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December 5, 2007

Keynote Address by Richard Rosenblatt

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Good morning, happy people! It’s Wednesday and Lisa and I have acquired coffee. We skipped the dodgy mess that is the shuttle and therefore made it to Starbucks in front of the crowd. I have three shots of espresso in mine and believe me, I need every one of them.

We return again to the very cold exhibit hall/keynote area for this morning’s keynote with Richard Rosenblatt of DemandMedia. It’s 9 am but there is no sign of this show getting on the road. Are we in the right place? There are a lot of people here…oh, here we go. Okay.

Carson Daly is on the video screen right now, talking about how Richard screwed up a keynote at HostingCon. I…have no words. Why is Carson Daly on the screen? I guess he’s a business partner for DemandMedia? His sister is Richard’s assistant.

Ah, there’s Richard. He says that Quinn Daly is actually in charge of all their PR and isn’t, in fact, his assistant. That’s reassuring.

“Welcome to PubCrawl 2007.” There’s a little bit of a skit with Richard joking about being at the wrong conference again before he brings up Justine of iJustine (previously seen in Lisa’s recaps at BlogWorld). She’s “lifecasting” this.

Richard jumps right in with a little lesson in building brand. Back in the early 1990s, it was about infrastructure. In the late 1990s, it was all about big money marketing (pets.com sock puppet). And now it’s about Content. Big money on ad campaigns was how they used to do things. Content IS your marketing is the new message.

Richard says that we live in a Google search driven world. It used to be Google and YouTube but now, Google owns YouTube, so now everything is Google. Preach it, brother.

In the old days, if someone took your content you sued them. Now you let it go. There’s a new model: set your content free. Justine has 15 web sites and her content is everywhere.

He talks so fast.

When you type iJustine into Google she’s not just the first result, she’s all 10 entries because she’s made herself ubiquitous. She tapped into the long tail.

In the old days people couldn’t afford to create or promote content but now there are so many ways to drive traffic with user generated content, wikis, social media.

Content is King again and where there is content there is Advertisers. The VCs are funding UGC applications like crazy. The key is that content is valuable in all forms because Google indexes it. And if even one person comes to you through Google instead of you having to buy them, y ou’re ahead.

Most content is worthless. You need to produce or buy the RIGHT content.

Content is king…but only if users can find it.

[I feel like I’m being sold something. Like an infomercial.]

Search is becoming more granular. Queries are getting longer: one word, two words, three words. People are getting more specific in order to find what they want.

Google can find the long tail but it can’t always fill it. If no one has produced USEFUL content, there’s an opportunity there for you to create it. All the traditional media companies are focused on editorial content for the big topics. Politics, sports, careers. You should focus on the longer tail terms, the granular terms that will reach fewer people who are more passionate. Harness the power of users to create your content. Use video to drive traffic.

You can do this without money. Yes, 320 million dollars helps [Ya think?] but you can do it with no money.

Case Studies:

  • eHow–added 100,000 new articles, traffic grew by 60% and they ended up with over 1,000,000 visitors.
  • Expert Village– over 20,000 videos on Youtube that are all how to videos. They suggest topics to filmmakers and then revenue share. No studio cost to them. The most popular video on ExpertVillage is a floating card trick explained. They’ve got the number one spot for several key terms. It paid for itself in 8 days.
  • Airlines.net– A good example of leveraging the passionate community. They have 80 volunteers to do most of the work and 3 full time staff. Otherwise it’s 40000 photographers.

The old model is owning a generic domain name (pets.com). The new is that the search engines don’t care where you are. Get a one or two word domain on a nontraditional domain. Target the wide body and the long tail.

People are buying domains faster than ever, everyone is offering domains to users. You have to get in there and be a part of that.

He goes into another case study of ChannelMe.TV. They optimized it for search. He’s very big on search engine optimization. I swear this guy uses real facts to sell smoke.

Focus on the long tail. Select valuable content. Be mindful of the pitfalls of raw UGC leverage video and always keep SEO in mind.

They show a video of Justine flying in yesterday and getting to Pubcon. It took her 45 minutes to make it. It looks like it. But she’s got a fanbase who will eat up anything. You can sell anything to some people. That’s the power of the long tail.

Okay, done. Time to post and run to the next session. Later, party people.

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3 responses to “Keynote Address by Richard Rosenblatt”

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