Luxor Pyramid, Blog World Expo 2010Some people would think that waking up at 6:30 in the morning is excessively eager, but to wake up at 6:30 am, New York time, while you’re in Las Vegas, is out-and-out lunacy.  And that’s how my Day two began.  I suddenly found myself with a bit of time on my hands (you’re sensing danger, aren’t you?), so I got onto Twitter, and learned that there was a breakfast being sponsored by Social Media Examiner over at the adjoining  casino/hotel complex, the Luxor.

Between the immense scale of these properties, and the disorienting nature of thousands of slot machines, I got a bit lost.  But once there, met a wonderful group of people.

At one point during breakfast I shared my card with the video maven, @SteveGarfield (so many of us are connecting via Twitter that I think we start to regard each other by our handles).  Steve said, “hey! I know you!”  He then reminded me that we had a phone conversation about a year ago about the DragonSearch social media ROI calculator. So, after yesterday’s meeting of Maggie Fox, I had my second great moment of serendipity.  My lurking superstition part of me tells me to expect a third before I leave Vegas.


My first session of the day was a real “how-to” session on the block and tackling of podcasting,  which I already posted.  My hunch is that some of the really smart people in DragonSearch don’t find the process of writing to be as easy as it could be. I’m hoping that podcasting enriches what we offer, and gives those team members the opportunity to get some information out. Prepare yourself for RadioDragonSearch.

Digital Crisis Communications

A small crisis of my own caused me to be 10 minutes late to this session,  and from my spot sitting on the floor I could never see who was talking, whether it was Scott Monty (the FAMOUS Scott Monty who leads the social media efforts at Ford),  Shel Holtz, or Dallas Lawrence (moderated by Valeri Maltoni).

With this panel, I felt like I was eavesdropping on a conversation between a bunch of grizzled communication veterans.  I didn’t hear any particular nugget of information that made lights go off in my head (like the slot machines in the casino?) – but a GIST.

ROI of Social Media

A lot of people openly disdain the very notion (see Scott Stratton’s remark;  “When you say ROI of Social Media, a kitten dies, a unicorn dies”.  But I have a pathology of some sort – and when I hear “metrics”, I perk up, sit up straighter,  and feel a bit more like an Airedale that has taken notice of a rat that has taken it into its head to say howdy.

Connie Bensen  from Alterian spoke of taking a holistic and cross-functional approach, with more consideration for the longer lifetime consumer value.

7 Returns on investing in community:

  1. Reduced spend on PR, marketing, and advertising via WOM
  2. Higher Conversion Rates – warm leads
  3. Lower Acquisition costs- reduce cold calls
  4. Shorter sales cycle
  5. Reduced customer service costs
  6. Reduced product development costs (time and resources)

Don Bartholomew is from Fleishman Hillard.  You’ve got to love someone whose website is “”.  Don was down on the trend these days to try to redefine SMM ROI measuring –  the type of rhetoric that is like, “return on engagement”. In talking with CMO’s this isn’t going to fly. The majority of social programs are designed to generate impact; not ROI, and value attribution is secondary

A New Model for Social Media Measurement


So finally, after two whole days of being inside, I left the complex to go to the “Mash Bash”, the Mashable-sponsored party at Haze.  Just walking through the hotel was fun.  I considered taking photographs, but in the end, the iPhone photos just didn’t do the fun quirky architecture any justice.  The club itself was like being on a movie set for a really hip cool dance club.  The cocktail waitresses told us that they normally sell bottles of alcohol at about $500 and up, and that there is no shortage of people to spend the money.

As we were leaving, I was handed an invitation to a party at a nearby mansion, sponsored by Social Media Club and Lenovo.  A bunch of us piled into a taxi, and went over to the quirkiest house I could imagine – surrounded by artificial grass, and a free-form pool fantasy-waterpark.

So maybe this is my serendipity-moment number 3. Many, many years ago, it was the purchase of a Thinkpad 365 (now owned by Lenovo) that catapulted me into web development – which ultimately led me to this world of online marketing, which led me to this great evening in Las Vegas.

It is the people

Most of the time, the seminars at Blog World are superb, and there are a lot of really smart people presenting.  But all of that sort of acts as a backdrop to making connections to others – and I couldn’t begin to list all of the incredible people I met, from the morning breakfast to the late night party at the Hefneresque mansion.  And of the sessions that I’ve attended,  there are dozens more being presented at the same time.  So, my post here is presenting a small slice, through my lens.

If you want to read another Blog World attendee’s take, read this take by Lisa Barone (yet to be sited by me) on the day, or visit, and find out about purchasing an audio recording of the whole event.

One more full day ahead! Let me know if there is anything in particular you wish to hear about.