Welchman
    Founding Partner, Welchman Pierpoint
  • Chris Dill
    Chief Information Officer, Portland Trail Blazers

As was the case last year, and which I hope to continue in years to come, I posted many of the key points to my Twitter Stream (@CommunityMGR), and the following are the key points which were included in my stream…

  • Amazingly, my @BrightKite posts from #ISF 2008 are still on PG #1 of the Portland Governor Hotel: http://su.pr/30bHmM#ISF09

  • Katherine Durham, VP of Marketing, Hewlett Packard. 50% of Top10 sites are Social Media related. #ISF09

  • Mobility Trend: 85% of Consumers have Mobile Access. Video Trend: 77% of Americans watched a video last month… #HP #ISF09

  • Review Trend: Instant Credibility via peer reviews. Negative Reviews can actually convert at higher rates due to ALT Peer POV. #HP #ISF09

  • RT @caseorganic People spend 14 hrs/wk or 40% of time online, whereas advertisers are spending 5% of budget online. @KatherineDurham #ISF09

  • HP Success Factors: Maximize Online In-Store Integration, Integrate Social Media, Commit, & Experiment. #HP #ISF09

  • HP Consumer Data: 96% of Consumers Research Online, but 79% of those Consumers still purchase In-Store! #HP #ISF09

  • Social Networking at HP: Listening is good! Talking is good! Collaboration, Sharing, Developing FRIENDS: Trust, Context, Ideas. #HP #ISF09

  • Social Networking: Make it easy…Give to your friends…Tell a story…Share the spotlight…Be a good friend! @KatherineDurham #HP #ISF09

  • Neg. Reviews can drive conversions because what doesn’t work for one consumer, may be PERFECT for another consumer. #HP #ISF09

  • Measurement: Targeted Auduence, Blog Mentions, Tweets, Social Bkmrks? Est baselines and rank. What’s the current tone? Be innovative! #ISF09

  • PPL have always talked about your products, but now what they say is permanent and worldwide. Power shift from Company to Individual. #ISF09

  • CEOs and Journalists are some of the LEAST trusted. Only 30% Trust what Companies say, and are more inclined to trust peers. #Intuit #ISF09

  • New Norm: Voice of Individuals is unleashed. Cost of publishing is $0. Individuals about belonging, self-esteem, self-actualization. #ISF09

  • Fastest growing group on Social Networks (ie: Facebook) are over the age of 45! Social Equillibrium from young to older. #ISF09

  • The Traditional News Cycle is too slow. News outlets are picking up stories days to weeks behind emerging Social Media Channels. #ISF09

  • Channels like Twitter allow companies to help customers WHERE THEY ARE. Personalize with indiv photos, NOT logos as avatars. #Intuit #ISF09

  • “Crashing” other peoples Communities without engaging = FAIL. Choose the SM Communities which contain your audience and engage! #ISF09

  • Top 5 Challenges: Low Budget, Lack of Staff, Lack of Career Path Opportunities, Not High Enough Management Level, Competitive Salary. #ISF09

  • Businesses which fail to realize the importance, role, and potential of the Internets’ impact on business are subject to dying off. #ISF09

  • “Without STANDARDS, Wikipedia would look like most of your websites…” quote by Lisa Welchman ~ Ouch, and yet so true! LOL #ISF09

  • Ice Breaker: “Cursive is a dinosaur language. It’s all about DIGITAL today!” (ie: “idk”) #ISF09

  • Power continues to shift to communities over brands- ultimately resulting in institutions. @jowyang #ISF09
  • Technology Changes > Drives Consumer Behavior > Business Adoption… #ISF09

  • 5 Eras of Social Web: Relationships, Functionality, Colonization, Context, & Commerce #ISF09

  • Linkedin’s Application Framework: The Intranet has been outsourced to Social Networks. “Fishing where the Fish Are…” #ISF09

  • Trend of applications becoming more important than traditional websites. Corporate websites continue to fragment into Communities. #ISF09

  • The Era of Social Context: Social Contracts will emerge. Consumers will share info in exchange for improved experiences. #ISF09

  • Social Networks will become next-generation CRM Systems. Advertising Agencies could flip to representing the Community to Brands. #ISF09

  • SM Challenges to Consider: Privacy, Social Network Burn Out, Legal Issues, Noise from Ambient Intimacy, and Extremism. #ISF09

  • Era of Relationships: Join the conversation where it exists; Fish where the fish are! #ISF09

  • Era of Functionality: Shatter your corporate website; let it spread to the Community. #ISF09

  • Era of Colonization: Focus on advocates, and aggregate the conversation. #ISF09

  • Era of Context: Flexible Websites, and more content inventory. @jowyang #ISF09

  • GI Gen (84+) and Baby Boomers (44-63) are both Generations concerned with things GREATER than themselves… So what happened? #ISF09

  • 28% of the typical workday is interrupted by unwanted info. Most B2B Companies waste the bulk of their digital marketing investment. #ISF09

  • Chris Dill, CTO of the Portland Trail Blazers agrees… there are SERIOUS problems with the C-Level Execs not getting it [trends]. #ISF09

  • When Marketing and IT Departments don’t collaborate on initiatives, you ultimately set your business up for failure… #ISF09
27
Jul

Social Media Club Portland

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Social Media Club (Portland, OR) Summer Social which featured Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang), an analyst at Forrester Research.

I couldn’t help but see the humor in the fact that when Jeremiah arrived at the SMC Meetup which was held at @WebTrends, the crowd was energized like the scene from Intel’s creative commercial featuring Ajay Bhatt, the co-inventor of the USB.

This was a particularly interesting SMC event for me personally, because while we were gearing up to start @SocialMediaPDX (SMC Portland, OR), I was feverishly tweeting away in the #SMCTriangle SMC-RDU Tweetup in Raleigh, NC.

Nonetheless, once @SocialMediaPDX began, I was solely focused on our featured guest speaker, Jeremiah. The following are just a few of the key points (and tweets) that I took away from the Q&A Presentation…

  • SMC Portland’s Summer Social, feat. @JOwyang, and moderaterated by @UncleNate. #SMCPDX – Photo: http://bkite.com/09TJX

  • POST = People Objective Strategy Tools… Methodology to a successful Social Media Campaign. @jowyang #SMCPDX

  • “Should my small business be on Twitter or SM Channels?” – Is your target audience on the SM channels you’re planning on utilizing? #SMCPDX

  • Social Media doesn’t scale – 1:1 Relationships don’t scale! Focus on word of mouth; also encourage audience to support each other! #SMCPDX

  • “The biggest Social Network is EMAIL… fairly untapped resource…” by @jowyang #SMCPDX @iContact FTW!

  • Yahoo is typically a yr behind the “ball,” but their new platform integrates enough SM tools to be a potential “player.” @jowyang #SMCPDX

  • SM Trend for 2010: Social Pollinating and Aggregation… Integration of various trending SM tools into a centralized application. #SMCPDX

  • Most brands are just spewing content, but aren’t ENGAGING their clients. This is a MAJOR mistake. SM is a dialogue, NOT a monologue. #SMCPDX

  • CRMs are starting to integrate SM tools to log SM data about clients. Challenges: Mapping of Identity & Companies are NOT ready! #SMCPDX

  • In Asian cultures they only use their mobiles for calls 4% of the time! Mobiles are used more for SM, Data, and Community. #SMCPDX

  • As this Virtual Generation (“Digital Natives”) enter the workforce, Email becomes essential to Online Communications. @jowyang #SMCPDX