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Tag: Affiliate Summit

Twitter hashtags

Bringing a laptop to a conference is a pretty good idea. Not only it helps summarize notes – I type much faster than I write – but you can also email these notes, share them, post them online, etc.

These days it seems every conference – even small ones – have a Twitter Hash tag (and why not? It doesn’t cost anything). What this means is that people can send messages with this tag, and everyone who “listens” to this tag will get it. It’s a bit like group chat. This is one of the things that differentiates Twitter and Facebook (as I mentioned in my one of the first posts in this blog: Explaining Twitter to Facebook Users).

This has several effects I didn’t fully grasp until Affiliate Summit East 2009. Motivational, educational, you name it.

For starters, days before a conference starts, people already start tweeting using the hash tag (i.e. in Affiliate Summit West 2010 it was #asw10). So even if you’re at home, you’re already starting to feel the ‘vibe’ of the conference, get the excitement. People announce they’ve left their homes, that they’re at the hotel, that they’re checking in, that they’re meeting other participants. Some people even upload photos. And since it is all in real time, you get pulled into it. You feel you’re a part of the conference before it even started.

Furthermore, during sessions people constantly tweet about what they listen to. This proves to be extremely useful from several reasons:

So my second point: you know who is present. During one session I discovered that two of my Twitter friends (whom I never met in person until then!) were in the room with me. We tweeted each. One even uploaded an image of the speaker (in real time, of course), so I could even tell where he was sitting in the room. Later I went to meet him.

Third, people constantly tweet the highlights of a session, the important points. There was one moment where I missed what the speaker said, but knew it was important. I looked at the stream, and multiple people tweeted that point. I just copied this directly into my notes. Moreover, thanks to the Twitter 140 characters limit, the point has to be concise, and this greatly facilitates the transmission of ideas in this context.

Fourth, you get to “hear” what’s going on in other sessions as well. So in a sense it allows you to attend multiple sessions at once. I actually took some of the tweets from other sessions as notes, as they were very relevant and interesting.

Fifth, one session allowed people to ask questions through Twitter and had its own hash tag. This certainly improves interaction between audience and speaker. Another session I attended had a contest where people suggested ideas and at the end, there was a reward for the best one.

Sixth, I tweeted quite a lot of the good highlights from sessions I attended. Some were actually retweeted by people who were NOT at the conference. So this helped spread useful information beyond the conference. In my opinion, this can be said to make Twitter itself a more valuable site. I remember that during Blog World (a conference that took place several months ago and I didn’t attend) there were occasional retweets of highlights from their sessions – some I found fascinating. And I wasn’t even there!

Finally, sites and conferences now take this into consideration. For example, the conference I speak at next month, Social Media 201, constantly “listens” and places on its website tweets that use the #sm201 hashtag. Or another example: ad:tech NY had a huge screen which featured select tweets that use the #adtechny hash tag (see the above image).

I think what we’ve seen here is a glimpse into the future of education. Where future students will get more and more opportunities to interact with the speakers and each other in real time, as well as potentially virtually “attend” sessions they are not present in. So not only the conference hash tag is great for passing information and ‘bonding’ everyone, but it also contributes a great deal to the effectiveness of taught sessions. I find this fascinating.


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I want to invent a term that’s probably already been invented: Personal Thrashing (so please correct me if you know a better term).

I came back from Affiliate Summit last week. It took me two days just to respond to all the emails that have accumulated, one day to do (most) of the follow-up emails, and one-day to read follow up on resources that can’t wait. Once I finished with that, my follow-ups have already returned to me, and I found myself again doing the email battle. During my flight from Vegas I’ve written 3 blog posts that are nearly finalized. Nearly – but not yet.. still haven’t the time to do that.

It’s now Friday. A week has passed. And in this week I’ve basically done no work except email, reading, calls, more calls, and meetings. These are all crucial for a successful business’ operation, but then again, so is actual work.

A friend of mine suggested I hire an assistant (he did so and says the experience is “liberating”). I’m seriously considering doing that.

