IYP SearchMeet: Opportunities With Real Time Local Search and Content

I just finished my presentation at the IYP SearchMeet conference and just uploaded the actual document to Slideshare. Titled “Opportunities with real-time local search and content”, I explained what is the real-time content, how it’s used today and I also explored with attendees various ideas to leverage the real-time world in a Yellow Pages environment. You can see the presentation here.

Attending the Following Conferences this Fall: JIQ 2010, IYP Searchmeet, Local Social Summit, ILM:10

Busy Fall season as always. Here is the list of conferences / events I’m attending or speaking to in the next two months:

1- Journée de l’informatique du Québec, November 10 in Quebec City, Qc, Canada

I will be in Quebec City to present my social media for SMEs 101 presentation titled “Le Web social, c’est pas obligé d’être compliqué!”. Agenda is here and you can register here.

2- IYP Searchmeet, November 16 and 17 in London, UK.

Organized by Stephanie Lemieux from Yellow Pages Group (Canada), it’s a great opportunity to discuss Yellow Pages-centric challenges related to search, data/content and taxonomy. Those topics are very actionable and are usually not covered in industry events. Colleagues from various directory companies will attend and includes representatives from Yell, Herold, Sensis, European Directories, Truvo, PagesJaunes Groupe (France), Yellow Pages Group (Canada), Mueller Medien, Seat Pagine Gialle, Eniro, and more. I’m keynoting the first day on the topic of “Opportunities with Real-time Local Search and Content. Industry rockstar Greg Sterling will also keynote on the second day. You can see the agenda here. You need to pre-register here before Friday this week. Event will be very affordable, tickets will be less than 100 GBP and include breakfast & lunch.

3- Local Social Summit, November 18 in London, UK.

Organized by Simon Baptist and Dylan Fuller, this will be the second edition of the event. The first one last year was a resounding success. The idea is to devote one day to hear presentations and panels talk about the intersection of local and social, something that’s very close to my professional heart obviously. I’m also keynoting this event with a presentation titled “What, Where and now When? Time and Local Search”. Greg Sterling will also be present along with Perry Evans, CEO of Closely (and a great friend!). Complete agenda can be found here and you can register here for 125 GBP.

Altogether, two very interesting events over three days in London in about one month. It’s a must-attend. Greg Sterling just wrote about these two events on his blog.

4- ILM:10 (Interactive Local Media) conference, December 7 to December 9 in Santa Clara, California, USA.

Organized by BIA/Kelsey, this is a must-attend event for anyone that works and/or is interested in “local” in North America. The speakers list looks extremely promising. You can see the complete agenda here and register here.

Don’t hesitate to ping me if you’d like to meet/chat at any of these events: sprovencher AT needium.com

On a related note, Sylvain Carle (Praized Media’s co-founder and CTO) will be demoing Needium at the BizTechDay conference in San Francisco this Saturday October 23rd. Needium was handpicked as one of the 20 companies allocated a demo slot during the day. You can read more on the Praized Media product blog.

LeWeb '10 Conference Sneak Peek: "Platforms"


Loic and Geraldine Le Meur have just announced the theme to this year’s LeWeb conference in Paris. It’s going to be “Platforms”. You can watch the introduction video here.

The 2009 edition was extremely relevant and it’s probably one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended. You can read the various posts I wrote when I was there. I believe the Le Meur’s have a created a world-class conference and I urge everyone (especially my European friends and contacts) to attend, You can register here.

Les médias sociaux: ne ratez pas l'occasion! – La vidéo de ma présentation à la conférence Boule de Cristal du CRIM

(see English translation below)

Le 8 avril dernier, je présentais “Les médias sociaux: ne ratez pas l’occasion !” devant plusieurs centaines de personnes présentes à la conférence Boule de Cristal du CRIM. Ma participation à cette conférence était décrite comme suit:

Les médias sociaux numériques tels que Facebook, Twitter et les blogues bouleversent le Web. En effet, plus de 80 % des internautes canadiens visitent régulièrement un de ces sites et une grande proportion y participe activement. Plus qu’un phénomène passager, il s’agit de l’apparition d’un puissant média de bouche à oreille qui amplifie les commentaires des usagers Web. Quelles sont les meilleures pratiques pour les entreprises ? Y a-t-il des opportunités d’affaires intéressantes ? Sébastien Provencher, spécialiste des médias sociaux, partagera sa vision du Web social dans le futur du monde des affaires et ses conseils pour ne pas rater le bateau.

J’offre dans cette présentation des conseils stratégiques et des tactiques détaillées pour l’utilisation des divers médias sociaux (Facebook, Twitter, blogues, etc.) dans le contexte d’une entreprise. Voici la vidéo de 27 minutes sur SlideShare. Vous pouvez suivre cette présentation vidéo avec le document de présentatique ici. Ce billet est aussi une excellente occasion de vous rappeler que je suis disponible pour des mandats de consultation et pour donner des conférences et formations. Vous pouvez me rejoindre ici.

