I asked the previous eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit attendees “What sticks with you?” which would have been a great question if not for the typo in the Subject line (cringe).

Rick Eagle – whom I’ve known since the very first eMetrics Summit in 2002 – took his time to write back. But when he did, it was great… so I wanted to share. Rick is Coremetrics’ web analyst. He tracks the traffic on the Coremetrics website. No pressure!

From: Rick Eagle [mailto:reagle [at] coremetrics [dot] com] Sent: Friday, August 21, 2009 4:03 PM
To: Jim Sterne
Subject: RE: eMetrics San Jose quick quesiton

The things that have stuck with me… 9 things.

Ok, the Summit was in May and now it’s August but I still think the “what has stuck with me” is relevant, perhaps even more so.

Twitter and the social media thing in general. Shocked is not the right word, startled perhaps, yes, I was startled at the intensity of Twitter at the summit and I was glad that at Coremetrics we at least had our Blog and Twitter elements in-place. There is no doubt an aura of trendiness to twitter, just as there was (and to some extent still is) to blogging. What stays with me is not blogs or twitter but the social media “thing”. It is that “thing” that is interesting. It currently is being manifested in blogging and tweeting. Those things may pass away but it feels like the social media thing is some archetypal force.

Like in Jurassic Park when Jeff Goldblum, in the role of chaos theorist Dr. Ian Malcolm states, “Life will find a way…” Social Media is like that.

There wasn’t any particular session topic that covered this but what occurred to me as I drove home from the Summit was that the analytics feature wars really are over. Tools are excellent and there is plenty of data. So users are really forced back to the fundamentals, being clear about what their business goals are and focusing on the data and reporting that best informs those goals. Choosing the right tools, for the right situation. Smart people can pull great value out of any of the available tools. And conversely, you can have great tools and be completely lost.
Back to brains now!

Good attendance but not full to the brim. When I attended in SF in 2007 I was shocked (yes “shocked!”) at how big the eMetrics Summit had become. Of course my previous eMetrics Summit experience had been in sleepy little Santa Barbara in maybe 2002? Anyway, San Jose in 2009, not packed. Probably due to the economy being in the tank and maybe a little dilution due to 6 summits per year now. Saturation?

[Jim pipes up: Yes, it was a perfect storm of more subject matter so more tracks and fewer people. The Washington D.C. version in October will be more tightly focused.]

The hotel lobby and not staying at the hotel. It was nicely convenient that the San Jose location was just 4 miles from my house. Unfortunately because of that, I could not justify the expense of staying at the Fairmont, which is too bad because staying at the venue definitely makes it easier to hang. Interesting people, great conversation, excellent beer, what’s not to like.

I did hang out a few nights and that was great. I enjoyed meeting our competitors. It’s weird, we are all trying to grab market share away from each other and, truth be known, trying to drive the other guys out of business, but then we’re so alike, same issues, lot’s of shared experience. Weird… and Fun.

Mike Grehan. An interesting guy, always hanging out just beyond the edge a bit.

[Search Engine Strategies has hired Mike as their V.P. & Global Content Director. Congrats Mile!]

Those small panel sessions didn’t really work for me. I can see how that idea might sound like the perfect answer to getting more experts in front of more people for a rich exchange. It didn’t work out that way in the three of those I attended. It felt like after each speaker did their “introduction” there wasn’t much time for rich exchange. Maybe the format was too loose and an expert moderator could make it work better.

[Noted. Moderators for the Washington D.C. Summit are on notice!]

Getting out of the vacuum of the office. Most of my experience in running web sites is with corporate, content, lead-gen sites. It’s good to mix with people who run other kinds of sites. Especially being at Coremetrics where our customers are many kinds of sites (although the sweet spot is still retail).
And conversely, talking to other people who run the same kind of content/lead-gen site I do and sharing challenges and thoughts on different approaches.

The MindMeld. Very interesting, thanks for inviting me.

Jim Sterne. I so enjoy seeing you.



Thank you so much Rick – it’s always great to see you too!

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