So anyway, why thrashing? This is an Operating System term. Tell me if what I just described doesn’t sound exactly like the follow definition. This was taken from,,sid9_gci214055,00.html


Thrashing is computer activity that makes little or no progress, usually because memory or other resources have become exhausted or too limited to perform needed operations. When this happens, a pattern typically develops in which a request is made of the operating system by a process or program, the operating system tries to find resources by taking them from some other process, which in turn makes new requests that can’t be satisfied. A system that is thrashing can be perceived as either a very slow system or one that has come to a halt.

I hope this hasn’t bored to death those who are not interested in technology… but in the past week I have been… Thrashing. I can’t think of any other term. Figured I’ll share this until I find the time to share one of the, uhm, more exciting posts! :)


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Las Vegas

List of things to do before I leave:


  • Bags & everything else – not yet. Last moment.


  • Business cards and Poken – check.


  • Notepad for taking notes – check. Last time I relied on my memory for names which is really good. I did remember everyone when I glimpsed at their business cards. But not 4 weeks later. Lesson learned. This time I will be ready.


  • Printout of all interesting talks I want to attend – check. Last time I missed the most interesting talk I wanted to attend because of lack of organization. Lesson learned.


  • Printout of all the interesting companies I want to talk to – check.


  • Printout of all events & parties – check. Somehow I never forgot this one before ;-)


  • Printout of meetings, phone numbers of people I need to see – check.


  • Positive attitude, ready for networking and FUN! – check.

Las Vegas, here I come

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Tomorrow I’m leaving to Affiliate Summit West. I’ve been to Affiliate Summit East (ASE: read about it here), but never been to the Vegas version.

Before ASE, a friend told me to bring 200-500 business cards as I will be needing them. I did, and he was right. I also got roughly this number from people I met. Then I got a similar number at ad:tech. I classified them to several groups (companies I’m interested in working with, friends, people I met, etc) but it started becoming unwieldy. With so many business cards lying around, despite my best intentions I started losing some.

It is then I remembered the Poken device many people had at ASE. I don’t know how, I think people with Platinum passes got one for free? But all the “cool kids” seemed to have one and I didn’t. I wanted one too – was pretty easy to guess what it does based on how I saw people use it. I know I’m cool, but I wanted to be Cool (capitalized), you know?

Therefore, when I saw someone talking about it on Twitter, I bumped in and said “I wish I had a Poken. All the cool kids have it”. To my surprise, someone wrote me – we’ll send one to you so you can be a cool kid too (definitely boosted my ego). Awesome!

I got my Poken and have since then been itching to use it. It seems that next week I’ll get plenty of opportunities. Still going to bring my paper business cards as well, but it seems this will greatly help in managing the virtual ones.

So what is a Poken?

A Poken is a small device that has multiple cute shapes. Mine is the “Voodoo poken”. Using a web interface, you can create your virtual business card with everything you would’ve included on an ordinary one, and much, much more. Take a look at the screenshots I took to see what I mean.




The Poken allows you to get other people’s virtual business cards instantly with all the information they include. This can be done simply by “touching” your Poken hand with the other Poken’s hand. Like a handshake :) Later on, you have access to all their information as well as the time line of the connection.

Sounds awfully cool to me, and definitely the way of the future. Just like the Kindle (and related devices) will eventually replace paper products, so will Pokens eventually replace business cards. Easier to manage. Easier to customize. Stored permanently – I only see advantages.

If you want to get one, just click the banner below. Note that if you use the promo code IndustryReview you get 10% until the end of January.



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affiliate summit east meet market

Before I begin: I took a lot of pictures from the day using my crappy phone camera (I know, I should’ve brought a camera), so when I met Drew Bennett, a professional photographer and the guy behind the “Photo a day” blog, I asked for his permission to use his photos. So all credit goes to him.

I know I said I’m going to be providing every day a summary of the summit. What I didn’t realize is how intense it is going to be, and how tired I’ll be at the end of every day. And once I returned, how much work and emails would’ve piled up. Excuses, excuses, I know. Anyway, I figure, better late than never. So here’s my perspective on the fantastic event that was Affiliate Summit East 2009.

