What better way to kick off a brand new blog than with a post about a brand new conference? Yes! Exactly! It’s a horrible idea.
Anyways, instead of telling you what the speakers were saying and junk like that (which you could find in a hunnerd other SEO blogs), I’m gonna’ tell you what I learned at SMX Advanced in Seattle.
I learned I really don’t like Seattle. Yeah, in theory it’s an awesome town. But the streets are totally fucked up. What’s to like about a place that smells like friggin’ fish and you can’t drive anywhere between the hours of 6 am to 10 am and from 2 pm to 7 pm?
I learned Matt Cutts hates Wyoming. And says things that may be offensive to indians (feathers, not spots). And he’s not below asking Danny Sullivan to take his pants off.
I learned Michael (spelling?) Martinez looks like one of those three dudes from the X-Files that were always investigating stuff. Come to think of it, he kind acted like that one dude too.
I learned MSN really had no idea what this conference was about or else they might have touted their search product (which still sucks, but made Google and Yahoo! look dumb once) instead of the Xbox. Or maybe they know their search product pretty well and figured it was better to play up the Xbox.
I learned the search engines want you to stay incredibly drunk. And they don’t feed you, unless you count weirdo-foofoo hors-devours as food. Anyway, make sure you eat something before you go to one of these things because there ain’t jack open afterwards when you’re drunk and hungry.
I learned all four search engines think duplicate content is bad (no shit!).
I thought I heard the Danny say ” . . . 19 year olds on dick . . . .” Turns out he actually said Digg instead of “dick”. But for the rest of the conference I giggled anytime anyone said Digg because it totally sounds like “dick”. Imagine all the people saying the loved Digg! It’s hilarious!
Though at their booth Google didn’t give jack away, they threw a pretty good party. And you can’t be too pissed about t-shirts, pens and glow-in-the-dark cups that the bartender was more than happy to fill to the top with gin.
I learned the guys from the auto research website Edmunds.com really hate Wikipedia. Trust me. You do not want to ever get caught defending the Wikipedia in front of these guys.
I learned that though he hates Wyoming (and implied other “less important” states), Cutts is able to handle a bunch of shit being flung at him.
I also learned it is impossible to hate Rand Fishkin. Try it. You’ll just want to give him a hug in the end. (If for some reason you come across this, Mr. Fishkin, please don’t infer that I ever hated you. You just seem damn good at being a damn nice guy.)
I learned Todd Mailicott likes to fish. I inferred he likes to drink beer.
I learned at last call you can get more than one drink. So, if you get someone to watch your drink, you can have three at one time. Or, if you play all the bars, you can have many, many more.
I learned meme is pronounced meeeeeme, not mehmeh like I thought (thanks Neil Patel.)
I learned Shari Thurow likes to rub it in that she’s so much smarter than the rest of us. She still writes some pretty good articles though.
I learned Greg Boser and Todd Friesen kick ass. I wish I were as cool as them. Really. Seriously.
I learned that though there was a fairly strong representation of women at the conference, there is still always going to be some dirtbag wearing a classy t-shirt like “I support single moms” that shows some gal on a stripper pole at these things.
I learned that Vanessa Fox has a strong contingent of lonely, lonely men who are willing to mill around for hours and keep her from her lunch just to say hello.
I learned that it’s damn near impossible to get good schwag without having to talk to someone. And that sucks. All I wanted was a damn bouncy ball that lit up when it bounced! That’s all! And you assholes who didn’t even have booths but are emailing me still, knock it the hell off!!! At least the guy who had the bouncy balls had a friggin’ booth! Show some class, Robbie Payne from 7search! Or send me a friggin’ water bottle or t-shirt or light-up pen or something!
With all of that said, here are some other tidbits you might be interested in.
The Food: Not bad. It was a hot meal and appetizing, unlike the shitty box lunches I heard they serve at SES. C’mon SES, the Danny is making you look stupid with the simple addition of a buffet!
Location: Yeah, I hate Seattle. But I hate many other cities much, much more. It was nice to have an event of this magnitude in the Northwest so lazy assholes like me didn’t have to put too much effort into traveling. And if you’ve never been stranded on the 405 or I5 for hours at a time, you might actually find this place charming.
Alcohol: There was beer being served, but nothing too dark, at any of the events. So unless you absolutely adore Pyramid Hefeweizen (which is pretty damn good!) or like to look like a yuppie douchebag guzzling Heineken, go for the hard liquor. There wasn’t any top shelf stuff (only Google served up Tanqueray; MSN and Yahoo! had Beefeaters), but it wasn’t bad. You could get Jack Daniels and Jim Beam and probably decent vodka if you were so inclined.
The Parties: It’s pretty hard to beat Google dance, especially when they’re giving out candy and cookies and alcohol and and glow-in-the-dark cups and t-shirts and all kinds of little goodies. What was interesting was they gave out two drink tickets. Why interesting? Because it was an open bar until 10:30 pm and then after that you had to use your drink tickets. Shows a little responsibility for the crowd, but it was still easy to get pretty fucked up. Trust me. There were tons of drunken people. Another plus was they hired a really good DJ.
The MSN party is probably second, because it gave people something to do on a Sunday night. Not the best booze, but still good enough to get you loaded. The only changes I would have made were to increase the size of the outdoor area and to get something other than a three-piece crap-jazz trio.
The Yahoo! mixer was okay, but you know, it was mostly just something to do for two hours. Yeah, good drink, and better beer selection than MSN had (read: no Pyramid). But they were only giving out glow in the dark ice cubes. Though, come to think of it, MSN didn’t give us crap . . . . hmmmm . . . . . .
Coolest promotional product: This is a toughie. The light up pens from widemile are pretty cool. And you can’t go wrong with a blinking bouncy ball, as ClickPath knows. And the one strap backpacks with the SMX logo that InfoSpace gave everyone were pretty sweet too. Medio also had these cool tablets with pens. But there was one of these things that I would have a hard time giving away to someone, it would have to be the light up pen. Did I mention it comes with a lifetime guarantee with a refill cartridge? Good stuff.
Most disappointing promotional product: Though the MSN AdCenter water bottle may have gotten this (c’mon, a water bottle! If you’re gonna’ do water bottles, do like Marchex and give away a cool one!), but I’d have to say it was the mp3 player speakers from Double Click. Yeah, I love mine and know that you’re gonna’ have a helluva’ time getting good sound out of something that small. But when I showed and used the little speakers I swiped for a small audience, the people who once were interested in them and wanted to know where I got mine were quickly unimpressed. And the going from being excited to being unimpressed is what makes these little speakers so disappointing. Do note I still like mine regardless of what anyone says.
Lamest promotional product: Hands down, iProspect. Crappy gum in little bags to look like little bags of gold. Really? That’s a good idea? Pens or water bottles might have been better. Seriously. And if you’re thinking about the purpose of a promotional product, those were a waste of money. Assuming the people who grabbed those little bags of gum didn’t give them to their kids or one of the many panhandlers and bums you can see when the sun goes down; once the gum is gone the bag will probably go in the garbage. Just a thought.
Conclusion: All in all, not a bad conference. I think I need to plan on slowing my drinking instead of just cutting it off. Thank God Alaska Airlines serves free beer and wine on their planes.