Make Love Not Porn!

“You have to tell your own story. Don’t let others tell it for you.” -Marcy Simon

Another great web summit here in Dublin!

It is 9:30 on a sunny Thursday in Dublin and roughly 1,500 people have gathered in the RDS for the Dublin Web Summit (or #DWS7 to friends) to hear about the latest developments in the tech world, meet fascinating people from their industry or just network and mingle.  All pictures are available on my Google + or Picassa Web album. All opinions are my own.

Day 1

The first speaker kicked off with some great insights in the Social Media marquee tent with Ogilvy’s Maz Nadjim talking about behaviors and real time social commerce. “Revolution is behavior, not tools. We are seeing lots of different communities springing up” He mentioned some features that people appreciate such as free testing or invitation only products. He mentioned some forerunners such as Delta, FCUK and KLM that really know how to utilize the power of social to their advantage.

The state of digital marketing:  The web is still too much an advertising medium, rather than brand building medium -Mark Read

Next up Cawley Nea’s Mark and Deirdre talked about why we share and explained that “social levels everything” thus helping us all tell our own story as individuals. Everyone wants to affect change and be a part of something larger.

The main stage was dazzled by Peter Coppinger of Teamwork PM who encouraged his audience to “think big- don’t be afraid to launch ASAP and implement a feedback system from day one.” He provided valuable insights into the secret behind his success aka the three R’s: Refine, Refactor and Rebuild also, perhaps most crucially “eat your own dogfood” was named as the secret sauce.

Tristan Nitot of Mozilla Europe reminded us that “if you are not paying for it then you are not the customer. You are the product.” He was followed by Techcrunch‘s Mike Butcher who talked about the future of tech industry.

Back to the social tent for a glimpse of Carla Buzasi’s talk on Why People Blog. The eloquent Editor-in-Chief of HuffPost UK had the audience captivated as she explained that “Self-expression is the new entertainment.” People feel strongly and passionately about something so they take to the blogosphere. Bad blogs are precisely that because the people behind the keyboard are “writing just for the sake of writing.” Golden rule to overcome boring blog posts? Would you read about what you’re writing? She then provided an example of how one woman’s passion for shoes turned into Carla’s all time favorite blog. Fair play. There can never be enough written on the subject of shoes!

After a short break, much-needed coffee and a widespread checking of the messages on our phones it was time to resume. Joe Fernandez of opened up with “Does anybody in the room know their Klout score?” I was surprised by the number of hands that went up (writers ignorance- no idea what Klout was. Much less a high and therefore influential Klout score.) His story was truly inspirational. After a horrible accident that left him bedridden for months, the only media he was able to consume (with great difficulty) was of the social variety, twitter and Facebook definitely count as news!

Alan Coleman of was up next with a mixed bag of social strategy. Two videos were provided on how to create LinkedIn ads as well as Facebook ads. This left me wanting perhaps some more insight as it can be presumed that most people in the audience are already advertising on both mediums but thanks for the tips!

It’s high noon at this point. Quick hussle over to the main stage where Colm and Aoife of Maples educated the audience on the nuts and bolts of business. “Your key asset is your intellectual property. Don’t forget that” said Aoife. “Make sure you have NDA’s in place and also, coders own their own code so be careful what you’re buying. These may seem basic and simple but you would be surprised how many times business owners forget them. Own all your output. Have an exit strategy and think about what will happen if things go wrong.” Very useful start-up advice from one of the leading global law firms!

Interview panels were next and the lineup was exciting. Twitter UK’s Tony Wang talked about growth, jobs in Ireland (they are opening a new HQ office in Dublin) as well as creation of content. Next up was Ronan Harris Sales Director in Google Ireland who was also grilled on job creation in Ireland (we are seeing a common theme for sure) and he reminded his listeners that “engineers keep the lights on while we’re out there selling and looking after the users.”

I don’t know about you but I consider the NewYork Times to be an authority on most matters. So you can imagine the collective excitement when Nick Bilton took the stage. He gave an excellent talk on Hyper Personalization and talked about the 1,2,10 rule. Can you guess what it is? It’s the number of feet that your cell phone, laptop and TV are away from you at any given moment. Our brains, he says, have adapted to the “technocondria” as he called it. Video games, tetris have all improved people’s hand-eye coordination and interestingly made them better surgeons. Mais bien sur!

This lead nicely into the 14:45 slow which was Mashable’s own Ben Parr. Huzzah what a talk! Captivating and intense, Ben provided the best entertainment of the day, hands down. What did we learn as we laughed along with him? Sometimes, you just suck and nothing can realistically fix that. Remember to target the pitch to the appropriate person or audience. Nothing worse than a cold call or even colder pitch. People don’t have time to listen to you ramble on…

Day one was drawing slowly to a close as we headed to the main stage to hear keynotes from Amazon’s Werner Vogels and Angry Birds co-Founder Mikael Hed.

Day 2

Today was more about socialising, networking and just talking to people I had missed while I was frantically running from talk to talk.

Some of the memorable names of the Friday were Ben Parr (Mashable), Brooke Hammerling (BrewPR), Maz Nadjim (Ogilvy), Danae Ringelmann (Indiegogo), Niklas Zennstrom (Skype), Jascha Franklin-Hodge (Blue State Digital) Excellent speakers providing really outstanding content!

Tell, listen and share. Get video of customer testimony.
REAL people not press releases. Not actors.
Let people innovate. They will do things cooler than you could have ever thought of.
Make it authentic.
Give brand a voice. Give it a face.
People will pay to see something amazing.
They want to participate in something larger than themselves.
Social not broadcast.
People fund people.
Find an audience that cares. If not, it means people don’t like what you’re doing.
Facebook and Google treat people like mirrors..and oversimplify identity. But people are multifaceted.
Sometimes, your product just sucks.
All in all it was a fantastic two days and met some incredible and inspirational people who really gave me food for thought. It’s always nice to get some great new ideas as well as tips on how something can be done better. Looking forward to the next event!
Material including photos and web stream are available here. Some interesting blogs from the event; please welcome Alex, Ben and Tore.

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