The day started with the Meet Market. Basically a space filled with merchants, affiliate networks, affiliates and press all trying to talk to each other. I’m pretty used to similar events, but it was quite overwhelming (considering more than 3,000 people registered to ASE that should not be surprised). I started losing my voice after about 45 minutes – probably spoke to 15 people by this time. Nonetheless, I forced myself to network as much as possible, after all, this is what the summit is all about (I call this “Networking on Steroids”). And it was definitely worth it: I made so many contacts, some of which I hope have become new friends, which just proves how important these networking events are.

Of particular interest was meeting the PPCBully guys. PPCBully 2.0 is a fantastic research tool for PPC advertising which I bought, and watched their weekly webinars with great interest. So it was very cool meeting Emil Paz (@ppcbully), Ran Aroussi (@Aroussi) and Yefi Gureni (@yefig) in person.

But in the back of my mind I was just thinking of the evening. Why? Because of the Yacht Party! As I stated in a previous post, I won a ticket to the MarketLeverage Yacht Party.


Market Leverage Yacht Party from John Chow on Vimeo.

the valiant

Once it was evening, three limos (each with room for 28 people!) took us to the Valiant, the yacht where the party was to take place on. Although there were some hiccups, the first two limos were taken to the wrong address (fortunately I was on the third), this ruined none of our moods. Once we were all on the boat, we ate a delicious meal made by celebrity chef Casey Thompson.


statue of liberty

Then the cruise started, we went from the east river southward, reached the statue of liberty, made a circle and got back to where we left.During this time I was introduced to many interesting, exciting and successful people. First I got to meet super blogger John Chow (@JohnChow), and even star at the beginning of his coverage of this trip (as you can see in the movie above). John is not just a super blogger, but also extremely friendly. He is also the man who defeated Google (I hope I’m linking to the right article).

I also met and had a long and insightful conversation with Drew Bennett (@BenSpark), the “Photo a day” blogger, Kim Rowley (@KIMarketing), an affiliate marketing mogul (been doing affiliate marketing longer than anyone I have ever met!). Heather Smith (@HeatherinBC), also known as the Blog Queen, who’s always up to a good laugh (we played my standard game of “guess where I’m from” based on my accent, and for the first time ever someone actually got it! Not heather ;) , Murray Newlands (@MurrayNewlands), a cool guy who was quite shocked I’m not doing (yet!) email marketing. I also spoke to Richard Young, a publisher, and our conversation was one of the best I’ve had during the entire summit (not just the Yacht party) – what a great guy. There were many more. Apologies to anyone whom I’ve forgotten! Remind me if I forgot you? please?


yacht party

All of this was made possible thanks to the amazing Dina Riccobono (@MLDina) who organized this entire event for MarketLeverage. Dina is not just a fantastic organizer, but a sweet and fun person.

My summary of day 1

My summary of day 2

My summary of day 3

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Affiliate Summit

The Affiliate Summit (Affiliate Summit East 2009) begins tomorrow. Although I’ve participated in a number of academic conferences (and presented in most), I have to admit I’m particularly excited for this one, as I’ve never been to this type of conference.

As a silver pass member, unfortunately I won’t be able to attend many of the lectures I would’ve liked. But it almost doesn’t matter: there are so many people I wish to meet, and have set up meetings with, and there are going to be plenty of networking events and parties (Missy Ward’s party list). This is definitely unlike any academic conference I’ve attended!

Since I won a ticket to MarketLeverage’s VIP Yacht Party, it’s obvious I’m particularly looking forward for this social event!

I’ll try and provide the highlights of every day from my perspective. Hopefully I won’t be too thrashed after a long day of networking and excitement!

Here’s the summit’s agenda, and in PDF version.

If anyone outside of town hasn’t seen my list of things to do in NYC, you may want to check it out.

This is going to be short so I’ll finish now. Can’t wait for the summit to start! And the coolest thing: unlike most visitors, since I’m a local – I get to sleep in my own bed at home every night. The hotel is about 15 minutes away by Subway from my home ;)

P.S. If you read this and see me in the summit, come say hello! I’d be very happy to meet you.



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