Monday, July 30, 2007

San Francisco is still the capital of the tech world

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend a week on a business trip in San Francisco. I attended the Ypulse Mashup conference organized by the friendly and cheerful Anastasia Goodstein and her colleagues at Ypulse. It was a well put-together conference focusing on Teen Marketing. It covered the topic from an academic, an entrepreneurial as well as a user (albeit teen entrepreneur user) point of view and had a bunch of interesting take-outs:

1)Supposedly, teens do not use email anymore but instead rely on facebook/myspace messaging (a thesis i don't subscribe to as these networks still rely on email/sms notifications)

2)Social Networks are starting to monetize their traffic in ways ranging from classic CPM sales (ineffective) to widget programs to "integrated experiences" - the most impressive ones being presented by Gaia and Myyearbook.

3)Although I'm not a fan of the taste of its organic teas and lemonades, Jones Soda CEO Peter van Stolk's presentation about their low-budget marketing plans that rely on truly out of the box measures such as customized labels ("we don't do porn") was a great closing speech. Very remarkable company and I'd be highly surprised if JSDA wasn't picked up by Pepsi or Coca Cola at some point.

What I really enjoyed about the conference was the quality of the attendees and the general openness of the people. I had lots of interesting conversations during the breaks and the two performances after the show days. I even had the brief pleasure to meet Guy Kawasaki at the end of day 2 who told me he was having a lot of fun with trumors (how couldn't he...).
I definitely recommend the conference for anyone interested in web2.0, teen marketing and the bright new world of social networks.


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