Imagine my embarrassment when I didn’t recognize her.

It was only moderate embarrassment at first. I re-meet lots of people… again. My memory for names and faces was never good and it’s gotten worse.

When Carey Wilkins of Evolytics came up to me at the last eMetrics Summit in San Francisco and said hello, she didn’t do a full eye roll while waiting for me to place her face.

I turned to her good friends Dylan Lewis and his wife Jen and joked that I should be forgiven for forgetting, but I had met Carey (many moons ago) very late one night, with her husband Tom and an effusive Eric Peterson who insisted that the four of us go out for one last drink before the last bar in town closed.

Dylan and Jen smiled and nodded knowingly.

Carey shook her head, grinned and said, “You don’t remember, do you?”

“Uhhhh….”

“Tom and I came to the eMetrics Summit in 2003 in Santa Barbara.”

Que the red face, the shuffling of feet and the effort to come up with something appropriately apologetic to say. But Carey, always ready to make one feel at ease, let me off the hook before perspiration dotted my forehead and the room started to swim.

“Well,” she said with a big smile, “it was ten years ago! Back then, I was at Director of Customer Experience Management at VML and Tom was a Business Analysis Consultant with Hallmark.”

“Working with Zina Wiest??”

“That’s right! See? You do have some memory left! In fact, we still have the binder with the attendee list – I’ll email it to you.”

With the tension broken, a group of us, including (left to right) Carey, Jen and Dylan, went to a dinner that was so good, it was photographable:

emetrics-1

Sadly missing from the photo but not from the fun were Angel Morales and René Dechamps Otamendi.

I’m not sure how many of them were in on it, but just to rub in my forgetfulness, my dessert arrived decorated thusly:

emetrics-2

 

A good time was definitely had by all.

True to her word, Carey sent me the PDF which started with the Agenda:

A full day workshop delivered by yours truly.

My opening presentation/orientation the next morning.

Matthew Berk from Jupiter Research on how to buy a web analytics tool and is remembered for saying, “And sometimes you just have to grep the logs.”

Ken McGaffin on analyzing search for intent but we didn’t know to call it that yet.

Guy Creese at Aberdeen group on the landscape of our burgeoning industry.

Kristen Zhivago and Mark Gibbs with a role playing demonstration of the tense politics between marketing and IT. (I think they’re still not talking to each other.)

Terry Lund with an amazing case study of Internet Analytics at Kodak.com which he had helped create.

Bryan Eisenberg who introduced us to the concept of personas with Persuasion Architecture – a real eye-opener.

Gary Beberman from the IT side of macys.com who famously said. “Sometimes you just have to tell them what the numbers are, what the numbers mean and what they should do about it!”

Our first Web Analytics Vendor Variety Hour which got quite lively when the audience asked, “If your product didn’t exist, which of your competitors would you choose?”

Mike Grehan on how Google looked at links as citation rather than just text on the page.

Phil Gibson from National Semiconductor who was already integrating visits from identified clients into their hand-build Sales Force Automation tools.

emetrics-3

 

It was a rollickingly fascinating conference.

This was back in the day when we printed everything on paper and included the full names, addresses, phone numbers and emails for each participant. No Facebook, no Linked In, no Twitter then.

So I perused the list of attendees and found something interesting.

Of the 85 people who have come to the second-ever eMetrics Summit in 2003 in Santa Barbara, thirteen had come to the eMetrics Summit in San Francisco ten years later in 2013.

Then and Now

Akin Arikin
Then: Product Manager, Sane Solutions
Now: Multichannel Marketing Evangelist, IBM

Rick Eagle
Then: Web Manager, Silicon Graphics
Now: Manager, Industry Solutions Web Marketing Team, IBM

Andrew Edwards
Then: Managing Partner, Technology Leaders
Now: CEO, Technology Leaders

Bryan Eisenberg
Then: Founder, FurtureNow
Now: Partner, BryanEisenberg.com

Dylan Lewis
Then: Director of Internet Marketing, SmartDraw.com
Now: Group Manager, Web Measurement, Intuit

emetrics-4

 

Jeff Lundsford
Then: President, WebSideStory
Now: CEO, Tealium

Neil Mason
Then: Director, BotBiz Consulting
Now: SVP, Customer Engagement, iJento

Eric T. Peterson
Then: Senior E-Business Analyst, WebSideStory
Now: CEO, Web Analytics Demystified

Rand Schulman
Then: CEO, WebSideStory
Now: Management Consultant & Partner Efectyv Digital

Jeff Seacrist
Then: Director of Product Marketing, NetIQ/WebTrends
Now: VP Product Marketing, Webtrends

Crispin Sheridan
Then: Director, Online Relationship Marketing, SAP
Now: Sr. Director, Global Search, SAP

Jim Sterne
Then: President, Target Marketing
Now: President, Target Marketing

Carey Wilkins
Then: Director, Customer Experience Management, VML
Now: Partner / VP, Evolytics

Would-be number fourteen, Ronny Kohavi, will be with us in Chicago next week.
Then: VP, Business Intelligence, Blue Martini Software
Now: Partner Architect, Microsoft
In between: Director of Data Mining and Personalization, Amazon.com

I think this speaks volumes about the cohesiveness of our industry and the fact that we have grown a community as well.

What draws us to this industry? What keeps people engaged in world of customer intelligence / web analytics / data science / insight discovery? It’s exciting.

When you come to a realization, make a discovery or put two and two together, it’s exhilarating. Learning is addictive which is why humans make progress. We love to learn. This field is focused on learning new data streams to learn from. We are inventing new ways to improve. It’s awesome.

And then, there’s the human side.

To quote Carey in her latest email to me:

Ahh, what friendships 10 years brings! While eMetrics is a fantastic resource for learning and education, I look back at that list and smile at the many friends I didn’t know then but now have come to enjoy so much. Thank you for this community you’ve created!

I am delighted. I am humbled. I am grateful.

Thank you, my friends. I look forward to seeing you at the next eMetrics Summit.

Jim

Share This