Sebastien Provencher Conférence Boule de Cristal CRIM avril 2010

Sebastien Provencher Boule de Cristal CRIM avril 2010

Last April, I presented “Les médias sociaux: ne ratez pas l’occasion !” in front of hundreds of attendees of the CRIM’s Crystal Ball Conference. Loosely translated as “Social Media: don’t miss the opportunity!”, I offered strategic and tactical advice to companies wanting to start leveraging social media in a business context. You can watch the 27-minute video presentation (in French) and/or follow with the actual document as well.

Highlights From the Most Recent BIA/Kelsey Local Commerce Monitor and User View Surveys

On day one of the BIA/Kelsey Marketplaces 2010 conference, Steve Marshall (Director of research at BIA/Kelsey) shared highlights from two studies they’ve been doing regularly for years, the Local Commerce Monitor and the User View.

First, the Q3 2009 Local Commerce Monitor. The survey measures where small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are spending their advertising and promotional budgets and how their media usage and spending habits are evolving

  • Penetration of online media (77%) exceeds Traditional Media (69%) for the first time in Q3. That’s the percentage of SMBs using each type of media to promote themselves.
  • Newer businesses much more oriented to online media. For businesses created less than 3 years ago, 30% of their budget is dedicated to online. Overall average is 21.8%.
  • 32% of businesses plan to use social media and blogs to promote themselves in the next 12 months.

Second, the February 2010 User View. The survey focuses on how U.S. consumers are evolving their use of traditional and online information sources to find and locate local serving businesses.

  • BIA/Kelsey is seeing more and more fragmentation in local shopping. Consumers say they used 7.9 different sources to for local shopping information in the last year. That’s up from 5.6 in 2007.
  • 82% use Internet as Primary or Secondary source for product purchases smaller than $500
  • 45% use Internet to research non-routine purchases before buying
  • 27% completed most recent product purchase bigger than $500 online
  • Membership in social networks continues to explode: 67% are on Facebook, 30% on MySpace, 20% on Twitter and 14% on LinkedIn. Two years ago, only 16% were on Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist!

SignOnSanDiego: Visits from Social Media Increased by 1000%

At the end of day one of Marketplaces 2010, we also heard from Mike Hodges, Vice President, Interactive at The San Diego Union-Tribune.  Hodges shared with us some interesting data points following a very simple web site redesign to incorporate more social media features.


  • He admitted that they had very limited social elements last year. On November 1st, they rolled out a new site
  • They made two key social media decisions:
    • They hired a full-time specialist
    • They integrated more social media features in the new redesign
  • What did they add (see example)
    • Social media sharing buttons above and below stories
    • “Follow us on social media” modules on every page
    • Login with Facebook/Twitter (using Disqus)
  • As a result, visits from social media sites (led by Facebook) increased by 1000%, They now generate between 1.2 and 1.5M monthly referrals and in February, visits from Facebook exceeded visits from Google. They now have 20,000 twitter followers
  • In the future, they want Facebook andTwitter to be intertwined in everything they do. They want journalists to use Facebook/Twitter as well. Finally, they’re thinking of introducing a Facebook/Twitter newsfeed on their home page.

What it means: even though SignOnSanDiego only made minor changes to their site, they got major impact on their business. I like their vision of leveraging journalists as brands within a brand, to allow them to share and have conversations with readers. I especially loved one of his quote: “the newsfeed is your friend”. If they continue in this direction, this could bring very positive results.

Game Mechanics: The Foursquare Example

On day 1 of the BIA/Kelsey Marketplaces 2010 conference, we heard from Jon Carder, CEO of MojoPages.com, talking about the importance of game mechanics in social systems. It’s a topic I’m especially interested in and I mentioned the importance of “reward systems” in my perfect local media company of 2014 post.

Carder mentioned the following:

  • Game mechanics is the new black
  • He defined them as “a series of rules and functions that tap into our primal response patterns to drive usage, sales, and /or referrals”.
  • He mentioned Foursquare and Groupon as good examples of new apps/sites using game elements.

He suggested a good game system needs four must-have elements (action, goal, scoreboard and reward) and three nice-to-have (competition, clock and social). Here’s how it applies to Foursquare:

  • Action: the check-in is the action
  • Goal: get the most check-ins
  • Scoreboard: you can see total check-ins and unlocked badges
  • Reward: unlock badges
  • Competition: people compete to become Mayor of a place
  • Social: you can broadcast your activities on Facebook and Twitter, telling your friends about your badges/mayorship

Craig Smith: We’ll see more change in the next 2 years than in the last 10 years

Craig Smith, CEO of ServiceMagic, just finished his keynote address the BIA/Kelsey Marketplaces 2010 conference. His business is definitely impacted by the rise of social media given the importance of word-of-mouth in service providers recommendations. ServiceMagic has embraced social features early on with merchant reviews but is now getting into Question & Answers and neighborhood group buying. He issued a call-to-arms to the industry saying that we (the industry) need to deliver more value. How? He suggests the following four points:

  1. Take risks
  2. Disrupt our current business models
  3. Invest in long term value creation
  4. Invest in deeper relationships with customers

He concluded by saying we would see more change in the industry in the next two years than in the last ten.