Conferences

Recap: Internet Summit 2018

It’s that time of year again! The Internet Summit in Raleigh just wrapped up and, as always, was a great experience. Seth Godin returned as the keynote speaker, and the biggest takeaways this year seemed to be the rise of video and voice technology.

Keynote

Godin’s keynote was largely a Q&A session, much like he did last year. For those who attend the event each year I was hoping for something a bit different, but Godin is always a joy to listen to. A large part of his message is that successful marketing requires ignoring the masses and focusing on a very specific audience.

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My Favorite Sessions

My favorite sessions were those that addressed workflow. The first was about alternative agile frameworks, presented by Andrew Fryrear of Agile Sherpas. Andrew discussed the core practices of Kanban and how hybrid forms of agile, such as Scrumban, can be beneficial to marketing teams.

The other session I enjoyed was presented by Juan Parra of Accelo. Juan discussed automating workflows to scale effectively and get more of your day back to do more of the work you love.

Other Takeaways

Recap: Internet Summit 2017

The Internet Summit is in Raleigh every November and, with it being in my backyard, I have attend four out of the last five events. 

Here's what I learned at #ISUM17.

Please don't stop the music

One of my favorite things about the Internet Summit is the music. In the past I remember there being a dedicated DJ for each ballroom throughout the course of the summit. This year, however, I wondered if they had cut back on the DJs and music. I didn't notice a DJ presence in between sessions, and I hadn't seen my favorite local DJ from the previous summits, DJ K Stones. Turns out she was there after all. Just – more music, please. Thank you and that is all.

Recap: WPCampus 2016

Last week I attended the inaugural WPCampus event in Sarasota, Florida, a Wordpress conference with a focus on higher education. The conference was hosted by the University of Florida, and the campus was absolutely beautiful! Palm trees, hammocks... 

The highlight of the conference, for me, was the session called "We Don’t Need No Education: Web Governance Through On-Demand Online Training," presented by Shelley Keith, director of digital communications at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Through listening sessions and content audits, Shelley developed a great case for web governance:

  • 77% said the web was influential in college search
  • 97% said web was the most reliable resource for researching colleges

  • 94% indicated a preference for the school website over the facebook page

  • Approximately 75% of new, off-campus traffic does not come through the homepage

  • Content not focused on audience, hindering readability and findability

  • Content difficult to find, IA problems

  • Content off-brand, painting an inconsistent and inaccurate picture

  • Content not written for the web

Her team then developed formal online training courses for their "site stewards." 

Quizzes at the end of each lesson ensure that the person in training actually learned the material. (Only those with an 80% score can move on to the next lesson.)

Shelley has made documentation available on a public Facebook group called Web Governance Through On-Demand Online Training and you can also check out her slides on LinkedIn

Recap: Internet Summit 2015

Pre-conference Workshop

UX Strategies: Lean & Mean

This was my first time attending the pre-conference workshops at the Internet Summit, and it was 100% worth it! The workshop I chose was called "UX Strategies: Lean & Mean."

This 4-hour workshop led us through a UX process for a hypothetical new library, and we worked together to complete the following statements:

  1. This site is for...

  2. Who need...

  3. Unlike...

  4. We are...

  5. We provide...

"This site is for..." helps identify the target customer. 

"Who needs a..." is to identify features of the library.

"Unlike..." helps to identify the competition. What are the target customer's alternative options? 

"We are a..." helps to define the business. 

"We provide..." helps to define the heart of the business. What are the emotional benefits? In the case of our library, the answers included "connection," "learning," "imagination" and "inspiration." These make great selling points and also help to define the brand.

At the end of the workshop, this is how we defined the library: "."

We also received a nifty certificate of completion.

The rest of the Internet Summit