In San Francisco Next Week for the Conversational Commerce Conference

I will be in San Francisco most of the week next week for meetings and also attending Opus Research’s Conversational Commerce Conference. The conference is February 2 and 3 in the city.

Conference description: “Marketing and customer service are on a collision course. Social media now shine a bright light on customer service interactions, which increasingly have brand implications. Customer care can also offer valuable insights for marketing and product development. How many companies are adapting and turning this to their advantage? Still too few as old modes of thinking remain entrenched in organizations. Opus Research’s Conversational Commerce Conference (C3) brings together a diverse array of interested groups and stakeholders to discuss the new social media landscape and its joint impact on marketing and customer care. Beyond showing how these organizations must now collaborate, C3 will offer successful case studies and explore the new rules of engagement as companies deploy social media for marketing, sales and customer support.”

I’m speaking on the “A Parallel Universe: Social CRM for SMBs” panel on Thursday with Brendan King, CEO, Vendasta Technologies, Craig Donato, CEO & Founder, Oodle and Perry Evans, Founder and CEO, Closely, Inc. I’ll be sharing some of the insights we’ve generated since we’ve launched Needium, our social media lead generation service.

I do have a bit of free time on Monday and Tuesday for additional meetings.  I am also available to meet during the conference. If you’d like to connect, please send me an e-mail at seb AT needium.com

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Where Will We Be In Five Years?

Mike Boland over at The Kelsey Group’s blog posted highlights of the “The Change Imperative” panel in which I was a participant. I was joined by Geoff Avard, GM, Strategy, Sensis, Perry Evans, President, CEO, Local Matters and Ken Ray, CMO, AT&T Publishing & Advertising.  Every question asked by Charles Laughlin and Neal Polachek started with “In five years, …” and all statements were designed to get a reaction out of the panelists and the attendees.

Examples included:

  • In five years, SEM bid pressure will rise to the point that advertisers will see more value in print advertising.
  • In five years, small businesses will use self service online advertising like AdWords to a much greater degree.
  • In five years, Like many of the rumors that continue to circulate, Google will have bought a yellow pages publisher to gain a direct local sales channel.
  • In five years, no one under 30 will be using the yellow pages.
  • In five years, more listings will be accessed by mobile than on the PC.
  • In five years, what will follow the iPhone as the next big thing?
  • In five years, where will you be?

You can see of our answers in the Kelsey Group blog including the one related to where I think I will be in five years…

What is "The Real Future of Yellow Pages"

Crystal ball

(flickr photo by Napalm filled tires)

I’m happy to announce I will be a panelist at the next Kelsey Group Conference, DMS 2008 . Happening next week in Atlanta, I will be sitting on a panel in the last session of the conference called “The Change Imperative“. I will debate with Geoff Avard, GM, Strategy, Sensis, my friend Perry Evans , President & CEO, Local Matters and Ken Ray, CMO, AT&T Publishing & Advertising “the real future of Yellow Pages. “

The bottom-line question from Kelsey: “What does the long-term future of directional media look like, and what are the respective roles for directory publishers, search engines and other key players?”

Update (from May 2009): I just wrote a post explaining what I think is the future of local media in general.

What it means: I’m honored to be sitting on a panel with distinguished industry luminaries like Geoff, Perry and Ken. This will be fun! I’d like to ask you, the Praized blog readers, what you think is the future of Yellow Pages and directional media. What are the big game changers coming up in the next five years?

What is “The Real Future of Yellow Pages”

Crystal ball

(flickr photo by Napalm filled tires)

I’m happy to announce I will be a panelist at the next Kelsey Group Conference, DMS 2008 . Happening next week in Atlanta, I will be sitting on a panel in the last session of the conference called “The Change Imperative“. I will debate with Geoff Avard, GM, Strategy, Sensis, my friend Perry Evans , President & CEO, Local Matters and Ken Ray, CMO, AT&T Publishing & Advertising “the real future of Yellow Pages. “

The bottom-line question from Kelsey: “What does the long-term future of directional media look like, and what are the respective roles for directory publishers, search engines and other key players?”

What it means: I’m honored to be sitting on a panel with distinguished industry luminaries like Geoff, Perry and Ken. This will be fun! I’d like to ask you, the Praized blog readers, what you think is the future of Yellow Pages and directional media. What are the big game changers coming up in the next five years?

Peter Krasilovsky Confirms Presence on Proposed SXSW Panels

Good news! Peter Krasilovsky (Program Director, Marketplaces, at the Kelsey Group) confirmed to me late Friday night that he would join Greg Sterling, Perry Evans and myself if one of the panels we’re supporting gets selected for the next South by SouthWest Interactive Festival in March 2009.

As I mentioned in a blog post last week, you can make a difference by voting for the two proposed panels:

1) Think Globally, Post Locally: The Emerging Power of Local Voice

2) The Local Search Solution: Context or Accuracy?

Register and vote for the two proposed panels (voting closes on August 29)!

You Can Help Make “Local Search” Matter at SXSWi!

Following my blog post lamenting the fact that there wasn’t a lot of panels on local search at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, I got pinged by Vinicius Vacanti (Yipit‘s founder) who offered us spots on his proposed local-search themed panel. Earlier today, Chris Tolles, CEO of Topix, who had submitted a conference proposal also offered to turn his bid into a panel as well.

I’ve also lined-up two of my industry peers, Perry Evans (CEO of Local Matters, co-founder of Jabber Inc. and founding President of Mapquest) and Greg Sterling (one of the top local search expert in the world IMHO), who, schedule permitting, will be present with me on at least one of those panels.

This should be fun! Does it mean it’s a done deal? No, because SXSWi is community-driven event. Submitting a panel is just the beginning as people vote on their favorite ones. You, the Praized blog readers, can make a difference and send a message to SXSWi that Local Search matters! Register and vote for the two proposed panels (voting closes on August 29):

1) Think Globally, Post Locally: The Emerging Power of Local Voice

2) The Local Search Solution: Context or Accuracy?

Other ways you can help:

  • Blog about these panels. Invite your readers to vote for them.
  • Tweet the news on Twitter or spread the word on Facebook! Hit your social graph!

You Can Help Make "Local Search" Matter at SXSWi!

Following my blog post lamenting the fact that there wasn’t a lot of panels on local search at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, I got pinged by Vinicius Vacanti (Yipit‘s founder) who offered us spots on his proposed local-search themed panel. Earlier today, Chris Tolles, CEO of Topix, who had submitted a conference proposal also offered to turn his bid into a panel as well.

I’ve also lined-up two of my industry peers, Perry Evans (CEO of Local Matters, co-founder of Jabber Inc. and founding President of Mapquest) and Greg Sterling (one of the top local search expert in the world IMHO), who, schedule permitting, will be present with me on at least one of those panels.

This should be fun! Does it mean it’s a done deal? No, because SXSWi is community-driven event. Submitting a panel is just the beginning as people vote on their favorite ones. You, the Praized blog readers, can make a difference and send a message to SXSWi that Local Search matters! Register and vote for the two proposed panels (voting closes on August 29):

1) Think Globally, Post Locally: The Emerging Power of Local Voice

2) The Local Search Solution: Context or Accuracy?

Other ways you can help:

  • Blog about these panels. Invite your readers to vote for them.
  • Tweet the news on Twitter or spread the word on Facebook! Hit your social graph!